Seattle Mariners vs Houston Astros Breakdown and Betting Odds
The Seattle Mariners (90-72) are heading to Texas for a five-game series with the Houston Astros (106-56) that begins Tuesday at 3:37 p.m. ET. The Astros are -245 favorites to advance to the ALCS.
During the regular season, the Astros won 12 of 19 matchups. The Astros won seven of 10 games played at Minute Maid Park. Seattle won four out of nine games played at home. From a series perspective, Houston swept two of them, Seattle won two out of three in three series, and the Astros took three out of four the last time they played. This will be the first time that the Mariners and Astros have faced each other in the playoffs.
Seattle Mariners Overview
The Mariners advanced to the ALDS after a shocking comeback win over the Toronto Blue Jays in Game 2 of the Wild Card series. Seattle cruised to an easy Game 1 win, but they overcame a seven-run deficit to stun Toronto and move to the ALDS. It was their first playoff appearance since 2001.
The Mariners have a balanced approach, using a well-rounded hitting corps and a solid pitching staff to win games. Rookie phenom Julio Rodriguez is the engine of the team. He hit 28 home runs and stole 25 bases in a campaign that will likely be enough to win AL Rookie of the Year. Beyond him, Cal Raleigh, Ty France, and Eugenio Suarez each launched 20 or more home runs.
The rotation is deep with many capable arms. Luis Castillo is the de facto ace of the staff after throwing a gem in Game 1 against the Blue Jays. Robbie Ray had a rough outing in Game 2, but he has an established track record. Logan Gilbert and George Kirby have also had stellar seasons. Gilbert is the probable starter for Game 1 against the Astros.
The Mariners have an excellent bullpen led by Paul Sewald’s 20 saves and 2.67 ERA. The ace in the sleeve here is Kirby. Kirby closed Seattle’s Game 2 win, and he could be a multi-inning high-leverage arm that could pitch in multiple games similar to how the 2019 Washington Nationals used Patrick Corbin. The Mariners have a bevy of arms that can be used in any situation to generate outs.
Houston Astros Overview
The Astros have been a playoff mainstay, and their deep lineup has as much playoff experience as any team in the sport. Jose Altuve and Yordan Alvarez both batted over .300 on the season, and Kyle Tucker had 30 home runs with 25 steals. Alex Bregman had another strong season, and rookie Jeremy Pena came through with many clutch hits. Midseason acquisition Trey Mancini should also play a big role.
For as good as the lineup is, the pitching staff is that much better. Justin Verlander had one of the best pitching seasons since 2000 with a 1.75 ERA in 175 innings. Framber Valdez tossed 201.1 innings, rattling off quality start after quality start. Verlander will likely get the nod in Game 1, but the Astros also have Jose Urquidy, Luis Garcia, Cristian Javier, and Lance McCullers.
The bullpen is similarly one of the best units in the league. Ryan Pressly saved 33 games and pitched to a 2.98 ERA. Rafael Montero allowed a 2.37 ERA in 71 games. Ryne Stanek allowed a 1.15 ERA in 54.2 innings. Bryan Abreu, Phil Maton, and Hector Neris also recorded key outs for the 106-win Astros.
TakingVegas.com Pick: Astros -245
It is quite tempting to take the Mariners with plus-money, but the best bet is Astros -245. The Astros have a wealth of playoff experience and elite talent. The Astros controlled much of the season series, and the telling series was a three-game sweep after the All-Star Break. The Mariners had steamrolled MLB to 14 straight wins, and the Astros quickly extinguished the red-hot Mariners.
The Mariners are a great story, but the Astros have a better lineup, rotation, and bullpen. They will likely close out the series without the need for a fifth game.