The Seattle Mariners and Houston Astros will mix it up in an American League West affair on Friday.
For the Seattle Mariners, they are trying to stay in the playoff hunt at this point. For the Houston Astros, they are trying to create some separation. On Friday, both will try to get what they want when the Mariners (66-50) travel to Minute Maid Park to take on the Astros (73-43). In game one of the four-game series, the Mariners won 8-6 after getting to Justin Verlander for 6 runs in the first 2 innings. Even though the Astros were able to make it interesting, Edwin Diaz was able to close the door for his 43rd save of the season. In Friday’s game, the Mariners will be sending righty Mike Leake (8-7, 4.16 ERA) to the mound to take on the Astros’ Gerrit Cole (10-4, 2.64 ERA). First pitch is scheduled for 8:10 pm ET.
The moneyline for Friday’s game is set at the Seattle Mariners +187 and the Houston Astros -202. The over/under for runs scored is set at 7.5.
After relinquishing their grip on a wild-card spot to the Oakland Athletics, the Seattle Mariners are desperately trying to get back on track, and back in the playoff mix. To try to do so, they will look to Mike Leake on Friday. On the season, Leake is 8-7 with a 4.16 ERA, 1.30 WHIP and opponents are hitting .278 against him. In 140.2 innings pitched, he has struck out 86, walked 29, and allowed 18 home runs and 154 hits. Throughout his career, he has been seen as someone who will not strike out a ton and will give up some runs, but he will also generally keep his team in most games. In his last outing, a 6-3 win over Toronto, Leake took a no-decision after going 6.2 innings, allowing 3 earned runs and striking out 5.
Three names to watch on the offensive side against Gerrit Cole are Jean Segura, Denard Span, and Dee Gordon. Each has had a good amount of success in their careers against Cole. Segura is hitting .310 in 29 at bats with 2 runs batted in. Span is hitting .286 in 14 at-bats with a solo home run and Dee Gordon is hitting .364 in 22 at-bats with a run batted in. Each of these three has had decent seasons, especially Segura who is now hitting .308/.338/.438 with a .776 OPS He has 9 home runs, 55 runs batted in, 77 runs scored and has stolen 17 bases.
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After the game on Thursday night, J.D. Davis was optioned back to Triple-A to make room for Carlos Correa’s return from injury. Correa has been out for more than a month due to back discomfort and his return couldn’t come at a better time. With Altuve, Springer, McCann, and Correa out, the Astros lineup has not shown the consistency that we have become accustomed to. On the season, Correa is hitting .268/.352/.480 with a .832 OPS in 73 games. In that time he has 13 home runs, 49 runs batted in and have scored 46 runs. While Altuve, Springer, and McCann are still out, Correa’s return will make the Astros offense a little more potent and, on the defensive side, will allow some players to move back to their original positions.
On the pitching side, the Astros will hand the ball to Gerrit Cole. He has been really solid this season as he is 10-4 with a 2.64 ERA, 0.99 WHIP and opponents are hitting just .185 against him. In 146.1 innings, he has 202 strikeouts, 49 walks and has allowed 14 home runs. Despite his great season, Cole has taken two losses in a row, a 3-2 loss to the Dodgers on August 5 and a 2-0 loss to the Mariners on July 30. In those two games, he went a combined 11.2 innings, giving up 5 earned runs and striking out 16. Cole will look for better fortunes this time around against the Mariners.
With Cole on the mound and Correa back with the big club, the Astros are getting a big boost in this one. While Leake has had a nice season for the Mariners this year, he certainly has not been able to perform at the same level as Cole. Also, another player to watch in this one is Evan Gattis. In 13 at bats, Gattis has gotten to Leake for 2 home runs and 3 runs batted in. Ultimately, I like the Astros in this one. Take them at -202.