As the regular season enters its final week, we’ll have a showdown series between two AL West foes on different ends, despite being separated by only a few games. The Mariners and Astros will battle in Seattle.
The Astros are only a game over .500 but are a playoff team as of now. This year’s expanded postseason will make it much harder for teams to make it to the World Series, but easier for them to pick up a playoff spot. There are now eight teams instead of five. So, a win or two in this series and Houston can move toward clinching.
Seattle, on the other hand, will need to sweep this Astros series. The odds are not in their favor of a trip to October baseball this year. It’s been since Ichiro’s rookie season in 2001 that they were able to make it that far. It’s been way too long for a team with as much talent as the Mariners have.
But, alas, the turnaround would be happening too late, unless they go 7-0 to end the year.
The favored line has Houston by 1.5 runs. The over/under is set at eight runs.
Astros Looking to Keep It Together
This team is not popular around baseball, and it’s no mystery. The cheating scandal from the last few years in which they were banging trash cans to alert players about what type of pitch was coming had lasting consequences. But the biggest one is that it takes credibility away from the seemingly great Astros offense.
The team will officially be without Justin Verlander for the rest of the way and most of next year as it was recently announced he would be undergoing Tommy John. This is a brutal loss, and now that he’s out for the playoffs, their odds are negatively affected.
They’ll trot out Lance McCullers (3-2, 4.87 ERA) for the game. He is 0-2 with a 13.50 in four road outings this year.
Mariners Clinging to Hope
Being a Mariners fan has been challenging. They always find a way to miss out on the postseason. Even in a shortened season, the ball is just not bouncing their way, and its been tough to watch.
Better days are coming in Seattle, led by the newcomer Kyle Lewis, among others. The team has a lot of potential that they should be able to better show over a 162-game season.
Marco Gonzales (6-2, 3.49 ERA) will get the nod on Monday. He is 0-1 against the Astros this year but has won his last four starts.
Astros Pick Up Win Number 28
This will move them a step closer to clinching in what will be a tough final week. The Astros will win by a few runs.