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Astros vs. Mariners Odds, Pick, Prediction: Justin Verlander Favored in Seattle (April 16)

Astros vs. Mariners Odds, Pick, Prediction: Justin Verlander Favored in Seattle (April 16) article feature image

Michael Owens/Getty Images. Pictured: Justin Verlander

  • The Astros are favored behind Justin Verlander tonight in Seattle.
  • The Mariners put on an offensive show on Friday, but the metrics are still concerning early on this season.
  • Continue reading for a full breakdown of this matchup, including a betting pick.

Astros vs. Mariners Odds

Astros Odds -150
Mariners Odds +130
Over/Under 7.5 (+100 / -120)
Time 9:10 p.m. ET
Odds via Caesars. Get up-to-the-minute MLB odds here.

The Mariners snapped out of an ugly offensive rut on Friday night in a big win over Houston, but there are still troubling signs. Making matters worse, they face Justin Verlander, who looks for all the world to be right back to his dominant self.

Is there any value in believing in Seattle, or are the Astros the call? Let’s get into it.

Astros Looking For Offense Behind Verlander

It was a mystery how Verlander was going to look in his first start after a nearly two-year injury layoff, and in an instant he seemed to erase all concerns. Though he lasted just five innings, throwing 80 pitches, he struck out seven and allowed just a run on three hits.

Now, he gets to face a weak offense (well, aside from Friday’s explosion) and pitch in a big ballpark.

While Verlander will look to confirm his form here with another nice outing, this Houston offense will be in search of a spark. It has now scored just 3.57 runs per game in the early going — 23rd in the league — and these bats have produced just five runs in the last three games.

That 2-0 start and a 13-6 win over the Angels seems like a distant memory, and failing to get to Marco Gonzales on Friday seemed like a sign that things are not totally right with the Astros just yet.

It’s early, but so far Houston is sporting a .254 expected batting average and a .312 wOBA on contact, which is in the bottom 10% of the league. There is work to be done here for this offense.

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Early Metrics Concerning For Mariners

Speaking of the metrics, they only seem to back up what our eyes have seen. That’s some bad at-bats coming from the Mariners. Seattle ranks second-worst with an average exit velocity of 85.7 to this point with that just a 33.5% hard-hit rate.

It’s easy to see why this team is hitting .217, and its .325 on-base percentage joins its average in ranking in the bottom 10 of the major leagues.

It’s hard to talk down about a team which just registered 13 hits and 11 runs, but I would argue that these terrible marks including that performance would go to show you how bad this team is at scoring runs.

There are some serious issues here; Jesse Winker has yet to provide the pop most thought he would, and some of Seattle’s young bats are still trying to find their footing in the big leagues.

Chris Flexen will get the ball here for the Mariners, and that is also slightly troubling. Astros hitters are .340 off of him in his career and touched him up for 19 hits and eight runs in two starts last year before Flexen finally had some success against them in August.

His first start of the season did not go well; he allowed three runs on five hits over 4 1/3.

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Astros-Mariners Pick

The history with Flexen and this team coupled with his ugly first start only makes me like the Mariners less here. Seattle has been an abomination at the plate, and there’s no reason to believe it will snap out of it here given how good Verlander looked against a better Angels offense.

I’ll drink the juice here with Houston.

Pick: Astros ML (-150)

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