On Saturday, the Houston Astros (6-7, 5-2 away) and the Seattle Mariners (9-5, 4-3 home) continue a three-game set in American League West play. In the series opener, Seattle was victorious Friday night, dropping the Astros, 6-5 in the bottom of the ninth.
The first pitch of game two of the series is 9:10 p.m. EST inside T-Mobile Park in Seattle, WA. According to oddsmakers, Houston is favored (-135), and the run total is 8.
What to Know – Houston Astros
Houston opened up the 2021 season, winning six of its first seven contests but have stumbled recently, carrying a six-game losing streak into the weekend. The recent losing stretch has dropped the Astros into fourth place in the division standings. A handful of Houston’s starters are sidelined due to COVID-19 protocols.
37-year old Zack Greinke (1-1, 4.08 ERA, 1.25 WHIP) toes the rubber for his fourth start of the season. Greinke is coming off his worst start of the season, tossing 4.2 innings, allowing ten hits, three walks, and six earned runs in a home loss to Detroit on Monday. The right-hander fared much better in the pair of road starts, surrendering just two earned runs over 13.0 innings of work.
The Astros continue their weekend road trip without the services of Alex Bregman, Jose Altuve, and Yordan Alvarez, all out due to COVID-19. First baseman Yuli Gurriel is off to an excellent start at the plate, hitting .422 (19-of-45), with one home run, five runs scored, and five runs driven in.
What to Know – Seattle Mariners
Seattle has been a surprise early on this year, winners in six of its last seven games. The Mariners own the best record in the AL West, with a 0.5 game lead over the Los Angeles Angels.
The Mariners counter on the mound with right-hander Chris Flexen (1-0, 4.50 ERA, 1.60 WHIP). After a sharp outing in his season debut, Flexen was roughed up on Sunday, allowing five earned runs on eight hits and a pair of free passes.
Outfielder Mitch Haniger is healthy, and his resurgence at the plate is a big reason why the Mariners are 11th in the majors in runs scored. Haniger’s hitting .351 (20-for-57) with four home runs, 11 RBI, and 11 runs scored. Third baseman Kyle Seager leads the Mariners with 12 RBI and has a pair of home runs to his name.
The Pick is In
Houston is slumping while the Mariners are red hot over the last week of play. Both teams can score runs, with each offense sitting in the top half of the league in runs per game.
Grienke and Flexen both struggled in their last starts, and these offenses have the ability to feast on poor pitching. We will shy away from picking a winner here and instead look toward both teams putting up a load of runs. The over is 5-2 in Seattle’s home games, and when the Astros play on the road, the over is 6-1.
- The Pick: Houston/Seattle Over