MLB Picks: Bet Astros +110 vs. Mariners

Steve Merril - Steve@prosportsinfo.com

Friday, July 19, 2013 11:33 AM GMT

Find out why our cappers are backing the Astros as underdogs in tonight's matchup against the Mariners. Read on for a full matchup preview and our free MLB picks for this showdown.

Friday MLB: Mariners at Astros

Seattle (43-52, -6.0 Units) and Houston (33-61, -5.4 Units) begin a 3-game series tonight. The Mariners come in on a 3-game winning streak, while the Astros return home off an 8-game road trip where they went just 2-6. 

Houston is 2-1 (+1.2 Units) at home against Seattle this season. Overall, the Astros are 5-4 (+2.4 Units) versus the Mariners this season.

Joe Saunders will get the start for Seattle while Bud Norris takes the mound for Houston.

Check out our Friday Morning MLB Odds & Betting Lines Report.

Saunders (8-8): Has gone 3-0 in his last three starts with a 0.87 ERA and 1.16 WHIP in 20.2 innings of work. Those recent numbers are not even close to Saunders’ overall numbers this season which show a 4.24 ERA and 1.40 WHIP in 114.2 innings pitched. Saunders is just 1-1 with the Mariners going 2-2 (-0.4 Units) in his career against Houston. He owns an ugly 5.55 ERA and 1.56 WHIP versus the Astros.

Norris (6-8): Has actually pitched better than his record indicates. He owns a 3.63 ERA in 114 innings of work. Norris has pitched well at home as he is 4-3 in eleven starts with a 2.27 ERA and 1.30 WHIP in 71.1 innings of work. Norris is 1-1 (+0.2 Units) in his career against Seattle with a solid 3.00 ERA and 1.33 WHIP. 

Minute Maid Park: The Astros’ home park plays pretty fair to pitchers and hitters as the +102 park factor is neutral. Saunders had a disastrous start in Houston earlier this season when he allowed 8 earned runs on 11 hits in just 5 innings of work. Norris tossed a gem at home versus Seattle back in April as he allowed just 1 earned run in a 3-2 Houston win. 

Saunders Projection: Based on the underlying skills and advanced metrics I use when making my MLB picks, Saunders shows a line of 3.2 earned runs, a 4.63 ERA and 1.39 WHIP against the Astros in this game. 

Norris Projection: Based on the underlying skills and advanced metrics I use, Norris shows a line of 2.5 earned runs, a 3.71 ERA and 1.24 WHIP against the Mariners in this game. 

Mariners: Seattle’s offense has scored just 373 runs this season (3.9 runs per game). On the road, the Mariners hit just .232 as a team while scoring only 3.6 runs per game.

Astros: Houston’s offense is slightly worse on the season as they’ve scored just 351 runs on the season (3.7 runs per game). The Astros did score 9 runs in their last two home games so a return home may be just what they need to get their bats going.

[gameodds]3/239487/?r3=43-999997-192/dec&r-1=43-349-192/us[/gameodds]

Bottom Line: The current MLB odds for this game shows Seattle -120 and Houston +110 with a total of 8.5 Over -115. Based on the starting pitching match-up numbers alone, we see some good sports betting value with Norris and the Astros in this game. The total looks spot-on, so that is an easy pass on the Over/Under. We recommend taking the live home underdog in this game on Friday night, especially since Norris rates a clear match-up edge over Saunders.

Free MLB Picks: Back the Astros at +110