So, my assignment here is to pick the best bets of the week around Major League Baseball, but I’m going to simplify things and say this: Hammer the Toronto Blue Jays over the Baltimore Orioles in each game Monday through Wednesday. The Orioles are horrible overall and truly putrid on the road, having lost nine straight away from Camden Yards and 19-44 overall on the road.
Seattle Mariners vs. Houston Astros
- When: Monday, September 13 // Wednesday, September 15
- Where: Minute Maid Park, Houston, Texas
- TV: ROOTNW, SportsNet-SW, MLBN
- Radio: 710 AM ESPN (Mariners) // KBME 790 AM (Astros)
- Live Stream: MLB.tv
- MLB Betting Odds: Houston Astros -204 (Sept. 6) // TBA (Sept. 7) // TBA (Sept. 8)
READ MORE: 2021 World Series Betting Odds (September)
Seattle just took two of three at home vs. Houston last week, holding the Astros to just four total runs. The Mariners easily could have swept but blew a 3-2 lead in the ninth inning of a 4-3 loss in Game 1. The second game was quite interesting as it was 0-0 entering the bottom of the eighth until Seattle’s Abraham Toro hit a grand slam off a player he was traded from Houston for, ex-Mariners reliever Kendall Graveman. Five of the six runs Graveman has given up since joining the Astros have come against his former team.
The Mariners own a 15-6-2 series record since June 14, winning or splitting 17 of their last 23. Seattle has had three straight inning months for the first time since March/April-June 2017.
Perhaps expect another low-scoring series. Since August 1, the Mariners pitching staff has the fewest walks and lowest walks-per-9 innings in the Majors. The Astros pitching staff has allowed the second-fewest runs in the American League, while also ranking second in the AL in opponent batting average and third in ERA. Astros starters have combined for a 3.50 ERA, the best in the AL.
Monitor the status of Houston slugger Yordan Alvarez. He fouled a ball off his leg on Saturday and wasn’t able to start Sunday. The Astros don’t think it’s anything that will land Alvarez, the team’s usual DH, on the injured list. He’s hitting .283 with 28 homers and 89 RBIs. If he gets to 30 and 100, respectively, he’ll become the first pure left-handed hitter to record those numbers in franchise history.
Monday’s pitching matchup features Seattle lefty Yusei Kikuchi vs. Houston’s Lance McCullers Jr. Kikuchi (7-7, 4.12) threw seven shutout innings against the Astros last time out but didn’t factor in the decision. He has 14 quality starts this year and a .231 opponents’ batting average against. In 10 career starts against Houston, he is 1-4 with a 5.50 (32 ER, 52.1 IP) with 21 walks and 42 strikeouts. McCullers (10-4, 3.20) was opposite Kikuchi last Tuesday and threw five shutout innings. He needed 102 pitches for those 15 outs, and he threw only 57 of those pitches for strikes.
Tuesday, it’s Logan Gilbert for Seattle and Jake Odorizzi for Houston. Gilbert (5-5, 5.14) blanked Houston for five innings last Wednesday but didn’t factor in the decision. He limited the Astros to four hits and no walks while striking out four while inducing 18 swinging strikes. Odorizzi (6-7, 4.32) allowed one run over five last Wednesday in Seattle took the loss. Odorizzi made it through five scoreless but was pulled after starting the sixth with a single and a walk, with that first runner eventually scoring on a sacrifice fly.
Wednesday’s finale features Tyler Anderson for Seattle and Jose Urquidy for Houston. Anderson (6-9, 4.08) allowed three runs on four hits and one walk with five strikeouts over six innings in a no-decision last Friday against Arizona. Urquidy (6-3, 3.42) allowed two runs on five hits and one walk with four strikeouts over 4 1/3 innings in a no-decision against the Padres on Friday. Urquidy made his return after missing two months with a shoulder injury. He was pulled after 71 pitches but should be able to go deeper on Wednesday.
This writer believes Houston wins two of three in the series. The Astros lead the season series 9-7 and are 5-2 at home.