If the Seattle Mariners have any realistic chance of getting the Houston Astros for first in the AL West Division, then they absolutely have to sweep a series in Houston this weekend. However, the Astros are favored on the MLB odds for Thursday’s opener.
How to Bet Mariners at Astros MLB Odds & TV Info
- When: Thursday, 8:10 PM ET
- Where: Minute Maid Park
- Probable pitchers (away/home): Logan Gilbert/Jose Urquidy
- TV: MLB Extra Innings
- Stream/gameday audio: https://www.mlb.com/live-stream-games/
- Opening MLB Lines: Astros -150, Mariners +140 (total 8)
Why Bet on Seattle?
One of Seattle’s top hitters, first baseman Ty France, didn’t start Wednesday vs. Texas but is fine and should be in there for this one. France is batting .309 (103×333) with 38 runs, 18 doubles, 13 home runs, 51 RBI and 24 walks, getting on base at a .382 clip, slugging .480 with an .863 OPS in 84 games this season. Among qualified AL first basemen (min. 60% games played), France ranks 1st in bWAR (3.2), 1st in OPS+ (148), T2nd in hits (103), T5th in home runs (13), 4th in RBI (51), 1st in batting average (.309), 2nd in OBP (.382), 4th in slugging (.480) and T3rd in total bases (160).
Catcher Cal Raleigh also got Wednesday off but should play Friday. In his last 54 games since May 15, Raleigh is batting .236 (42×178) with 23 runs, 11 doubles, 1 triple, 13 home runs, 36 RBI and 17 walks, getting on base at a .302 clip, slugging .528 with an .830 OPS. In that time span, Raleigh leads MLB catchers in extra-base hits (25), home runs (13), RBI (36).
The Mariners are 23-12 in 1-run games this season, most 1-run wins (23) in the Majors. Seattle led the Majors in 1-run wins (33) last season and have a chance to become the first team to lead the league in 1-run wins in back-to-back seasons since the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1983-84. Seattle is 39-0 when going into the 8th inning with a lead this season.
It’s Logan Gilbert on the mound Thursday. Gilbert (10-4) took the loss to the Astros last Saturday, allowing two runs on five hits while striking out eight and walking one over six innings. Gilbert was efficient in throwing 63 of 89 pitches for strikes across six frames. The eight strikeouts were a season high for the young righty. Gilbert did not allow a home run in the contest, but the Astros were able to knock in two runs against him, both on doubles. Despite picking up a loss, Gilbert earned a quality start, his ninth of the year. He will take a 2.77 ERA into Thursday.
Career against Houston, Gilbert is 2-2 with a 4.36 ERA (16 ER, 22.0 IP) with 30 strikeouts in 6 starts. In 3 starts against Houston this season, he is 2-1 with a 2.37 ERA (5 ER, 19.0 IP).
Why Bet on Houston?
Astros manager Dusty Baker said Wednesday that starting outfielder Michael Brantley (shoulder) has yet to swing a bat. Brantley has been sidelined since late June due to lingering right shoulder discomfort, and there is no apparent timeline for his return to Houston’s active roster. His injured list placement has offered more starts in left field to Aledmys Díaz and Chas McCormick, but it also hints at a need of another bat at the trade deadline with Yordan Álvarez’s lingering hand soreness. Washington’s Josh Bell has been mentioned as a possibility.
Three Astros starters, third baseman Alex Bregman, excellent rookie shortstop Jeremy Pena, and catcher Martin Maldonado, didn’t start Wednesday in Oakland but all are healthy and should be fine for this game. The 24-year-old Pena currently owns an eight-game hit streak, batting .303 with three homers, four RBI and six runs over that stretch. Among AL rookies, he ranks 2nd in WAR (3.0), 2nd in OPS (.773), 2nd in SLG (.464), 2nd in HR (15) and 3rd in RBI (37).
Since June 17, Bregman s hitting .280 (35×125) with 6 HR, 21 RBI, 17 BB, a .377 OBP, a .488 SLG and an .865 OPS in 34 games. He ranks T-1st in the AL in walks (53) and his 1.00 BB/K ratio ranks 7th in AL. Maldonado has a .760 OPS over his last 31 games, dating back to June 10. He is hitting .263 (15×57) with a .902 OPS in 19 games in July.
It’s Jose Urquidy on the mound Thursday. Urquidy (9-4) allowed a run on four hits and two walks with three strikeouts in six innings, earning the win over the Mariners last Friday. He had yielded 17 runs (15 earned) in 13 innings in his three previous starts versus the Mariners this year. The right-hander showed more control Friday, throwing 70 of 105 pitches for strikes. The only run he allowed in this outing was on a Ty France solo home run in the sixth inning.
“His pitch count got kind of high, and he threw a quality start,” Baker said. “I don’t know how many it is in a row for him, but against a team like this, that’s been his nemesis this year, that was big for Urquidy and for us.”
Urquidy has strung together seven quality starts in a row, and he now has a 3.93 ERA, 1.23 WHIP and 77:22 K:BB across 100.2 innings in 18 outings. Since giving up five earned runs and 12 hits in 4 2/3 innings in a loss at Seattle on May 28, Urquidy is 5-2 with a 3.23 ERA and a 0.95 WHIP in nine starts, eight of which have been quality starts.
Expert Prediction: Astros 4, Mariners 3
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