The Seattle Mariners cannot get rid of Yordan Alvarez. Alvarez hit a three-run walk-off home run in Game 1 and then hit a go-ahead home run in Game 2.
YOU CANT STOP YORDAN ALVAREZ
— MLB Metrics (@MLBMetrics) October 13, 2022
The Houston pitching has been good, but Alvarez is the sole reason that Houston has a 2-0 lead traveling to Safeco Field.
Can the Seattle Mariners get Alvarez off their back and stave off elimination? Or will the Astros sweep their way into the Championship Series for the sixth consecutive season?
Let’s dig in. Read on for our Seattle Mariners vs Houston Astros starting lineups, betting odds, and predictions for Game 3 of this American League Division Series.
Houston Astros vs Seattle Mariners Odds
The public is on Houston with Lance McCullers Jr. on the mound. McCullers is a great pitcher deserving of our respect, but he hasn’t pitched much this season due to injury.
But the smarter money is with Seattle. While only 28% of the tickets are on Houston, over 50% of the handle is.
The public is on the under but over 50% of the handle is on the over. However, the total is taking the sharp money and being pushed down, making me wonder which side of the total is the right one.
2B J. Altuve R
SS J. Pena R
LF Y. Alvarez L
3B A. Bregman R
RF K. Tucker L
1B Y. Gurriel R
DH T. Mancini R
CF C. McCormick R
C M. Maldonado R
Houston Astros vs George Kirby
The Rookie is coming into his own.
I was never very high on George Kirby, who I thought had lackluster batted-ball statistics and not a great pitch arsenal. But he consistently improved over the season and forced me to significantly upgrade him, and the Mariners, in my power ratings.
Kirby truly dominates the zone. He always throws strikes, mostly relying on an upper-90s fastball that has forced a 26% Whiff rate while holding opposing batters to just a .221 BA. And he never walks anyone, with his 4.1% Walk rate ranking among the top four percent of qualified pitchers.
Can Kirby step up and effectively shut down one of the best offenses in baseball?
Nobody has been able to stop the Astros since. Seattle can’t stop Alvarez, but the rest of the lineup has been left behind. Kyle Tucker hit a home run in Game 1. Rookie Jeremy Pena is 3-for-8 with a double and a walk in his Postseason debut. The whole offense put up five runs before Alvarez hit the walk-off in Game 1.
Kirby made one start against the Astros earlier this season, allowing two runs over four innings. But he struck out seven and walked only one, so maybe some positive regression is to come there.
CF J. Rodriguez R
1B T. France R
RF M. Haniger R
3B E. Suarez R
DH C. Santana S
C C. Raleigh S
SS J. Crawford L
LF J. Kelenic L
2B A. Frazier L
Seattle Mariners vs Lance McCullers Jr.
McCullers is working his way back from his injuries effectively. He pitched to a whopping 2.27 ERA over 50 innings at the end of the session, although his strikeouts were down while his walks were still high.
Moreover, his strand rate was extremely high and his batted-ball statistics weren’t all that good. That led to lackluster expected statistics, including a 3.57 xERA and a 3.58 xFIP. There is some negative regression coming for McCullers.
McCullers has had an up-and-down postseason career. He was incredible during Houston’s 2017 World Series run, but he was average past that.
This will be a tough test. The Mariners are crushing the ball during this postseason run, with Julio Rodriguez leading a potent offensive attack. The Mariners are so scary and one of the scrappier teams in the league.
J-Rod is 4-for-16 in his four playoff teams with four walks, two doubles, and a triple. He has a 50% Hard-Hit rate in his batted balls with three Barrels. Rodriguez is a legitimate superstar.
Houston Astros vs Seattle Mariners Pick & Prediction
My picks: Seattle Mariners ML (-106 at FanDuel Sportsbook)
If the Mariners are going to win a game, this needs to be the one.
McCullers is overvalued. Kirby is undervalued. Kirby can take advantage of the most disciplined team in baseball by just dominating the strike zone. You can pitch around Alvarez and attack Jose Altuve and co.
Most teams manage to salvage series and avoid sweeps at home. This Mariners team has been frisky and lost two games due to Alvarez’s heroics.
It’s time for some regression. I’ll take the M’s to win their first home playoff game in over two decades.