The Houston Astros (49-40, 24-21 home) and Seattle Mariners (44-43, 20-23 away) meet up in the third contest of a four-game series that will close out the first half of the regular season for these two teams. Seattle has taken the first two games, beating the Astros 10-1 and 5-1.
The first pitch of Saturday’s contest is at 7:15 p.m. EST inside Minute Maid Park in Houston, Texas. Houston is the betting favorite (-135 moneyline), and the over/under total is 7.5 runs.
What to Know – Seattle Mariners
Seattle enters the weekend winners of six of their last seven games above .500 for the first time since the beginning of June. The Mariners are in third place in the AL West, trailing the Texas Rangers by seven games.
Right-hander Bryan Woo (1-1, 4.08 ERA, 1.15 WHIP) makes the start on the mound for the Mariners. Woo joined the Seattle pitching staff at the beginning of June and has maintained his spot in the rotation. The 23-year-old has appeared in six games this season, pitching 28.2 innings, allowing 13 earned runs on 25 hits and eight walks while striking out 39 batters.
On offense, the Mariners are 24th amongst league teams hitting .234 as a team while averaging 4.6 runs per game. Seattle’s pitching staff is sixth in the MLB sporting a 3.78 team ERA.
Veteran hitter Eugene Suarez leads the Mariners with 52 runs driven in. Julio Rodriguez and Teoscar Hernandez are tied with 49 RBIs apiece, with Hernandez leading Seattle with 15 home runs.
What to Know – Houston Astros
The Astros have dropped the first two of the series but have won eight of their last 12 contests. Houston is right above Seattle in the AL West, three games behind the Rangers.
Houston counters on the hill with southpaw Framber Valdez (7-6, 2.49 ERA, 1.05 WHIP). Valdez makes his first start of the month after a solid June, where he finished 2-2 with a 2.73 earned run average. The lefty has tossed 105.0 innings, surrendering 29 earned runs, 86 hits, 24 walks, and 110 strikeouts.
Houston’s offense ranks 15th in the majors batting .249 as a unit and scoring 4.6 runs per contest. The Astros’ pitching staff is fourth in the league featuring a 3.70 team ERA.
Offensively, the Astros haven’t missed a beat with leading slugger Yordan Alvarez on the injured list. Kyle Tucker and Alex Bregman have each driven in 55 runners, and veteran Jose Abreu has added 45 RBIs.
The Pick is In
Two teams that are postseason hopefuls as the season nears its annual pause, the final two games of this series are important for both squads with a direct impact on the AL West standings.
Valdez has been solid all season, and if he can navigate the front half of the Mariners lineup, we like the Astros to get the job done in the third game of the series.
The Pick: Houston Astros ML