Seattle Mariners vs Houston Astros: Preview & Prediction

Seattle pitcher James Paxton walking off the mound.
The Mariners are 8-5 but James Paxton is struggling on the mound with a 5.74 ERA and no wins through three starts. Photo by hj_west (flickr) [CC License].

A battle of immensely talented but underperforming pitchers is on the schedule tonight in the Pacific Northwest as James Paxton and the Seattle Mariners welcome Dallas Keuchel and the Houston Astros to Safeco Field (10:10 PM PT).

While both teams are off to decent starts, they are nonetheless looking up at the LA Angels in the AL West standings, partly because neither of tonight’s scheduled starters has registered a win this season.

Will either get on the board this evening? Below, find the opening odds, key statistics and betting trends, weather forecast, and game prediction.

Opening Odds

MONEYLINE RUNLINE O/U RUNS
ASTROS (-110) ASTROS -1.5 (+150) OVER 7.5 (+105)
MARINERS (+100) MARINERS  +1.5 (-170) UNDER 7.5 (-125)

Before acquiring Justin Verlander late last season, Dallas Keuchel was the ostensible ace of this Houston staff. But now, with Verlander in the mix, along with Gerrit Cole, Lance McCullers, and Charlie Morton, all of a sudden Keuchel looks like the weak link.

In three starts this year, he’s logged just 15.0 innings, giving up 18 hits, nine walks, and seven earned runs. It’s still a small sample size, but his 5.4 walks/9 is 2.4 higher than his worst mark in any full season.

Paxton hasn’t been much better for the Mariners — 10 ER in just 15.2 innings of work — though he may be trending in the right direction. In his last start against KC, he managed to make it past the fifth inning for the first time this season, throwing six innings of six-hit, two-run ball while striking out ten.

The Ms beat KC (4-2) but Paxton ended up with a no-decision.

Team Stats

MARINERS STATISTIC ASTROS
8-5 (4-2 Home) RECORD 10-6 (4-3 Away)
0 RUN DIFFERENTIAL +18
James Paxton: 0-1, 5.74 ERA, 1.40 WHIP  PROBABLE STARTER Dallas Keuchel: 0-2, 4.20 ERA, 1.80 WHIP
 .263 BA, .694 OPS (in 186 at-bats) LINEUP VS OPPONENT STARTER .248 BA, .662 OPS (in 127 at-bats)
4.02 ERA (19th in MLB) BULLPEN ERA 2.88 ERA (9th in MLB)
.758 (6th in MLB) TEAM OPS .694 (18th in MLB)
5-14 (2-7 Home)  2017 HEAD-TO-HEAD 14-5 (7-2 Away)

Betting Results & Trends

MARINERS  TREND ASTROS
Lost 1 WIN/LOSS STREAK Lost 2
4-1 LAST 5 1-4
10-3 RUNLINE RECORD 7-9
9-4 OVER/UNDER SPLIT 5-11
 Under 1 OVER/UNDER STREAK Under 1

The Astros are coming off their second straight extra-innings loss (3-1 vs Texas), where they were nearly no-hit by 44-year-old Bartolo Colon.

The Mariners were locked in a similar pitchers’ duel last night, falling 2-1 to the A’s.

Weather Forecast at Opening Pitch

TEMPERATURE 48°
HUMIDITY 79%
WIND SPEED SSW 11 MPH (out to left field)
P.O.P. 70%

Score Prediction

ASTROS 6
MARINERS 4

This 10-6 start is the Astros’ version of a World Series hangover. The lineup is striking out at an alarming rate compared to last year, when they were the best team in the majors at making contact. But the pitching staff has picked them up.

Everyone but Keuchel, that is.

Look for one of two things to happen tonight: either the power-bats in Houston’s lineup will start to mash, or Keuchel will be closer to midseason form.

As long as one of those comes to fruition, Houston should have enough to break its mini two-game skid. Even if they don’t get to the starter Paxton, the Seattle bullpen is somewhat vulnerable.

Author Image
Sascha was a hockey player in his youth. He gave that up to do something much more practical: become a lawyer. He gave that up to do something much more enjoyable: write about sports. SBD's lead odds-maker/number cruncher since 2014, Sascha writes and edits about anything and everything you can possibly put odds on. He's happiest when those things are baseball, hockey, football, and basketball, though. In his spare time, Sascha likes watching Jeopardy with his wife, building train sets with his son, and pretending he's still an athlete, not necessarily in that order.