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Wednesday MLB Odds, Preview, Prediction for Mariners vs. Astros: Underdog Seattle Providing Huge Value (Sept. 8)

Wednesday MLB Odds, Preview, Prediction for Mariners vs. Astros: Underdog Seattle Providing Huge Value (Sept. 8) article feature image

Alika Jenner/Getty Images. Pictured: Kyle Seager.

Mariners vs. Astros Odds

Mariners Odds+175
Astros Odds-210
Time2:10 p.m. ET
Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute MLB odds here.

Houston is likely comfortably in a playoff spot, sitting with a 6 1/2-game lead in the American League West standings. However, Seattle continues to hang around and remains in the mix.

More closely in the Mariners eye sight though, is the final AL wild-card spot, for which Seattle is just three games behind the sliding Boston Red Sox.

Since the All-Star break, these two teams have played to a near identical record with Seattle going 27-21 and Houston sitting at 26-21. Since the beginning of August, the Mariners have actually been better, going 19-15 while Houston is 17-16.

The Astros took the first two games of this series, including a comeback win last night with a walk-off win in the 10th inning. Seattle had a 4-2 lead in the bottom of the ninth before Alex Bregman hit a two-run homer to tie the game and send it to an extra frame.

Seattle will look to put that loss behind it quickly and avoid the series sweep on Wednesday afternoon.

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Seattle Mariners

Seattle acquired left-hander Tyler Anderson from Pittsburgh on July 28, and like most pitchers who leave the Pirates, he immediately saw his numbers improve. After pitching to a 4.35 ERA in Pittsburgh, Anderson has a 3.38 ERA in his seven starts since joining the Mariners.

Anderson isn’t going to blow you away, but he is everything you want from a backend starter: consistent. He has completed at least five innings in every single start this season and 27 straight starts dating back to last season.

You aren’t going to get free passes against Anderson, his 4.9 walk percentage is in the top 6% of the league. His best pitch is his cutter, which he is throwing more than ever before at 26.6%, up from 18.1% last year. Opponents are batting just .242 against him this season.

At the plate, Seattle is pretty underwhelming. The Mariners rank just 27th in wOBA and 23rd in wRC+.

So how are they still in the playoff hunt with that below average of an offense? They hit when it matters. In high-leverage situations this year, the Mariners have a .361 wOBA and 135 wRC+, the best marks in the league by far.

Kyle Seager and Mitch Haniger have led the way for Seattle, each already setting career highs with 34 and 30 home runs. Haniger has been one of the best stories in baseball this year after missing most of 2019 and the entire 2020 season due to numerous surgeries following a ruptured testicle.

Houston Astros

Right-hander José Urquidy made the Astros rotation out of camp for his first full big league season. In 15 starts this season, the 26-year-old has pitched to a 3.42 ERA and is 6-3. Teams are hitting just .217 against him this year.

Urquidy was forced to miss two months of the season with a shoulder injury that occurred at the end of June. He returned from the injured list last week, when he allowed two runs in 4 1/3 innings against the Padres.

Just like Anderson, Urquidy pounds the strike zone and doesn’t allow many free passes. He has just a 4.4 walk percentage, which is in the top 4% of the league. He throws his fastball 55% of the time and has a terrific changeup that has allowed just a .141 batting average against.

Offensively, the Houston lineup has been one of the best and most consistent in MLB all season. It ranks second in wOBA and first in wRC+.

Bregman returned to the lineup two weeks ago and is batting .324 since coming back. He and Kyle Tucker have been on fire, while Jose Altuve, Michael Brantley and Yordan Alvarez have all gone a bit cold.

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Mariners-Astros Pick

If you want to try and poke a hole in the Astros, they have been sliding just a tad recently, ranking 15th in wOBA and 13th in wRC+ over the last two weeks. Urquidy has made just one start since coming back and got pulled in the fifth inning, which doesn't inspire much confidence for this game.

But this bet is less about the breakdown on the field and more about the number. The Seattle Mariners have consistently been unvalued and underappreciated all season long. Seattle has been the more profitable team in the league to bet on this year.

If you bet $100 on every underdog this season, you would have made over $1,000 more on Seattle than the next closest team. The Mariners have also gone 14-14 when they are an underdog of +165 or more this year. For those of you who are not math guys, that means that Seattle has won 50% of its games, when the moneyline price implies they only have a 37.7% chance or lower.

This team is scrappy and always battles, and it finds ways to win games that it probably shouldn’t.

At +175, I will gladly continue to back the criminally undervalued Mariners.

Pick: Mariners ML (+175, play to +160)

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