Seattle Mariners' Ty France
Seattle Mariners' Ty France, left, is tagged out by Houston Astros second baseman Jose Altuve while trying to stretch a single into a double during the sixth inning of a baseball game Monday, Sept. 6, 2021, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

Astros vs. Mariners, Sept. 7

Houston currently sits atop the AL West with a pretty strong hold on the division while the Mariners have fallen a bit over the past couple weeks. Seattle is not totally out of the picture in the West, but they are starting to fade quickly as far as the division is concerned, although they have a legitimate shot at the wild card. Seattle sits four games behind Boston for the last spot into the playoffs and with the Sox playing a tough series against the Rays, now is the time for the Mariners to make their move. Seattle has slumped a little lately; can they turn it around in time to make a wildcard run? The Astros have been cruising along. Can they keep winning long enough to secure the division and another trip to the postseason? 

Trending Up: The Astros
Houston has been playing average ball and has gone 5-5 in their last 10. Odorizzi hit a skid a month and a half ago, but has been solid over his last four starts, only allowing over two runs in one outing. Though, Odorizzi has been having some issues with the long ball and has allowed a home run in each of his last three starts, which is concerning with the high-powered Seattle bats. Odorizzi has pitched well in his three starts against the Mariners only giving up a combined five runs. The Astros easily beat the Mariners in Odorizzi’s three starts, outscoring them 26-6. The Astros are only 9-10 in Odorizzi’s starts this season and are nine games above .500 on the road. The current Mariners lineup is only hitting .207 against Odorizzi in 93 at bats. If the Mariners can’t get to Odorizzi with the long ball, it could be a long afternoon for them.

The Time is Now: The Mariners
The Mariners are starting to struggle at the wrong time against the wrong teams. They’re struggling against teams they would face in the playoffs, so some solid wins would go a long way in getting them there in the first place, as well as some confidence while they’re there knowing they can beat this team. Gilbert gets the nod for the Mariners today and after a good stretch of solid statistical outings earlier in the season, he has been hit hard lately. Over his last five starts, he has allowed 22 runs and the Mariners have lost four of those starts. Over these last five starts, Gilbert has also had his share of problems with the long ball as he has allowed six homers. These two teams met up a week ago and Gilbert got some revenge on these Astros shutting them out over five solid innings. With a good outing last week and some below average starts early in the season against the Astros, we should expect an average performance from Gilbert. 

Astros vs. Mariners: The Pick
The Mariners are slipping, and the Astros continue to cruise along while playing average baseball. The Astros still need to win games to secure their place in the postseason and should continue to improve on their last outing, being able to face Gilbert again so quickly. The play here is the Astros F5 -.5 considering how these two teams have been trending and the head-to-head series being pretty one sided in favor of the Astros It’s hard to pass on Houston in this one.

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