Mariners and Astros Clash for Fifth Time Already This Season

Jay Pryce

Monday, April 10, 2017 2:39 PM UTC

Monday, Apr. 10, 2017 2:39 PM UTC

James Paxton and Charlie Morton duel for the second time in less than a week as the Mariners host the Astros Monday for the first of a three-game series. It's the fifth matchup in eight games this season for the two. 

Houston Astros (4-3)

The Astros travel to Seattle for a quick rematch after opening the season with a four-game series in Houston against their AL West rivals. Manager A.J. Hinch’s crew took the first three before dropping the finale after a two-run ninth for the Mariners. The Astros are 28-17 overall in the last 35 matchups, returning 15 percent profit to backers. The two square off 19 times this season.

Oft-injured Charlie Morton gets the start for Hinch. The 33-year-old went 1-1 with a 4.15 ERA in four starts last season for the Phillies before left hamstring surgery sidelined him for the year. It was his fourth operation in the last six seasons. A blistering spring training, six strong innings in his 2017 debut and topping 97 mph on the radar gun, Houston is thus far liking the gamble on its two-year, $14 million contract with the right-hander.

Seattle’s current roster is hitting .185 (10-for-54) as a group with a .532 OPS. Jean Segura is the only player owning double-digit plate appearances vs. Morton. Segura has one home run, two RBIs, two strikeouts and five hits in 25 at-bats.

Since moving to the AL West in 2013, the Astros are 19-10 as a road dog at Safeco Field. The staff has thrived in the pitching-friencdly confines of Safeco Field, allowing just 3.14 runs per game.


Seattle Mariners (1-6)

Ugh. As if the season couldn’t start any worse for the Mariners. The team blew a six-run lead in the bottom of the ninth on Sunday in Anaheim, losing 10-9 to the Angels. That’s three games this year the bullpen has blown a lead.

If there is a silver lining, it’s that Seattle finally scored some runs. They entered Sunday's contest averaging a MLB-low 2.17 runs per game with Robinson Cano, Nelson Cruz, and Kyle Seager, the lineup’s core, a combined 10-for-66. Cano delivered on Sunday, going 2-for-5 with five RBIs and his first home run of the season.

Scheduled starter James Paxton hopes the run parade continues. After going 11-6 SU in his first two seasons, the Mariners are just 12-22 SU when Paxton commands the hill since. He and the staff allow 4.91 runs per start over the last thee years.

Paxton is 1-2 with a 3.90 ERA in five career starts vs. the Astros. His knuckle-curve hasn’t fooled George Spinger. Houston’s right fielder is the only player on the current roster to go yard on Paxton with two in three hits in 15 at-bats.


Final Analysis

Paxton and the pen have allowed two runs or fewer in three of his last four outings at Safeco dating back to last season. Seattle hitters had trouble seeing Morton less than a week ago, collecting five hits and four strikeouts in 6.0 innings.

MLB Free Pick: 'Under' 8Best Line Offered: BookMaker

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