Astros vs Mariners Prediction Today | MLB Odds, Picks for Monday, September 25
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Astros vs. Mariners Odds
With each side suffering through series sweeps over the weekend, the Houston Astros and Seattle Mariners sit 2.5 and 3 games back of the Rangers in the AL West, respectively.
The Astros own a half-game lead over the Mariners for the final wild-card spot, but will not hold the tiebreaker if need be as they have gone just 2-8 against Seattle this season.
Monday's series opener features an excellent starting pitching matchup between Justin Verlander (3.44 ERA, 149 1/3 IP) and Luis Castillo (3.06 ERA, 188 1/3 IP).
Houston will be counting on a vintage Verlander performance to help right the ship in this critical spot. Over the last four series (Royals twice, Athletics and Orioles) the Astros own a record of just 3-9 and have allowed an average of 5.44 runs per game.
Verlander has pitched to an ERA of 3.93 and WHIP of 1.21 in 55 innings since coming back to Houston on August 1st. His xwOBA has slowly trended up to its current mark of .305, and his K% is down to just 21.1% on the year. Even still, he owns an xERA of 3.89. His stuff still rates better than average (106 Stuff+), but has declined significantly compared to his elite 2022 mark.
The Astros' 143 wRC+ over the last 30 days is the top mark in baseball by a wide margin. Their 0.59 BB/K ratio is also considerably better than any other team, and they have struck out just 15.8% of the time.
Michael Brantley is listed as day-to-day with a shoulder injury, and is the only Astros player who seems possible miss this crucial contest.
Castillo has remained solid in the season's back half with an ERA of 3.33 in 81 innings since the All-Star break. He enters this matchup with an xERA of 3.67, and has struck out 27.3% of batters faced. He owns a Stuff+ of 96, and a Location+ of 103, which seems a little unfair to the true strength of his command.
Opponents are hitting just .234 on pitches inside the strike zone this season, which is the best mark among qualified starters.
Offensively, Seattle is in one of its better stretches of the last two seasons. It has hit to a wRC+ of 111 over the last 30 days, but has struck out 24.8% of the time and walked just 8.4% of the time. Their OBP ranks 15th in the league in that span.
All of the pieces from their top lineup versus RHP should be available for this matchup.
This sets up to a similar spot as we saw on Saturday between Texas and Seattle. For the same reason Houston presents as the side holding value, as the Mariners' lineup is being overvalued offensively to be this large a favorite in a Verlander vs Castillo pitching matchup.
Castillo is an upgrade over Verlander at this point, but that gap is negated by the strength of the Astros' lineup and the challenge they will present. If you also want to put a little onus on the idea that the Astros' roster is proven in these playoff type spots, that would not necessarily be unfair either.
Anything better than +105 is a playable number to bet the Astros to come through in this pivotal matchup.
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