J.A. Happ (3-3, 3.79 ERA) and Vincent Velasquez (0-0, 4.66 ERA) start in the last of a three-game series between the Seattle Mariners (32-37) and the Houston Astros (40-30) at Safeco Field. The Mariners won the last game 6-3 and Seattle leads the series 2-0. Action begins at 4:10 p.m. ET on Sunday, Jun. 21 and can be seen on ROOT-SW and ROOT-NW.
Happ is 3-0 with a 3.48 ERA, 1.32 WHIP, and 28 strikeouts against the Astros. Nelson Cruz (.315, 36 Rs, 19 HRs, 43 RBIs, 1 SB) went 1 for 3 yesterday with one run, one home run, and one RBI. Velasquez went 4.2 innings, surrendering five runs, striking out seven and walking two in an 8-5 defeat to the Rockies in his most recent start. George Springer (.277, 36 Rs, 11 HRs, 25 RBIs, 13 SBs) went 1 for 4 yesterday.
Seattle is a -116 favorite against Houston and the Over/Under (O/U) for this game is sitting at seven runs. The Mariners have an overall money line of -1,063 and a record as the favorite of 19-23. Seattle is a disappointing 1-3 as the favorite over its last 10 games. The Mariners have seen an uptick in scoring against teams inside their division, averaging 3.8 runs per game. They average 3.4 runs per game on the season. Seattle's pitchers fall apart when division rivals are on the field. Its average runs allowed per game rises to 4.6 against fellow AL West members, compared to its 4.1 season average.
Over in the other dugout, Houston is coming in with an overall money line of +913 and an impressive record of 21-14 as the dog. They have been playing solid baseball as the underdog with a 14-5 record against AL West opponents, and a 20-13 record SU. Offensively, the Astros have really picked up the pace in the last 10 games. They have exceeded their season average of 4.4 runs per game by averaging 5.9 during that stretch. The Astros have a dynamic offense, ranking second in the league with 227 extra base hits. The Astros are an excellent base stealing team with 56 stolen bases, ranking third in the MLB. Houston's pitching staff is one of the top in the AL, with a 3.54 ERA. When it comes to preventing batters from getting on base, the Astros are the best in the league with a WHIP of 1.18 for the season. The Astros have established a reputation of overwhelming hitters with an AL-best 7.8 strikeouts per game, making them one of the top five teams in the league.
The Astros lead the season series, 8-4. The Mariners have a 25-30 record against right-handed starting pitchers on the year, which is what they'll be facing when Velasquez takes the mound. Happ (LHP) will be on the hill against the Astros, who have a 14-15 record against left-handed starting pitchers.
Predictions: SU Winner - HOU, O/U - Under
The Mariners are 16-14 against their divisional rivals, while the Astros are 20-14 against their division.
The Astros are 3-2 in games that go into extra innings. Meanwhile, the Mariners are 4-5 in such matchups.
The Astros managed to give up five walks in their last game. They'll have to pick it up against the Mariners who are heading in with a 6-4 record against opponents who give up that many walks or more.
When they are outhit, the Astros are 9-20. The Mariners have an 11-21 record when opponents outhit them.
Houston tops the league in home runs with 101 this season. Seattle ranks in the top 10 at ninth with 71.
Seattle and Houston both rank in the top half of the league in hits. Seattle sits at 15th with 7.82 hits per game and Houston ranks 13th with 8.01.
Ranking 27th, Seattle is near the bottom of the league for its on-base plus slugging percentage (.672). Houston ranks in the top 10 at seventh with an OPS of .734.
When the Astros allow at least one home run, they are 15-21. When the Mariners allow one or more homers, they have a 13-31 record.