The opening odds start here
Houston/Seattle over 4.5 even:
As Houston (62-40) and Seattle (55-47) battle in this 3 game series tied one game apiece, the rubber matchup will be big to the 'Stros looking to maintain their 6 game lead over Oakland in the AL West. Just as important it will be to the M's as they trail Houston by 7 and a game behind Oakland for the second wildcard. Last night, Houston got out to a big lead over Seattle and held on for an 8-6 win. Yordan Alvarez launched a 3 run HR as part of a 4 run 4th, his 19th of the season which proved to be the winning runs. Jose Altuve went 3 for 5 with a run scored, and Miles Straw drove in 2 with a double. Lance McCullers struggled with his control after a good start, but lasted long enough for the win as he pitched 6 innings. McCullers allowed 4 runs on 6 hits walking 3 and striking out 8 improving to 8-2 in 2021. Chris Flexen took the loss for the M's falling to 9-5 after giving up 7 earned on 9 hits in just 4 innings. Kyle Seager crushed his 20th HR of the season, Abaham Toro Hernandez hit a 2 run pinch HR and eventualy the MAriners had 2 on with one out in the bottom of the 9th down by 2 runs. Ryan Pressly retired Seager and Ty France with 2 on as Houston held on.

Seattle sends Yusei Kikuchi (6-5 3.95) to the hill this afternoon at T Mobile Park. The 30 year old Japanese southpaw comes in with a personal 2 game losing streak but dazzled in his previous start yielding 3 runs on 6 hits in 6 strong against Oakland, and struck out 12 while just walking one in a no decision game won by the M's 4-3. Kikuchi has surrendered 15 ER and 23 hits over his last 16 innings (8.44) but has walked just 5 and struck out 24. He faces an Astros lineup that is batting .266 overall, tops in the AL. Houston is also averaging 5.4 runs per contest, and their 131 HR rank 5th overall. Michael Brantley (.326 6 35) leads the Astros in batting and is 3rd overall in the AL with 131 HR. Yuli Gurriel (.313 10 59) is hitting .353 over his last 7 games, and is tied for 3rd on the team with Jose Altuve in RBI. Yordan Alvarez (.288 19 67) is tied with Kyle Tucker (.275 19 61) in HR and is batting .389 over his last 5 games. Tucker (.275 19 61) brings in a modest 3 game hitting streak (.308). Altuve, the leader on the 'Stros in HR (.275 23 59) is battling a mild slump over his last 6 games (.227). Carlos Correa (.269 16 56) hasn't been as consistent battling streaks and slumps all season, but also brings in a modest 4 game hitting streak (.308).

Houston counters with Jake Odorizzi (3-5 4.23) who hasn't gotten much run support, turning at least 3 or 4 potential victories into either losses or no-decisions making is overall mark look underwhelming. Winless since July 3rd, his ERA over his last 4 starts is 5.80 and his last outing was a no decision despite the Astros beating Texas 7-3. Odorizzi faces a Mariners lineup that is no slouch as Seattle chases the second wildcard. however, the M's are hitting an AL worst .219 averaging 4.2 runs per game with a middle of the pack 128 HR. France (.275 9 44) leads the team with an otherwise top ranked piss poor mark but has hit safely in his last 6 games (.316). JP Crawford (.268 5 31) has hit in 3 straight (.417) after breaking an 0 for 24 slump last week. Mitch Haniger (.262 25 62) clearly leads the Mariners in both power and production despite going just 5 for his last 22 (.227). Seager (.217 20 60) still has not recovered after an extremely rough first 2 months, but is second on the M's in power and production while hitting safely in 7 of his last 8 despite batting just (.231) during that span,.

We get a bargain of a price this evening featuring two teams who have glaring disparities. The Astros have plenty of balance in their lineup and can further extend productive hitting and run scoring early and often to keep themselves a head of the pack. Seattle also has plenty of pop in their lineup, but the royalties of the lineup are surrounded around only 2 or 3 solid bats, and have had significant difficulty leaving RISP eluding potential big innings. T Mobile Park has always been a delight to the pitchers, although given this game will be taking place in the early afternoon on the West Coast, we think both pitchers may encounter some difficulty as the ball looks to travel more efficiently given the time of day as well as temps reaching the mid 80's with sun and a light breeze. The M's have time staying close with Oakland but there are multiple teams right on their tails. Kikuchi has dazzled in games he is well in control of, but simultaneously Odorizzi has pitched better than his record has indicated but must get more consistency in their erratic personnel covering the lineup.

Best of luck however you play!

YTD 7-7 .500 -.50