American League West foes will square off for the second of a three-game series on Tuesday when the Houston Astros square off with the Seattle Mariners. The Mariners (70-62) play host to Houston at T-Mobile Park with first pitch scheduled for 10:10 p.m. ET.
Houston (78-53) won the first game of the series 4-3 on Monday. The Astros scored four runs on 11 hits. Luis Garcia picked up a no-decision after going five innings and allowing just two runs.
All three of Seattle’s runs were scored on home runs as Jose Marmolejos went deep in the second inning and Dylan Moore hit a pinch-hit two-run homer in the sixth.
By the Numbers
Offensively, Houston has been one of the best clubs in the majors. The Astros rank first in runs per game (5.35), batting average (.268), on-base percentage (.339) and RBIs per game (5.14), and second in run differential (+176).
The Mariners rank 22nd in the majors in scoring, averaging 4.20 runs per game.
The Astros once again hold the advantage on defense. They rank eighth in scoring defense allowing just 3.99 runs per game. The Mariners rank 18th with 4.66 runs allowed.
Seattle has been solid at home with a 38-29 mark at T-Mobile Park. The Astros are 37-28 on the road.
Astros Hope to Extend Division Lead
At 78-53, the Astros lead the AL West by six games over the Athletics and 8.5 games over the Mariners. With only 31 games left to play, the Astros are hoping to extend their division lead.
On Tuesday, the Astros will turn to arguably their best starter in Lance McCullers Jr. He is 10-4 with a 3.32 ERA, 1.25 WHIP and has 151 strikeouts in 127.1 innings. Opponents are hitting just .209 against the righty.
On the offensive side, designated hitter Yordan Alvarez has been red hot. He is hitting .285/.346/.542 and leads the team in both home runs (28) and RBIs (89).
Mariners Need Stronger Outing From Kikuchi
On Aug. 20, Yusei Kikuchi squared off against Houston and it was less than ideal for the lefty. After the game, Ryan Divish of The Seattle Times wrote , “… Houston put up a power-laden 12-3 pasting on the Mariners, rocking Kikuchi by rolling up 15 total hits, including eight extra-base hits and scoring at least two runs in each of the first five innings.”
Kikuchi and the Mariners will obviously be looking for a stronger outing. Kikuchi is 7-7 with a 4.33 ERA, 1.25 WHIP and has 145 strikeouts in 137.1 innings. In his last seven games, he is 1-2 with a 5.56 ERA.
On the offensive side, Kyle Seager has had a lot of success against McCullers. Seager has faced the righty 35 times in his career and is hitting .286 with three home runs and five RBIs.
Houston to Secure Series Win
If looking to make some MLB picks, take the Astros in Tuesday’s matchup. McCullers has been sensational and the Astros showed in their last matchup with Kikuchi that they can definitely get to the southpaw.
Don’t expect it to be quite as lopsided as that last outing, but in terms of MLB betting odds that are worth pursuing, taking the Astros in Tuesday’s matchup is a smart play.