In a usual baseball season, teams would generally be starting a new series on Mondays but not much is usual about the 2020 campaign during a pandemic, not even baseball betting has been normal this season. The Mariners and Astros close out their AL West matchup on Monday with a less-than-appealing pitching matchup.
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- When: Monday, 7:10 PM ET
- Where: Minute Maid Park
- Probable pitchers (away/home): Kendall Graveman/Josh James
- TV: MLB Extra Innings
- Stream/gameday audio: https://www.mlb.com/live-stream-games/
- Opening MLB Lines: Astros -255, Mariners +230 (total 9.5)
The Mariners try for the split as they lost the first two games of this series in blowouts but won 7-6 in Houston on Sunday. Tim Lopes went 3-for-4 with a double and two runs scored. Kyle Lewis went 2-for-4 with a walk and a two-run single. Taylor Williams allowed a run but picked up a save. Seattle had lost an incredible 15 in a row in the series.
Third baseman Kyle Seager is 2 runs scored away from 600 in his career. He will become only the 6th players in franchise history to score at least 600 runs as a Mariner. He will join Edgar Martinez (1,219), Ichiro Suzuki (1,181), Ken Griffey Jr. (1,113), Jay Buhner (790) and Alex Rodriguez (627) as the only Mariners players in club history with at least 600 runs scored.
Seager has 199 career homers. With his next one, he will become the 4th player in club history to record at least 200 home runs for the Mariners; he will join Ken Griffey Jr. (417), Edgar Martinez (309) and Jay Buhner (307). Since his debut season of 2011, Seager ranks 7th among left-handed batters in RBI (667) and 8th in home runs (199).
It’s Kendall Graveman on the mound. Graveman’s last Major League pitch was thrown on May 11, 2018 as a member of the Oakland Athletics in Yankee Stadium. Upon throwing his first pitch, he will have completed a track of 807 days (2 years, 2 months and 16 days) between Major League appearances. He missed all of last year recovering from Tommy John surgery.
Graveman owns a career 4-3 record with a 3.71 ERA (22 ER, 53.1 IP) in 9 starts against the Astros. He hasn’t pitched against them since Sept. 10, 2017 in Oakland (6.0 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 3 SO) in a 10-2 A’s win…this is his first appearance in Houston since taking a loss here on August 19, 2017 (6.0 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 3 BB, 3 SO). In nine starts against them, Graveman has lasted at least 5.0 innings 7 times, at least 6.0 innings 5 times, at least 7.0 innings 3 times and at least 8.0 innings once. He has allowed the Astros to score more than three earned runs just twice, coming in 2015 and 2016.
Over his last 6 starts against Houston, dating back to July 9, 2016, Graveman owns a 2.54 ERA (11 ER, 39.0 IP), with an opponents’ average of .225 (32×142) with 5 quality starts. Overall at Minute Maid, Graveman is 2-2 with a 3.52 ERA (12 ER, 30.2 IP), while holding the Astros hitters to a .234 batting average.Why Bet on Houston?
Interesting news Sunday out of Houston as first reports were that ace and reigning AL Cy Young Award winner Justin Verlander would miss the rest of the season – that would throw the AL West race up in the air. However, then manager Dusty Baker clarified that Verlander has a right forearm strain and will be shut down for “a couple of weeks.” We tend to believe the media reports and that Verlander is done. Maybe for his Hall of Fame career.
Verlander pitched pretty well in his season debut Friday night against the Mariners, yielding two runs on three hits over six innings of work. Last year in winning his second career Cy Young, Verlander was 21-6 with a 2.58 ERA, 0.80 WHIP, and 300/42 K/BB ratio in 34 starts covering 223 regular-season innings. Keep in mind the Astros lost co-ace Gerrit Cole this offseason to the Yankees.
Astros first baseman was hurt in the opener vs. Seattle with a groin strain and will miss some time. DH Yordan Alvarez is yet to play after testing positive for coronavirus. He was the AL Rookie of the Year in 2019.
It’s Josh James on the mound for Houston on Monday. James, who spent all of last season in the Astros bullpen, returns to his roots as the team’s fourth starter. He posted a 14.77 strikeouts-per-nine ratio last year as a rookie.
James was in the midst of an excellent Spring Training prior to the MLB shutdown. In 3 appearances (2 starts) this spring, he went 1-1 with a 3.12 ERA (3ER/8.2IP), 9 strikeouts and a .167 opponent batting average. Last year, he made 48 relief appearances and 1 start as an opener. This will be his first start since July 15, 2019 at LAA, when he was an opener. He was last a traditional starter on Sept. 25, 2018 at Toronto (1ER/5IP)Expert PredictionAstros 7, Mariners 5