It’s game two of a 3-game series between the Houston Astros and the Seattle Mariners. In game one, a Kyle Tucker homerun in the top of the 9th sealed Seattle’s fate. The two teams will meet again tonight as one pitcher makes his MLB debut, and the other one, a veteran, looks to right last game’s mistakes.
Read ahead for more details on game two of the series.
Astros vs. Mariners Prediction
Astros vs. Mariners Prediction: Astros win
Marco Gonzalez will be on the bump for Seattle for Saturday’s game, and will look to right the ship from a shaky performance in Toronto that resulted in five earned runs and a drop in his ERA from 3.32 to 4.74. Through five games this year, he is averaging 4.84 innings pitched per game and though it is early, he is a full inning shy of his average innings pitched last year. His job gets harder this week with Houston.
The Astros have plenty of pieces to beat up on Gonzalez, and have done so in the past. Yordan Alvarez has a 1.351 OPS against Gonzalez in his career and Jeremy Pena boasts a 1.264 OPS against him.
Houston called up J.P. France to make his big league debut in Seattle. This season, France is 2-1 with a 2.33 ERA through five games with the Space Cowboys.
Seattle hasn’t done particularly well at home this year (7-10) while the Astros are 9-4 on the road which includes a road win last night. Gonzalez has a 4.91 ERA at T-Mobile Park.
Astros vs. Mariners Odds
The Mariners (+100) enter as home underdogs in this matchup against the Astros (-120) with Gonzalez facing off against France on the mound. The over/under is 8.5 runs.
This line saw significant movement following last night’s game as the Mariners moved from home favorites to home dogs. Oddsmakers are now giving the edge to France and to the Astros lineup that had a couple of hot bats last night.
Astros vs. Mariners Key Matchups
Here are the key matchups that could decide Astros vs. Mariners
Marco Gonzalez vs. Yordan Alvarez
Not only has Alvarez put on a clinic against Gonzalez throughout their career matchups (1.351 OPS, 8 RBIs, 2 HRs) but this lefty batter has actually done better against left-handed pitchers this year, notching 11 hits and boasting a 1.014 OPS.
Last season Gonzalez gave a slight advantage to left-handed hitters overall. Opponent OPS versus left-handed batters was .811 versus .770 against right-handed batters.
It will be interesting to see what Gonzalez’ game plan is to minimize these tendencies or if history will repeat itself – definitely something to watch.
Astros Defense/J.P. France vs. Mariners Lineup
The Astros defensive unit is one of the most complete in the league. They have the eighth-lowest opponent batting average (.231), fourth-fewest opponent runs per game (3.71), and give up the seventh-fewest hits (7.74). But most eyes will be on France as he makes his debut. While he obviously lacks experience in the majors, so did Bryce Miller for the Mariners earlier this week and he pitched a perfect game through seven innings.
This is an intriguing matchup for a newbie especially since the Mariners currently have the lowest team batting average in the league but they do slightly better against right-handed pitchers than left-handed pitchers. Seattle had eight hits last night, more than the Astros’ seven, and more than their league-worst hits per game average. If they can continue to swing the bat tonight, they may be able to get a win with experience on their side.
Astros vs. Mariners Starting Lineups
Astros Starting Lineup
2B Mauricio Dubon R
3B Alex Bregman R
DH Yordan Alvarez L
1B Jose Abreu R
RF Kyle Tucker L
SS Jeremy Pena R
LF Corey Julks R
CFJake Meyers R
CMartin Maldonado R
Mariners Starting Lineup
CF Julio Rodriguez R
1B Ty France R
CF Jarred Kelenic L
3B Eugenio Suarez R
C Cal Raleigh S
RF Teoscar Hernandez R
SS J.P Crawford L
DH Taylor Trammell L
2B Kolten Wong L