MLB Odds & Picks for Astros vs. Mariners: Take This Prop Bet to Back Houston’s Hitters

MLB Odds & Picks for Astros vs. Mariners: Take This Prop Bet to Back Houston’s Hitters article feature image

John McCoy/Getty Images. Pictured: Houston Astros standout Jose Altuve.

  • The Astros square off against the Mariners in a Saturday matinee showdown.
  • The visitors are heavy favorites, but D.J. James has found value in the props market.
  • Check out below why he's backing the Houston offense to run wild in this meeting.

Astros vs. Mariners Odds

Astros Odds-152
Mariners Odds+128
Over/Under7 (-104/-118)
Time4:10 p.m. ET
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute MLB odds here.

Justin Verlander and Logan Gilbert will match up Saturday in a duel for the American League West crown.

The Houston Astros do have a sizeable lead over the Seattle Mariners, but the latter won 14 games in a row heading into Friday's opener of the series. Verlander has been as solid as ever. He owns a 1.89 ERA against a 3.10 xERA, though, so negative regression is coming. Still, a 3.10 ERA isn't too shabby.

In contrast, Gilbert has feasted off good luck. His Average Exit Velocity is 90.9 MPH, so the Astros should crush him. His 2.76 ERA is no match for his 4.22 xERA as well. Gilbert is a decent pitcher, but he isn't nearly as strong as his results have been.

That said, this is the angle in this game. Houston will be more heavily favored, so going with the club clearing its team total is my the best bet in this clash.

Houston Astros

Verlander has above average peripherals in every meaningful category. He does rank in the 53rd percentile in Average Exit Velocity, so this doesn't necessarily jump off of the BaseballSavant page, but everywhere else he has been great. He strikes out batters less than he had in the past (25.6%), so this might be why expectations are a bit different than his results.

Either way, he still rarely walks anyone (4.5%), so Seattle will need to put the ball in play. Its team Average Exit Velocity is only 88.1 MPH, so it ranks in the bottom half of the league. The Mariners probably won't have a tremendous amount of success off a savvy veteran like Verlander.

Tom Murphy, Evan White, Taylor Trammell and Mitch Haniger are still on the Injured List. That said, only Julio Rodríguez and Adam Frazier have a .340+ xwOBA off right-handed pitching in the last month. This doesn't bode well against an above-average pitcher like Verlander.

In addition, the Astros have had an elite bullpen of late. They own a team xFIP of 3.50 since June 23. Jose James and Blake Taylor are still on the IL, but the rest of the relief group is available. Seth Martinez, Phil Maton and Ryan Pressly have been the best relievers with 3.00 xFIPs or lower. This should be more than enough to fill in after Verlander exits.

Seattle Mariners

Now, Gilbert also ranks in the seventh percentile in Hard Hit Percentage. The Astros have a 125 wRC+ off righties in the last month. This should be more than enough to throw at him. Jason Castro and Michael Brantley are on the Injured List.

Yordan Álvarez, Aledmys Díaz and Kyle Tucker have .400+ xwOBAs against righties since June 23. Bregman is over .380 this season.

Needless to say, this is plenty of power at the top of the order that will likely cause the most damage against Gilbert. In his last outing against Houston, Gilbert yielded 10 baserunners in six innings and three earned runs. The time before he threw a seven-inning shutout. So, this should improve for Houston again this time around.

Ken Giles is on the IL for the Seattle bullpen, but everyone else is healthy. Andrés Muñoz and Matthew Festa haven't been hittable with 0.00 ERAs in that timeframe. Still, the club will need to dig deeper if the Astros get to Gilbert. Expect Houston to push across a few runs late as well.

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Astros-Mariners Pick

Betting Houston on the moneyline is a bit steep for my liking with Verlander on the bump, even if Seattle has been hot.

However, Gilbert will soon regress and Houston is the team to take advantage, having seen him twice already this season.

So, take Houston to clear its team total of 3.5 runs at -108 odds via FanDuel as my top pick. The visiting side should score early and often.

Pick: Houston — Team Total Over 3.5 Runs (-108)

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