Roenis Elias (3-4, 3.67 ERA) and Lance McCullers (3-1, 2.00 ERA) take the hill in the first of a three-game series between the Seattle Mariners (30-37) and the Houston Astros (40-28) at Safeco Field. The Astros come into this series riding a five-game winning streak. Action begins at 10:10 p.m. ET on Friday, Jun. 19 and can be seen on ROOT-SW and ROOT-NW.
Elias pitched 3.1 innings in his most recent start, surrendering seven runs (one unearned), striking out two and walking four in a 13-0 defeat to the Astros. Nelson Cruz (.309, 34 Rs, 18 HRs, 41 RBIs, 1 SB) went 1 for 3 yesterday. Against the Mariners, McCullers is 1-0 with a 0.00 ERA, 0.80 WHIP, and four strikeouts. George Springer (.277, 35 Rs, 10 HRs, 24 RBIs, 13 SBs) has been successful at the plate for the Astros, going 2 for 5 yesterday.
Seattle is a narrow -108 favorite at home against Houston. The matchup has an estimated Over/Under (O/U) of seven runs. The Mariners have an overall money line of -1,027 and a record as the favorite of 19-22. Within its division, Seattle has a 10-9 record as favorite and a 14-14 record SU. 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.
As for their opponent, Houston is coming in with an overall money line of +1,025 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 rivals, and a 20-12 record 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 221 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 3.53 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 controlled the season series, 8-2. The Mariners have a 24-29 record against right-handed starting pitchers on the year, which is what they'll be facing when McCullers takes the mound. Elias (LHP) will be on the hill against the Astros, who have a 14-14 record against left-handed starting pitchers.
Predictions: SU Winner - HOU, O/U - Under
The Astros have a 20-12 record against teams in their division, while the Mariners are even against their rivals at 14-14.
When the Astros play into extra innings, they have a 3-2 record. The Mariners are 4-5 when their games exceed nine innings.
The Astros managed to give up six walks in their last game. They'll have to pick it up against the Mariners who are heading in with a 4-2 record against opponents who give up that many walks or more.
When they outhit their opponents, the Mariners are 16-12. The Astros have a 27-8 record when outhitting opponents.
Ranking 28th in runs, Seattle has earned 225 this season. Houston ranks third with 303 runs.
Ranking 17th, Seattle is in the bottom half of the league in walks, notching 186 this season. Houston ranks in the top five at fifth 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 32-16 record.