The Houston Astros visit Seattle in a continuation of their 3-game set. Follow our expert analyst as he takes a look at the MLB odds on offer and shares his MLB picks for maximum value.
Houston Astros (McHugh) (-110) vs. Seattle Mariners (Walker) 10:10 ET
The Houston Astros visit Seattle in a continuation of their 3-game, early week set. The Astros won the first game last night by a score of 7-5 to extend their winning streak to 3 straight. It is good enough for a 7-6 record and 1st place in the highly, competitive AL West Division. With last night’s loss, Seattle drops to 5-8 (tied with LAA and Texas) for the 3rd spot. In tonight’s matchup, it’s all about the pitchers, as McHugh holds a dominant edge over Walker.
Much was expected from a Seattle team, who improved from 71 wins in 2013 to 87 wins in 2014. It is predicted that they will match that win total and challenge for Division crown. It has not played out that way to date. As they have languished, both at the plate and on the mound, in their 5-8 start. Walker is clearly not the answer at the bottom of their rotation. In a pair of starts, Walker has lasted just 7 2/3 IP, allowing 15 hits and 6 walks, resulting in a 0-2 record and 17.18 ERA. History against the Astros is solid! In 4 starts totaling 21 2/3 IP, Walker has a 2.98 ERA. It is good for 3 wins, his only victories. But, these are not the same Astros that he faced in recent years.
In 2012 and 2013, the Astros combined for just 106 wins. But, the Astros have built themselves through a strong farm system, which resulted in a 70-92 record in 2014, an improvement of 19 wins over the previous season. Although Houston may not match that level of improvement this season, it is clear to this bureau that they are a vastly improved team. The 3-1 road record is an indication of that, after their horrendous performance on the road in recent seasons. Another reason why Houston may excel this season is the pitching of McHugh. Since late July of last season, McHugh has gone 9-0 with a 1.74 ERA in 12 starts. This year has been a continuation of last year’s excellence with a record of 2-0 and 1.54 ERA. McHugh has allowed just 1 run in each of his first 2 starts. In his most recent outing against Oakland, he worked 5 2/3 IP, allowing 1 run and 6 hits while striking out 11 Oakland hitters. Included in his recent run is a 2-0 record at Safeco Field in which he has worked 14 2/3 IP, allowing just 1 run.
Underrated Astros are providing nice early season value. In a pitching mismatch, we must continue to ride them wiht our MLB picks. Though I am suggesting this play on the money line, please note that in the last 2+ years, 48 of 62 Houston road wins (that is over 77%) have come by 2 or more runs – including all 3 this season. Considering that all 4 Seattle home losses this season have been by 2 or more runs, one could make a strong case for the run line at a generous underdog price of +1.50 on the MLB odds.
MLB Pick: Take Houston Astros (McHugh)