While the majority of the night will be dedicated to draft day coverage, there is still a small slate of games on Monday. One game of interest is an AL West matchup of the best (Houston Astros at 40-20) versus the worst (Seattle Mariners at 25-37).
Despite a multitude of injuries as of late, the Astros have continued to find ways to win. Without Jose Altuve, George Springer, Carlos Correa and others in the lineup, they were still able to sweep the Oakland A’s after winning Sunday 6-4 in extra innings.
For Seattle, it doesn’t seem like that long ago that the Mariners were 13-2 and leading the division, but it has been a freefall since then, and their general manager has made it apparent that they are open for business after officially dealing Jay Bruce to the Phillies on Sunday. Also on Sunday, the Mariners lost the finale of a four-game series with the Angels 13-3.
The pitching matchup for Monday’s game features rookie Corbin Martin (1-1, 5.51 ERA) for the Astros against the Mariners’ Wade LeBlanc (2-2, 6.99 ERA). First pitch from T-Mobile Park is set for 10:10 pm ET.
The moneyline for this one features the Houston Astros at -125 and the Seattle Mariners at +115. The over/under on runs scored is set at 9.5.
By The Numbers
Despite the difference in records, the Astros and Mariners have had similar offensive production. Houston ranks ninth in the league in runs scored with 5.14 runs per game (5.03 on the road). For the Mariners, they come in just a couple spots later at 11th with an average of 5.02 runs per game (4.60 at home).
The big difference between the two is the pitching. Houston ranks second in the majors with a staff ERA of 3.38 (3.11 on the road) while the Mariners fall to 28th with a staff ERA of 5.19 (5.11 at home). Knowing their similarities in offenses, it is telling how bad the Mariners defense has been that while Houston ranks second in run differential at +97, the Mariners come in at 24th with a -61 run differential.
Astros Look To Keep Winning
If you were to look at the Astros lineup on Sunday, it looked more like spring training split-squad game rather than their in-season roster. There was no Altuve, Springer, Correa, or Chirinos. Instead, you had Garrett Stubbs, Myles Straw, Tony Kemp, and Derek Fisher. Still, the Astros are finding ways to get it done and have gone 15-5 in their last 20.
The player of the game on Sunday had to be Myles Straw, who had three hits, three stolen bases and scored three times. Probably the most consistent hitter for the Astros now is Michael Brantley. The free-agent acquisition from the offseason is hitting .329/.385/.533 with 10 home runs, 37 runs batted in, and 30 runs scored.
On the pitching side, it will be rookie Corbin Martin getting the nod Monday. Since his debut, Martin has struggled and may lose his spot if things don’t get turned around. On the season, Martin is 1-1 in four starts with a 5.51 ERA, 1.71 WHIP and opponents are hitting .284 against him. In 16.1 innings, he has allowed 19 hits, 10 earned runs, six home runs and has struck out 16 versus nine walks. He will try to improve on his performance against a struggling Seattle team.
Seattle Open For Business
It has been made very clear that any veteran can be had from the Mariners in a trade. They were able to find a suitor for Jay Bruce in the Phillies, but it is still very likely that players like Edwin Encarnacion, Ryan Healy, Dee Gordon and others could also find themselves with new teams before the deadline. Thus far, Encarnacion is hitting .245 with 15 home runs and 37 runs batted in, Healy is hitting .237 with just seven home runs and 26 runs batted in, and Gordon is hitting .281 with 16 runs and 12 stolen bases.
On the pitching side, the Mariners actually look to be using an opener on Monday, but it is believed that Wade LeBlanc will pick up most of the innings. On the season, LeBlanc is 2-2 with a 6.99 ERA, 1.66 WHIP and opponents are hitting a whopping .312 against him. In 28.1 innings, he has allowed 39 hits, 22 earned runs, eight home runs and has struck out 23 versus eight walks. In his last three starts, he is 0-2 with a 10.22 ERA.
Astros Take Opener
I really don’t like either of the options in this one. Corbin Martin has looked outmatched thus far in the big leagues for Houston, and LeBlanc might look even more lost since returning from a strained right oblique. Houston’s bullpen is also a little taxed from the extra-inning affair Sunday, but when it comes down to it, I have to err on the side of the team that has been on fire and sits atop the division over the team that can’t seem to get out of its own way. This one could be ugly, but I am taking the Astros at -125.