Hisashi Iwakuma (0-1, 6.55 ERA) and Asher Wojciechowski (0-1, 4.50 ERA) are on the hill in the first of a three-game series between the Seattle Mariners (5-7) and the Houston Astros (6-6) at Safeco Field. Action begins at 10:10 p.m. ET on Monday, Apr. 20 and can be seen on ROOT-SW and ROOT-NW.
Iwakuma is 4-4 with a 3.48 ERA in his appearances against the Astros, and goes up against a below-average Houston offense which is batting just .202 this season. Nelson Cruz (.354, 9 Rs, 8 HRs, 14 RBIs) kept up his hot start yesterday, going 3 for 6 with two runs, two home runs, and five RBIs. Wojciechowski went 4.0 innings, surrendering zero runs, striking out four and walking one in an 8-1 defeat to the Athletics in his last outing. Jose Altuve (.320, 5 Rs, 1 HR, 4 RBIs, 4 SBs) has been successful at the plate to the start the season, going 3 for 5 yesterday with one run.
Seattle is a -172 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 -389 and a record as the favorite of 3-4. Within its division, Seattle has a 3-3 record as favorite and a 4-4 record SU. The Mariners are one of the best in the MLB in terms of home runs with 18. Crossing over to the pitching staff, opposing offenses that come to Safeco Field have been stifled by the Mariners, who have a team ERA of only 2.00 at home.
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 an MLB-best 13 stolen bases. Houston's pitching staff is one of the top in the AL, with a 2.80 ERA. When it comes to issuing walks, the Astros have the fifth-fewest in the AL with an average of just 2.6 walks allowed per game.
The Mariners have a 4-3 record against right-handed starting pitchers on the year, which is what they'll be facing when Wojciechowski takes the mound. Iwakuma (RHP) will be on the hill against the Astros, who have a 3-5 record against right-handed starting pitchers.
Predictions: SU Winner - SEA, O/U - Under
The Mariners and the Astros both sit at records of 5-4 this season against teams in the AL West Division.
For the first time this season, the Mariners registered at least two errors.
When the Astros play into extra innings, they have a 1-0 record. The Mariners are 2-1 when their games exceed nine innings.
The Astros are coming off of a weak pitching game where they recorded six strikeouts. The Mariners have a record of 2-2 when opponents' pitchers have that many strikeouts or fewer.
When they outhit their opponents, the Astros are 3-3. The Mariners have a 3-1 record when outhitting opponents.
Ranking 28th, Houston sits near the bottom of the league in runs, scoring 34 this season. Seattle ranks in the bottom half at 18th with 47.
Ranking 21st, Seattle is near the bottom of the league in walks, notching 30 this season. Houston ranks in the top five at fifth with 44.
The Mariners are 5-4 when they hit at least one home run. Houston has the same record when hitting one or more homers.