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Astros vs. Mariners MLB Odds, Picks, Predictions: Betting Value on Underdog Seattle (Friday, July 22)

Astros vs. Mariners MLB Odds, Picks, Predictions: Betting Value on Underdog Seattle (Friday, July 22) article feature image

Steph Chambers/Getty Images. Pictured: Seattle Mariners starting pitcher Marco Gonzales.

  • The Mariners welcomes the Astros to town on Friday night.
  • Houston enters this affair as the slight betting favorite, but analyst Kenny Ducey has found betting value on the underdog host.
  • Read below to see why he's backing Seattle to win the game.

Astros vs. Mariners Odds

Astros Odds-124
Mariners Odds+106
Over/Under8 (-120 / -102)
Time10:10 p.m. ET
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute MLB odds here.

A less-than-desirable pitching matchup will take place in Seattle on Friday where a highly-anticipated series gets underway between the Houston Astros and Seattle Mariners.

The hottest team to close the first half will look to continue its march toward the postseason against one of the American League’s elite.

So, how does this one unfold? Let’s dig into it.

Houston Astros

The first component here is Jose Urquidy, who predictably hasn’t been very good this season. The right-hander has never found a way to be effective, boasting excellent control with few walks, but throwing incredibly hittable pitches as the drawback.

Urquidy’s hard-hit rate is all the way up to a career-worst 43.6% in 2022 and his expected batting average is up to .266 with a .474 xSLG in the bottom 9% of the league. All that’s equated to an ERA north of four runs which, judging by his career peripherals, isn’t all that unexpected. It has been a long time coming.

His last outing against the Mariners didn’t go too well. Urquidy was eaten alive in Houston across 4 1/3 innings, allowing five runs on seven hits and four walks, with two homers charged to his line. He faced the Mariners in Seattle a month before that July outing, and he gave up six runs on 12 hits and two walks. In April, he allowed six on eight hits and a walk over four innings.

The bottom line here is that Urquidy has been terrible and his three worst outings have come against the Mariners.

Seattle Mariners

The Mariners will be licking their chops when they see Urquidy on the hill, but they can’t feel too great with soft-tossing lefty Marco Gonzales on the mound. The veteran has struck out just 12.3% of batters during his campaign, pitching to contact with a four-pitch mix to little success.

I mean, Gonzales has escaped with a 3.50 ERA thus far, but his .273 expected batting average and 4.74 expected ERA according to Statcast tell the real story of his season. It’s not as if Gonzales is getting lit up — his barrel rate is quite low and he’s allowed just 14 homers in 100 1/3 innings — it’s just that he lets the opposition load up the bases with runners.

Without great strikeout stuff and the ability to contact successfully, it’s hard for him to get through starts without issue.

Like Urquidy, Gonzales has also taken place in this season series three times. In those outings against Houston, he owns a 2.66 ERA with 17 hits and three walks charged to him over 20 1/3 innings.

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Astros-Mariners Pick

I’m not exactly thrilled about betting on Gonzales, but I love the way the Seattle batters have hit over the last month or so and think this is an excellent matchup with a pitcher they’ve tagged multiple times this year.

Houston did exhaust most of its relievers in a doubleheader Thursday as well, which could further throw a wrench in this matchup considering it’s very unlikely that Urquidy provides any sort of length here.

I’m going to take the slightly better pitcher here at plus money.

Pick: Seattle ML (+106)

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