Mariners vs Astros Series Preview: Verlander Looks to Get Favored Astros Off and Rolling

Mariners Have Plenty of Confidence After Sweeping Toronto in Wild-Card Series

 

Veterans Eager to Lead Houston to its First World Series Since 2017

It’s not too surprising to see the Houston Astros playing in the National League Division Series as the Astros were the favorites to win the AL West coming into the season. However, the Seattle Mariners were the third pick in the division behind the Astros and Angels and were priced at +3000 to win the World Series. This is the first postseason appearance for the Mariners since 2001. It is no wonder that the Mariners vs Astros Series Preview favors host Houston.

However, the Seattle Mariners were the third pick in the division behind the Astros and Angels and were priced at +3000 to win the World Series.

The Astros have the best record in the American League in the second half of the season with the Mariners posting the fourth-best mark. The Astros have  the second best home record in the American League while only two AL teams posted more road wins than the Mariners.

Eight of the 10 players with at-bats in Seattle’s wild-card series were making their postseason debuts. Carlos Santana is the hitter with the most postseason experience coming into 2022 with 23 games played while Eugenio Suarez had appeared in three postseason contests.

For Houston, Jose Altuve, Alex Bregman and Yuri Gurriel have all played in more than 70 postseason contests while Yordan Alvarez and Kyle Tucker have combined for 72 postseason appearances.

 

Mariners vs Astros Series Information

Matchup:

    • Mariners 90-72 (second, AL West) Astros 106-56 (first, AL West)

Location:

    • Minute Maid Park, Houston

Day/Time:

    • (teams also play on Thursday at 3:37 p.m. before the series shifts to Seattle for Saturday and if necessary on Sunday. If a fifth  game is needed, it will be in Houston on Monday Oct. 17.)

Streaming: Live Stream Sports

 

Pitching Rotation Yet to be Announced for Mariners

With an extra day in between days, there will be a chance to shorten the pitching rotation. Luis Castillo was brilliant in the series opener against Toronto and figures to be available for two starts in the series. The performance by Robbie Ray in Game 2, however, is another story. Ray gave up six hits and four runs in three innings.

George Kirby has the best ERA among the starters since the MLB All-Star break with Logan Gilbert and Ray having up and down efforts down the stretch. That has played a role in the Mariners vs Astros Series Preview favoring the Astros.

Gilbert is likely to get the call in the opener. Seattle does have a deep bullpen so don’t be surprised to see quick hooks at early signs of trouble for some of the untested Seattle starters.

 

Veterans Look to Lead Astros to Another Title

There are no doubts about who will get the call when the series starts for the Astros. Justin Verlander, the likely AL Cy Young Award winner, won four postseason games when the Astros won the 2017 World Series.
Fellow pitcher Lance McCullers Jr. as well as infielders Jose Altuve, Yuli Gurriel and Alex Bregman are other holdovers from that 2017 team.

That experience could prove beneficial against a Seattle team with limited postseason outings under their belt.
Altuve and Bregman are hitting .328 and .287 in the second half with 40 doubles and 23 home runs so they are heating up for the postseason. They are two reasons why Houston is favored in the Mariners vs Astros Betting Preview.

 

Who’s Hot

  • Matt Brash, Mariners P: Brash hasn’t allowed a run in his last five appearances. He has allowed one hit with five strikeouts in 4.2 innings in those games.
  • Mitch Haniger, Mariners OF: Haniger is 6 of 16 with a double, two home runs and three RBIs in his last four games.
  • Jeremy Pena, Astros SS: Pena hit .389 with a triple, two home runs and six RBIs over his last five games.
  • Justin Verlander, Astros P: Verlander didn’t allow a run in four of his last six starts. In his last outing against the Phillies, he allowed no hits and struck out 10 in five innings.

 

Who’s Not

  • J.P. Crawford, Mariners SS: Crawford has three hits in his last 31 at-bats. He has just one extra-base hit with eight strikeouts during that span.
  • Aledmys Diaz, Astros OF: Diaz has one hit in his last 19 games with three strikeouts during that time.
  • Robbie Ray, Mariners P: Ray has allowed at least four runs in four of his last six starts. He has a 5.93 ERA over that stretch.
  • Jose Urquidy, Astros P: Urquidy is 0-3 with an ERA of 8.26 over his last four starts. He has allowed six home runs over that stretch.

 

Mariners vs Astros Injury Update

Seattle outfielder Jesse Winker (knee) and second baseman Sam Haggerty (groin) are on the injured list and catcher Tom Murphy (shoulder) is out for the season.

For Houston, outfielder Michael Brantley (shoulder) and catcher Jason Castro (knee) are on the 60-day injured list.

 

Mariners vs Astros Head-to-Head

The Astros won 12 of the 19 meetings during the regular season. The teams split the first 12 games in 2022.
The home team won each of the first three series during the regular season before the Astros swept a three-game set from July 22-24.

The Astros have won six of the last seven games with Seattle with the last two being decided by one run.
Tyler France led the Mariners with four home runs and 12 RBIs against the Astros. Yordan Alvarez and Jose Altuve have combined for eight home runs and 21 RBIs against the Mariners. Verlander is 5-1 with a 2.34 ERA in six games against the Mariners during the regular season.

 

Mariners vs Astros Betting Preview

Concluding our Mariners vs Astros Series Preview: Seattle is coming off an emotional win to close out the wild-card series with Toronto. Adam Frazier’s RBI double in the ninth inning helped Seattle erase a seven-run lead to sweep the favored Blue Jays to set up this AL Division Series games.

The only question with the Astros is whether they will be a little rusty since Seattle played two games and Houston’s last game was on Oct. 5.

With Justin Verlander is going into the opener, that alone makes the Astros the favorite to open the series with a win. It doesn’t hurt that the Astros finished 16 games ahead of Seattle in the MLB standings 2022.

The total has gone over in four of the last five games for Seattle and in four of the last six road games.

Houston has won 14 of the last 20 home games against the Mariners.

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