The Astros are visiting the Mariners for three games to start this week.
The Houston Astros just finished their final homestand of the season, going 1-5 versus the visiting Baltimore Orioles (1-2) and the Kansas City Royals (0-3). Now, with their season on the line, they’re visiting the similarly desperate Seattle Mariners in what is essentially a postseason series for the third and final wildcard spot.
The last time the Astros played the Mariners was a three-game home series in which Seattle won all three games, from August 18 through August 20. The Mariners have won eight times in 10 games versus Houston this season.
Seattle has fared nearly as badly as the Astros have over the past few days, getting swept by the Texas Rangers to land them in a virtual tie with Houston. The Rangers won the three games by scores of 8-5, 2-0, and 9-8 in a barnburner on Sunday.
Starting Pitchers and GameTimes
Monday at 8:40 PM CT — Justin Verlander (11-8, 3.44) vs. Luis Castillo (14-7, 3.06)
Tuesday at 9:05 PM CT — Cristian Javier (9-4, 4.64) vs. George Kirby (11-10, 3.58)
Wednesday at 8:40 PM CT — Framber Valdez (12-11, 3.39) vs. Bryce Miller (8-6, 4.17)
Unlike in the recent past, the Astros have a 120-80 all-time record against Seattle. That .600 winning percentage is their second-best against anyone, and also their second-best against an AL West team. Incidentally, the Astros are 121-79 against the Los Angeles Angels, a mark of .605.
Houston Astros: 85-71, .545, second place in the AL West, 2.5 games behind the Texas Rangers. Fifth in the American League, currently in possession of the third wildcard berth. Ninth in MLB. Last 10: WLLWLLWLLL. On pace for 88-74. Playoff Odds: 60.1 percent (F/G).
Seattle Mariners: 84-71, .542, third place in the AL West, three games behind the Texas Rangers. Sixth in the American League, currently 1⁄2 games behind the third wildcard berth. 10th in MLB. Last 10: WLLLWWWLLL. On pace for 88-74. Playoff Odds: 44.5 percent (F/G).
I know there’s a lot of contention about who the best catcher on the team is (Yainer Diaz, in every measurable category you can think of, and also every one you can’t, and it’s not remotely close), but it’s a fact that the mighty Maldonado will for sure start twice and probably three times in the series. With that particular act of self-sabotaging in mind, the closest thing we can get to the Unforgiven lineup (played exactly once this year, you know which one I’m talking about) is this:
1 2B Jose Altuve
2 RF Kyle Tucker
3 3B Alex Bregman
4 LF Yordan Alvarez
5 CF Chas McCormick
6 1B Jose Abreu
7 DH Yainer Díaz
8 SS Jeremy Peña
9 C Martín Maldonado
It’s not really a good time to screw around for either team, really. Who wants this one more?
This poll is closed
Houston sweeps Seattle, clinching the final wildcard spot. Everyone outside of the Emerald City is happy.
Houston wins the series without breaking out the brooms. We’re still happy, but need to win at least two-of-three from Arizona.
The Mariners win the series, two-games-to-one. Houston needs to rely on other teams goodwill to get into the playoffs.
Mariners sweep. Astros need to win all three against Arizona and need to hope that Seattle again gets swept by the Rangers. Offseason starts early.