Taijuan Walker (0-2, 17.18 ERA) and Collin McHugh (2-0, 1.54 ERA) are on the hill in the second of a three-game series between the Seattle Mariners (5-8) and the Houston Astros (7-6) at Safeco Field. The Astros won the last game 7-5 and Houston leads the series 1-0. Action begins at 10:10 p.m. ET on Tuesday, Apr. 21 and can be seen on ROOT-SW and ROOT-NW.
Walker is 3-0 with a 2.91 ERA in his appearances against the Astros, and goes up against a below-average Houston offense which is batting just .207 this season. Nelson Cruz (.358, 10 Rs, 8 HRs, 16 RBIs) had another good game yesterday, going 2 for 5 with one run and two RBIs. Against the Mariners, McHugh is 3-2 with a 4.11 ERA, 0.91 WHIP, and 34 strikeouts. Luis Valbuena (.244, 5 Rs, 5 HRs, 7 RBIs, 1 SB) has been successful at the plate to the start the season, going 2 for 3 yesterday with two runs, two home runs, and three RBIs.
Seattle is a -121 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 -289 and a record as the favorite of 4-4. Seattle has had an impressive season against division opponents, earning 4-3 and 5-4 records as the favorite and SU respectively. The Mariners are one of the best in the MLB in terms of home runs with 18. Turning to the pitchers, opponents have consistently been struck out by the Mariners, who rank fifth in the AL in strikeouts per home game with 8.7.
In the other locker room, Houston is coming in with an overall money line of -9 and a disappointing record of 2-3 as the underdog. They are 2-2 as the underdog against AL West foes, and 5-4 SU. Offensively, the Astros have really picked up the pace in division games. They have exceeded their season average of 2.8 runs per game by averaging 3.4 in those contests. The Astros are an excellent base stealing team with 14 stolen bases, ranking second in the MLB. Houston's pitching staff has set the standard for its league, with an AL-low 2.70 ERA on the road. When it comes to issuing walks, the Astros have the fourth-fewest in the AL with an average of just 2.6 walks allowed per game.
The Astros have the edge in the season series, 1-0. The Mariners have a 4-3 record against right-handed starting pitchers on the year, which is what they'll be facing when McHugh takes the mound. Walker (RHP) will be on the hill against the Astros, who have a 3-5 record against right-handed starting pitchers.
Predictions: SU Winner - HOU, O/U - Over
The total has gone UNDER in 14 of Houston's last 19 games.
Houston is 4-1 SU in its last 5 games.
The total has gone UNDER in 19 of Houston's last 24 games on the road.
The total has gone OVER in 4 of Houston's last 5 games when playing Seattle.
Houston is 5-1 SU in its last 6 games when playing Seattle.
Houston is 5-1 SU in its last 6 games when playing on the road against Seattle.
Seattle is 1-5 SU in its last 6 games when playing at home against Houston.
When leading after 7 innings, Seattle is 3-0, while Houston is 4-2.
The Mariners are coming into this game after allowing one walk during their last outing. The Astros have a 1-1 record when opponents give up that many walks or fewer.
When they are outhit, the Mariners are 2-6. The Astros have a 2-3 record when opponents outhit them.
Both Seattle and Houston are tied at second in home runs, hitting 18 this season.
Ranking 15th, Houston is in the top half of the league in hits, notching 6.77 per game. Seattle ranks in the top five at fifth with 8.54.
Ranking 20th, Houston is in the bottom half of the league for its on-base plus slugging percentage (.655). Seattle ranks in the top 10 at 10th with an OPS of .720.
The Astros are 1-4 when they allow at least one home run. The Mariners perform similarly when they allow one or more homers with a 2-7 record.