The Seattle Mariners and the Houston Astros will both be gunning for a victory on 4/3/2017 at 8:10 PM when they meet in a game matchup.
Seattle Mariners vs Houston Astros
GAME: Seattle Mariners (0-0) at Houston Astros (0-0)
DATE/TIME: Monday, April 03 – 8:10 PM EST
WHERE: Minute Maid Park, Houston, Texas
LINE: -135 TOTAL: 8
TV: 8:10 p.m. ET, ROOT (Seattle, Houston)
PREDICTION: Astros 4, Mariners 3
Oddsmakers currently have the HOUSTON listed as -135 point favorites versus the SEATTLE, while the game’s total is sitting at 8.
Neither the Houston Astros nor the Seattle Mariners have won their division since 2001, but an active offseason by both clubs could make them the teams to beat in the American League West in 2017. The two clubs who appear to be in the best position to end Texas’ two-year hold on the division begin a four-game set on Monday, when the Astros attempt to win on Opening Day for a fifth consecutive season when they host the Mariners.
Despite finishing over .500 in back-to-back years for the first time since 2005-06, Houston (84-78) never put much of a scare into Texas after a 17-28 start, ending the season 11 games back. The Astros hope to avoid another rocky beginning after adding Carlos Beltran, Brian McCann, Josh Reddick and Nori Aoki to an offense that already boasts the talents of two-time AL batting champion Jose Altuve and impressive 22-year-old shortstop Carlos Correa. Seattle (86-76) has not reached the postseason since setting the major-league record for regular-season victories with 116 in 2001, but the club ended last year second in the West – their highest finish since 2007. The Mariners traded for former All-Star shortstop Jean Segura, Danny Valencia and Jarrod Dyson over the winter to add more balance to the sixth-highest scoring offense last season, which was led by three players who hit at least 30 homers in Nelson Cruz, Robinson Cano and Kyle Seager.
PITCHING MATCHUP: Mariners RH Felix Hernandez (2016: 11-8, 3.82 ERA) vs. Astros LH Dallas Keuchel (2016: 9-12, 4.55)
Hernandez has thrived on Opening Day over his career (6-1, 1.49 ERA) and will attempt to continue that success as he makes his ninth consecutive and club-record 10th such start overall. The 2010 AL Cy Young Award winner was stymied by a calf injury in June and July that cost him nearly six weeks, and he went 7-4 despite a 4.48 ERA in 15 outings upon his return. Hernandez struggled mightily in two September starts against Houston last year, losing both while surrendering 14 runs (nine earned) over 10 frames.
Keuchel will draw his third straight Opening Day assignment after winning his first two and appears poised to rebound after having his disappointing 2016 season ended prematurely due to a rotator cuff injury. The Oklahoma native went 20-8 with a 2.48 ERA during his 2015 AL Cy Young Award-winning campaign and has been on point in four exhibition outings, going 1-0 with 2.70 ERA. Keuchel, who was 1-1 with a 4.26 ERA in three turns versus Seattle last year, has struggled mightily in his career against Cruz (9-for-22, three homers) and Valencia (8-for-16, two home runs).
1. Cano batted .351 with nine homers and 25 RBIs against Houston last season – two more blasts and 10 more RBIs than he had against any other opponent.
2. Altuve hit .389 versus the Mariners last year – one of seven clubs he batted that well against – while his seven doubles and six stolen bases against Seattle were the most he had against any foe in 2016.
3. Seattle (30-30) and Houston (28-25) were first and tied for second in the AL, respectively, in one-run games in 2016.
STATS AND RECORDS
|9/28/16||SEA 12||HOU 4||.375||2||1.029||.297||2||.901|