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Astros vs. Mariners MLB Odds & Picks: Nick Margevicius Gives Seattle Edge (Sunday, April 18)

Astros vs. Mariners MLB Odds & Picks: Nick Margevicius Gives Seattle Edge (Sunday, April 18) article feature image

Abbie Parr/Getty Images. Pictured: Nick Margevicius.

  • The Astros finally ended their six-game skid with a 1-0 victory over Seattle on Saturday.
  • Houston, however, is still without four players from its opening day roster due to COVID-related issues.
  • See why Michael Arinze is backing the Mariners to even this series at one a piece.

Astros vs. Mariners Odds

Astros Odds-125
Mariners Odds+105
TimeSunday, 4:10 p.m. ET
TVMLB Network
Odds as of Sunday and via PointsBet

The Houston Astros needed just one run and eight scoreless innings from Zack Greinke to snap their six-game losing streak.

The victory gives the Astros a chance to pick up just their second series win on Sunday. To do so, they’ll need Jake Odorizzi to have a better start than his first outing, in which he allowed five runs over 3 1/3 innings in an 8-2 loss to the Tigers. Odorizzi will be opposed by the leftie, Nick Margevicius, for Seattle.

One problem for Houston is that they’re without four players from their opening day lineup due to COVID-19 health and safety protocols. Those players include José Altuve, Alex Bregman, Martín Maldonado, and Yordan Álvarez.

And with that much firepower out of the lineup for Houston, the Mariners look even more attractive, especially at a plus price.

Houston Astros

If Odorizzi has another shaky outing, Houston may not have enough quality in their depleted lineup to bail him out. Of the four starters placed on the COVID-19 IL, Maldonado is the only one in the group who doesn’t have a wRC+ value of at least 125.

Odorizzi has been out of form since last season after a few trips to the IL robbed him of the opportunity for any consistency. He made only four starts —finishing with an 0-1 record and a 6.59 ERA in 13 2/3 innings. This season, he’s 0-1 with a 13.50 ERA and a 2.10 WHIP.

It’s probably unfair to assess Odorizzi off just one start this season, and last season may not provide as much insight given his multiple stints on the IL.

What I will say is that based on his recent run, Odorizzi hasn’t offered much of a reason to back him at the betting window.

One thing that could bear watching as the season unfolds is his velocity. While it’s only been one start, his velocity was down across the board by roughly 1.5 mph.

This is definitely a pitcher you may want to take a wait-and-see approach with.

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Seattle Mariners

Like Odorizzi, it’s tough to assess Nick Margevicius’s quality, especially after the shortened season last year. Keep in mind that Margevicius is just in his third season in the majors with only 20 starts under his belt.

In 41 1/3 innings last year, he went 2-3 with a 4.57 ERA and 1.26 WHIP. Notwithstanding the small sample size, one can still glean that he did manage to improve from 2019 to 2020. His ERA dropped by more than two runs, and his FIP also improved from 5.64 to 4.35.

However, this season, he’s 0-1 with a 7.04 ERA and 1.57 WHIP through one start and three appearances.  His 9.39 K/9 ratio is promising, but he’ll need to do a better job of inducing more ground balls to improve his GB/FB ratio (1.10) and his HR/FB ratio (20%).

Another thing that’s positive for Margevicius is that he’s not beating himself. For a young pitcher, his 2.35 BB/9 ratio is actually pretty good, and he’s been able to keep that number under three for the entirety of his career.

Astros-Mariners Pick

If you were to pick between the two starting pitchers based on their upside, you’d probably have to go with Margevicius for Seattle. For one, he’s the younger of the two pitchers at 24 years of age, he’s also a left-hander, and those aren’t always the easiest to find. He seems to have a good command of the strike zone for a pitcher who’s only in his third year.

As far as head-to-head numbers are concerned, we don’t have a lot to go on here as only two Mariners’ hitters have faced Odorizzi while Houston has only 22 at-bats against Margevicius.

Nonetheless, I’m more inclined to trust Margevicius based on the improvements he made in his 2020 campaign, whereas Odorizzi’s decline in velocity could be a red flag.

Under normal circumstances, Houston would have the edge in terms of offense with their lineup, but it’s tough to replace the quality of those players that are on the COVID-IL.

As for the Mariners, their offense has probably been better than most would’ve expected, considering they have an above-average wRC+ value of 105.

After comparing the pitching matchup and downgrading Houston’s lineup, this game is probably a coin flip, perhaps with a slight edge to Seattle.

The fact that we can grab the Mariners at even money (+100) means the value is clearly on the home team.

And with PointsBet being the only book that’s still offering Seattle at a plus price, I’d recommend you act sooner rather than later should you choose to back the home team.

Pick: Mariners ML (+100)

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