Astros vs Mariners – 2020 MLB Expert Analysis

The Houston Astros will not win the AL West again this season but they are on the verge of clinching a playoff spot. The Seattle Mariners are going to miss out on extra baseball again. They meet in Game 2 of a series on Tuesday in the Pacific Northwest.

How to Bet Astros at Mariners MLB Odds & TV Info

  • When: Tuesday, 9:10 PM ET
  • Where: T-Mobile Park
  • Probable pitchers (away/home): Framber Valdez/Ljay Newsome
  • TV: MLB Extra Innings
  • Stream/gameday audio:
  • Opening MLB Lines: TBA

Why Bet on Houston? | 2020 MLB Expert Analysis

Astros Manager Dusty Baker will become the first manager in Major League Baseball history to take five different teams to the postseason. Baker also managed the Giants (1997, 2000, 2002), Cubs (2003), Reds (2010, 2012-13) and Nationals (2016-17) into the playoffs.

Houston remains without ace Justin Verlander. His career might be over as he will have Tommy John surgery. The right-hander will turn 38 years old in February, meaning he’ll likely be 39 by the time he throws his next major league pitch. Recovery time for the surgery is expected to be approximately 12-14 months. Verlander was limited to just one start in 2020, an 8-2 win over Seattle on Opening Day (6 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 7 SO) before being sidelined with a forearm strain.

Astros outfielder George Springer made history on Sunday, becoming the first player for the team to steal a base and homer twice in a game with one of the homers and inside-the-park job. There had been 11 other Astros players to record two dingers and a steal in a game, but none of them registered an inside-the-parker. Springer became the sixth Astro ever to hit multiple home runs inside the park, along with Ken Caminiti (5), Doug Rader (2), Sonny Jackson (2), César Cedeño (2), and Tim Bogar (2). He’s also one homer away from becoming the second Astro in history with at least 20 leadoff dingers. Craig Biggio leads that department, with 23.

It’s Framber Valdez (4-3) on the mound Tuesday. Valdez struck out 11 Rangers while allowing just one run over 6 1/3 innings in a 2-1 win last Thursday. Valdez had worn it a bit in his previous two starts, first taking one for the team against the Angels in order to save the bullpen and then getting knocked around by a good Dodgers lineup, but against the hapless Rangers he looked like a Cy Young candidate. The southpaw tied his season high with the 11 strikeouts, and he scattered four hits and a walk over his 6 1/3 innings of work. He has a 3.82 ERA and 68 strikeouts in 63 2/3 innings this year.

Valdez faced Seattle on Aug. 14 and limited the Mariners to one run over six innings in the Astros’ 11-1 victory. Valdez walked two and hit a batter while giving up a run in the first, but he calmed down quickly.

Why Bet on Seattle? | 2020 MLB Expert Analysis

The Mariners are 15-11 since Aug. 21, 10-8 since Aug. 30 and 4-5 since Sept. 12. When Mariners starting pitchers work at least 6.0 innings, the club is 17-7 (.708) this season. The Mariners’ 24 starts of 6.0 or more innings are tied for the 5th-most in the Major Leagues this season. When Seattle starters work fewer than 6.0 innings, the club is 6-23.

Seattle has a top Rookie of the Year candidate in Kyle Lewis. He is slashing .280/.376/.465 this season and leads the team in both batting average and home runs (11).

“He’s having a really good year,” Seattle manager Scott Servais said. “I absolutely think that he deserves to be rookie of the year. He showed up every day. He does something to help you win every day. And that’s what you’re looking for from all of our guys.”

The Mariners have two starters on the injured list in second baseman Shed Long and outfielder Sam Haggerty. Long remains undecided on whether he will undergo surgery to repair a stress fracture in his right shin. It would be a minor procedure, so Long figures to have a relatively normal offseason either way. Long — who has already been ruled out for the season — first started experiencing pain in his shin back in spring training. He was hitting just .171 this year. Haggerty has been out since early this month with a left forearm strain.

It’s scheduled to be Ljay Newsome on the mound here. Newsome gave up eight hits and five runs in just three innings in a loss to the Giants last Wednesday. Newsome allowed eight hits while issuing a walk and striking out just one hitter. The 23-year-old was hit hard from the get and he allowed runs in each inning — three in the third — before being pulled.

Newsome, making his third start in place of the traded Taijuan Walker, fell to 0-1 with a 6.35 ERA in his first stint in the Majors after making the jump from Double-A. Newsome is typically a strike thrower who relies on his command and ability to keep hitters off balance, but he didn’t have his typical pin-point control and the Giants took advantage.

“It really started early in the game with the leadoff walk,” Mariners manager Scott Servais said. “That’s not something in Ljay’s DNA. He goes right after them and has a good feel. He tried to slow it down after that, but he never really got into a really good rhythm like he typically does.”

Expert PredictionAstros 5, Mariners 3

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