Astros vs Mariners Picks, Odds for Game 3 of ALDS MLB Playoffs
Leslie Plaza Johnson/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Julio Rodriguez
- The Astros-Mariners game this afternoon is a tight one, according to oddsmakers.
- Houston looks to advance to the ALCS behind Lance McCullers Jr., while Seattle turns to rookie George Kirby with its season on the line.
- Continue reading for a full breakdown of this matchup, including a betting pick.
Astros vs. Mariners Game 3 Odds
|Time||4:07 p.m. ET|
After two thrilling games to begin this series, Yordan Alvarez leads the series over the Seattle Mariners 2-0. In Game 1, the Mariners took a 7-3 lead into the eighth inning before a heart-breaking collapse. A great performance from Luis Castillo in Game 2 gave them a 2-1 lead into the sixth inning, but an Alvarez bomb gave Houston the lead and win for the second straight game.
The good news for the Mariners is they will return to T-Mobile Park for Game 3. This will be the first home playoff game for the Mariners in 21 years and that crowd is sure to be rocking all game long.
Will the crowd be able to pick their team up off the mat after two devastating losses on the road, or is Houston destined for the ALCS?
Astros' Offense Still Scary
This was pretty much a lost season for Lance McCullers Jr. After getting injured in Game 4 of the ALDS last season, McCullers missed almost the entire season with a forearm injury. He finally made his debut on August 13 and started eight games to end the year.
In those eight starts, McCullers went 4-2 with a 2.27 ERA and allowed a .294 xwOBA to opponents. The good sign for McCullers is he wasn’t held to a pitch count and allowed more than two runs just once. I’m not sure if it was related to the injury or not, but McCullers did drop his sinker usage a lot and was throwing more cutters and changeups.
As it has been for years now, the Houston lineup was once again near the top of the league offensively. The Astros rank sixth in wRC+ and have one the lowest strikeout rates in baseball. We know this Astros' lineup can mash left-handed pitching, but since the beginning of August, Houston ranks just 26th in the league in wOBA against right-handed pitching.
Houston’s big guns continue to show up in the playoffs year after year. Alvarez has been the star to this point with his two home runs, but Yuli Gurriel is batting .429 and Kyle Tucker and Alex Bregman both have home runs as well.
Mariners' Offense Has Been Clicking
Welcome to the postseason, kid. Rookie George Kirby made his MLB debut on May 8 and now will make his playoff debut with his team down 0-2 in front of a home crowd desperate for a win.
Kirby made 25 starts in his first season and had mixed results. He went 8-5 with a 3.39 ERA and was much better in the back-half of the year. Kirby has good stuff and doesn’t allow many free passes, but he does struggle to limit hard contact.
Seattle’s offense really came to life as this season went on. The Mariners finished the year ranked eighth in wRC+ and fourth in the league since the start of September. They have been more patient at the plate, and have the highest walk rate in the league over that stretch.
Through their first four playoff games, the Mariners have scored 23 runs on a combination of 14 walks, and 18 extra-base hits. Eugenio Suarez and Cal Raleigh have been the unlikely stars so far, with seven RBIs between the two of them.
I really like Kirby’s stuff. The best part about him is that he doesn’t make mistakes. Among all pitchers with at least 100 innings, Kirby ranks sixth in the league with just a 4.1% walk rate. He has allowed just one home run since June 27.
But he is still just 24-years-old, making his first career postseason start for a team with its back against the wall, against a team with a ton of experience in the playoffs. That is a lot of pressure on a kid with 25 career starts.
Meanwhile, McCullers has made just eight starts this season and while he has a solid 2.27 ERA, his 3.57 xERA tell a different story. He has an 11.3% walk rate, one the highest in the league.
Five of the eight starts this year for McCullers came in Houston. In his three road outings, he allowed at least two runs in each of them.
The Seattle offense has been terrific this postseason and is playing with a ton of confidence. The Mariners have averaged 5.75 runs per game, and have gotten things done with a balance of 3.5 walks and 4.5 extra base hits per game. They lead the postseason with 13 doubles.
What is even more impressive is that they have done this while still waiting on the Juilo Rodriguez "welcome to the postseason" moment. The rookie had a 159 wRC+ with 15 dingers at home this season. They can also get a big game from All-Star Ty France, who is 6-for-12 in his career against McCullers.
Given the uncertainty of how Kirby will handle the big stage, I’ll just focus on the Mariners' bats and play their team team over 1.5 runs in the first five innings. They have scored 13 runs in the first five innings during this postseason, going over this number in three of the four games.
Behind the juice of this Seattle home crowd that has waited 21 years to see their team back in the postseason, I like the Mariners to get to McCullers early here and give the fans up north something to cheer about.
Pick: Seattle First Five Team Total over 1.5 (-115)