The MLB betting action continues with 11 games on Monday’s slate, so here’s the best betting pick for the opening clash of a four-game series at Minute Maid Park in Houston where the Astros host the Seattle Mariners.
These two AL West foes already met three times in 2021, and the Mariners beat the Astros in a three-game set in Seattle, 2-1. Houston opens as a firm -160 home fave for Monday’s contest, according to William Hill Sportsbook, while Seattle is a +150 underdog with a total of 8.5 runs.
The Mariners hope to extend their surprisingly good form
The Seattle Mariners are one of the most pleasant surprises of the 2021 MLB season, no doubt. They beat the Boston Red Sox in two of their first three contests of a four-game set at Fenway Park in Boston, improving to 13-8 on the season ahead of Sunday’s closer.
The Mariners are second in the AL West, one game behind the Oakland Athletics. Seattle scores 4.30 runs per game (16th in the MLB) on a .212 batting average (tied-26th) and a .365 slugging percentage (tied-23rd).
Justus Sheffield will take the hill Monday, and the 24-year-old southpaw is 1-1 in three starts this season, sporting a 4.86 ERA and 1.32 WHIP across 16.2 innings of work. Last year, Sheffield got his first career start against Houston and yielded a couple of runs on six hits and a walk through six frames in a no-decision.
The Astros look for another strong offensive performance
The Houston Astros had a chance to sweep the Los Angeles Angels in a four-game home set Sunday afternoon. After dropping nine of their last ten games prior to the Angels series, the Astros managed to find their groove at the plate and improve to 10-10 on the young season.
Houston is currently third in the AL West, two and a half games behind the Mariners. The Astros score 5.14 runs per game (4th in the majors) on a .258 batting average (3rd) and a .429 slugging percentage (4th).
Jose Urquidy will toe the slab Sunday, searching for his first win in 2021. The 25-year-old right-hander is 0-2 with a 5.14 ERA and 1.38 WHIP in his first four starts, tallying a 20/7 K/BB ratio through 21.0 innings of work.
Urquidy got his first career start against the Mariners ten days ago. He tossed 5.2 frames in a no-decision, yielding a couple of earned runs on five hits and two walks while punching out seven.
- 5-15 in the last 20 games against Houston
- 3-9 in the last 12 games against the AL West
- 15-1 in the last 16 home tilts against Seattle
- 5-2 in the last seven home games against the AL West
The Astros are still trying to find consistency at the plate, and after some excellent displays against the Angels, I hope they’ll put on another strong performance against the Mariners. They’ve owned Seattle lately, especially at Minute Maid Park where the Astros have won 15 of their previous 16 encounters with the Mariners.
In Jose Urquidy’s last start against Seattle ten days ago, the Astros blew a 5-2 lead over the course of the last three frames. This time, the Astros’ bullpen has to do a much better job, while I’m expecting some regression from the Mariners’ relievers who currently own the third-best ERA in baseball (2.55).
Pick: Take Houston Astros at -160
Six of the last eight meetings between the Mariners and Astros went in the under along with one push, but two of their three encounters in 2021 produced more than eight runs in total.
I don’t trust Seattle’s relievers despite their terrific displays early in the season. They’ll have to slow down eventually, while both Urquidy and Sheffield could allow a few runs each. Therefore, I’m going with the over, but Houston to win is my top betting pick here.
Pick: Go over 8.5 runs at -110