The longest playoff drought in Major League Baseball belongs to the Seattle Mariners. It was thought they would compete for the AL West title this season but that has not been the case so far. The Mariners open a home series against division leader Houston on Friday with the Astros favored on the MLB odds behind ace Justin Verlander.
How to Bet Astros at Mariners MLB Odds & TV Info
Why Bet on Houston?
Houston enters having won four of five and off a 2-1 home win over Cleveland on Wednesday. Starting outfielder Kyle Tucker got the game off and in his place, Jose Siri went 2-for-3 with a double and a run scored. Siri led off the third inning with a single off of Cal Quantrill, swiped second base and advanced to third on an error, but was left stranded there. He then led off the fifth inning with a double and came around to score the game’s first run on Michael Brantley’s sacrifice fly.
Tucker should be back there Friday as should excellent rookie shortstop Jeremy Pena, who also got Wednesday off. Pena, who has hit safely in 16 of his last 17 games, is leading all Major League rookies in homers (7), RBI (22), batting average (.293), SLG (.504) and OPS (.851). Among all AL shortstops, Peña ranks first in RBI, and second in homers and SLG.
Ryan Pressly closed out the Guardians in the ninth inning on Wednesday, protecting a one-run lead to earn his seventh save of the season. Pressly now boasts a 2.70 ERA and 1.10 WHIP. He’ll be available Friday. The Astros have gone 17-4 in the 21 starts made by 2B Jose Altuve since he returned from the IL on May 2.
It’s ace right-hander and Cy Young betting favorite Justin Verlander (6-1) on the mound. Verlander was spectacular again last Saturday in a win over the Rangers, striking out eight batters over six shutout innings. The 39-year-old scattered six hits on the evening and didn’t walk a batter. Verlander generated 15 swinging strikes in the game — nine of those on his slider — while posting an elite CSW of 33 percent. His fastball averaged just 95.1 mph in the game — maxing out at 96.6 mph. He has an MLB-best 1.22 ERA, 0.72 WHIP and 49/9 K/BB ratio over 51 2/3 innings.
Verlander the Majors in ERA and WHIP, while ranking first in the AL in wins, second in opponent average (.161) and second in opponent OPS (.441). His active six-game winning streak is the longest in the Majors this season. He has already made 2 starts this season against the Mariners, going 2-0 with a 1.23 ERA. He has won 6 straight decisions against the Mariners, while the Astros have won each of his last 8 starts opposite Seattle.
Why Bet on Seattle?
The Mariners have been huge disappointments at 18-27 and there are rumors it could cost coach Scott Servais his job soon. Seattle lost for the eighth time in 10 games Wednesday, 4-2 at home vs. Oakland. Kyle Lewis went 0-for-4 and grounded into a double play in the loss. The Mariners grounded into four double plays in a game in which they totaled just five hits. Lewis, the former AL Rookie of the Year, has two singles in eight at-bats since coming off the injured list Tuesday.
Current AL Rookie of the Year favorite Julio Rodriguez went 0-for-3 with a walk and a stolen base in the loss. He moved back into the major-league lead in steals with 13. Rodriguez has put together a breakout month of May, slashing .315/.351/.522 through 24 games with five homers, four stolen bases, 10 runs and 14 RBIs.
Ty France owns an 11.1% strikeout rate this season, the 10th-lowest among all qualified Major League batters. Adam Frazier ranks 13th with a 12.1 K% and Jesse Winker ranks 17th with a 13.6 K%. Seattle joins Cleveland as the only other club with 3 players among the top 20 lowest strikeout rates this season.
It’s right-hander Chris Flexen (1-6) on the mound. Flexen yielded five runs over four innings in last Saturday’s no-decision against the Red Sox. Flexen allowed eight hits, walked three, and whiffed two. He loaded the bases in the bottom of the first, but escaped the inning without giving up a run. However, his luck ran out in the bottom of the third when Rafael Devers took him deep for a solo home run. Then, in the bottom of the fifth, he gave up four runs, including a Rafael Devers two-run home run.
It was Flexen’s shortest start yet this season, but he’s failed to complete six innings in four straight starts. He carries 4.98 ERA, 1.43 WHIP and 31:15 K:BB through 43.1 innings into this one. While his last outing wasn’t good, Flexen has had 7 starts of 7.0 innings pitched and no more than 1 run allowed since the start of 2021, most in the AL.
Career against Houston, Flexen is 0-5 with a 6.16 ERA (21 ER, 30.2 IP) in 6 career starts. In two starts against the Astros this year, he’s is 0-2 with a 3.27 ERA (4 ER, 11.0 IP).
- Astros are 9-1 in their last 10 vs. American League West.
- Astros are 37-14 in their last 51 during game 1 of a series.
- Mariners are 1-6 in their last 7 vs. American League West.
- Mariners are 0-5 in their last 5 games vs. a right-handed starter.
- Astros are 1-4 in the last 5 meetings in Seattle.