Dallas Keuchel (8-2, 2.04 ERA) starts for the Houston Astros (40-29) as they square off against Taijuan Walker (4-6, 5.00 ERA) and the Seattle Mariners (31-37) in the second of a three-game series at Safeco Field. The Mariners won the last game 5-2 and Seattle leads the series 1-0. Action begins at 10:10 p.m. ET on Saturday, Jun. 20 and can be seen on ROOT-SW, ROOT-NW and MLB.
Walker is 3-1 with a 4.50 ERA, 1.47 WHIP, and 33 strikeouts against the Astros. Nelson Cruz (.315, 35 Rs, 18 HRs, 42 RBIs, 1 SB) continued his strong play yesterday, going 2 for 2 with one run and one RBI. Keuchel is 3-3 with a 2.25 ERA against the Mariners in his career. He takes on a below-average Seattle offense that's batting just .233. George Springer (.278, 36 Rs, 11 HRs, 25 RBIs, 13 SBs) went 1 for 3 yesterday with one run, one home run, and one RBI.
Houston is a slim -113 favorite over Seattle. According to the oddsmakers, the Over/Under (O/U) is currently six runs. The Mariners have an overall money line of -1,165 and a record as the underdog of 11-14. Within its division, Seattle has a 10-9 as the underdog and a 14-14 SU. The Mariners have seen an uptick in scoring against teams inside their division, averaging 3.7 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 4.7 against fellow AL West members, compared to its 4.1 season average.
In games where it is the favorite, Houston has a 19-14 record and an overall money line of +1,025. They are 6-7 as the favorite against fellow AL West members, and 20-12 SU. Offensively, the Astros have really picked up the pace in the last 10 games. They have exceeded their season average of 4.5 runs per game by averaging 5.8 during that stretch. The Astros have a dynamic offense, ranking second in the league with 224 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 1.17 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 have controlled the season series, 8-3. The Mariners have a 6-7 record against left-handed starting pitchers on the year, which is what they'll be facing when Keuchel takes the mound. Walker (RHP) will be on the hill against the Astros, who have a very good 26-14 record against right-handed starting pitchers.
Predictions: SU Winner - HOU, O/U - Under
The Astros hold a 20-13 record in matchups against AL West Division rivals, while the Mariners currently sit at 15-14 in these games.
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 four walks in their last game. They'll have to pick it up against the Mariners who are heading in with an 11-9 record against opponents who give up that many walks or more.
When they outhit their opponents, the Mariners are 17-12. The Astros have a 27-8 record when outhitting opponents.
Ranking 28th in runs, Seattle has earned 230 this season. Houston ranks third with 305 runs.
Ranking 17th, Seattle is in the bottom half of the league in walks, notching 190 this season. Houston ranks in the top 10 at sixth with 217.
The Mariners are 25-16 when they hit at least one home run. The Astros perform similarly when they hit one or more homers with a 32-17 record.