Astros vs. Mariners MLB Picks: Invest Smart & Back The Underdog For Great Returns

LT Profits Sports Group

Wednesday, April 27, 2016 7:57 PM GMT

While Hisashi Iwakuma of the Mariners deserves respect, we feel that Collin McHugh of the Astros is better than his last two starts and he offers value as a “buy low” candidate. MLB pick inside.

MLB Record: 9-13-1, -3.02

Although he has been off of his form in his last two starts, Collin McHugh could give the Houston Astros (6-15, 4-6 away) good underdog value Wednesday night when they pay a visit to fellow right-hander Hisashi Iwakuma and the Seattle Mariners (11-9, 3-5 home) at Safeco Field in Seattle, WA at 10:10 ET in a game available on ROOT.

The posted money line at Bovada has Houston as a moderate road underdog for this contest at current MLB odds of +123.

 

Not What Experts Expected
More than a few experts selected the Astros to win the 2016 World Series on the MLB Futures before the season, but things have not gone according to plan thus far as they are in last place in the American League West at 6-15, with seven losses in the last eight games leaving Houston with the worst record in the American League and the second worst in all of baseball ahead of only the 4-16 Atlanta Braves!

Luckily, no team in the division is off to an exceptionally hot start and it is the Mariners that actually lead the division currently at 11-9, one-half game ahead of the 11-10 Oakland Athletics. Seattle is looking for a three-game sweep here after being the winning MLB pick in the first two games of this series, first winning a 3-2 squeaker on Monday and then in an 11-1 blowout last night, getting to reigning Cy Young winner Dallas Keuchel for five earned runs in six innings.

 

McHugh Ready to Bounce Back?
The Astros now try to avoid the sweep with McHugh on the bump, who has been off of his game in his last two starts since tossing seven scoreless innings vs. the World Champion Royals on April 11th. He followed up that outing by first getting touched up for four earned runs on 10 hits in 5.1 innings by the Tigers and then for five earned runs on 10 hits while lasting just four innings vs. the Red Sox last Friday.

Collin is a much better pitcher than that though, as he proved that his breakthrough season of 2014 when he had a 2.73 ERA, 3.11 FIP and 9.14 strikeouts per nine innings was not a fluke by going 19-7 with a 3.89 ERA but better 3.58 FIP last season. And even this year when he is sporting a disgusting 7.56 ERA, he still has a 2.92 FIP that is a sign of better days ahead.

Therefore, the poor mainstream stats may actually be serving to make McHugh undervalued in the short term.

 

Iwakuma Has Not Been Great vs. Houston
Now, we have a great deal of respect for Iwakuma, as we feel he would be an ace on most other staffs that do not have a guy named Felix Hernandez, and he has actually been out-performing King Felix early on this season despite his 0-2 record. Only one of his four starts has come at home so far, and he recorded a Quality Start allowing three runs in six innings with seven strikeouts vs. one walk.

However, the Astros have given Iwakuma more trouble than most other teams since he first arrived in the Major Leagues from Japan in 2012. In fact, he has allowed exactly four earned runs in five of his last six starts vs. Houston while failing to go more than 5.1 innings on any of the last three occasions. One Astro that he is especially not looking forward to facing is Jose Altuve, who is a stunning 10-for-27 lifetime against him.

 

Usually Sharp vs. Winning Teams
Finally, with McHugh’s last two starts notwithstanding, the Astros are still 14-4 in his last 18 starts vs. teams with winning records, as well as 16-5 in his last 21 starts inside the American League West. Also, the Mariners are 0-6 in Iwakuma’s last six home starts vs. teams with losing records.

We are looking for those angles to continue and for McHugh to regain his fine form, so back Houston at an underdog price visiting Seattle in the Great Northwest last Wednesday night.

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Free MLB Pick: Astros +123
Best Line Offered: at Heritage