The Seattle Mariners and Houston Astros are set to kick off Game 2 of the American League Divisional Series today from Minute Maid Park.
All Odds Courtesy of FanDuel SportsbookSeattle Mariners (+136) vs. Houston Astros (-162) Total: 6.5 (O-124, U+102)
Game 1 of the ALDS between the Mariners and Astros had its fair share of drama, with a Yordan Alvarez three-run big fly in the ninth inning helping Houston steal the opener. The M’s did a great job manufacturing runs against the likely AL Cy Young winner, but some interesting decisions with the team’s bullpen led to Game 1 slipping out of their hands. That can’t be an encouraging sign for Seattle, knowing how difficult it is to beat this Astros team. With an off day yesterday, the hope is that Seattle erased that contest from their memory. They’re onto Game 2, which will also feature a compelling pitching matchup between two of the best in the American League.
The visiting Mariners are expected to send right-hander Luis Castillo to the bump, while the Astros will be countering with Framber Valdez. The M’s righty has posted an 8-6 record with a 2.99 ERA and 167 strikeouts, while he also pitched a gem in the Wild Card series against the Toronto Blue Jays, throwing seven and 1/3 innings and allowing just six hits and no earned runs. Looking at Valdez, he posted a 17-6 record with a 2.82 ERA and 194 strikeouts. Throughout his postseason career, the lefty has made nine appearances and tallied a 4.53 ERA.
It’s hard to give one of these two dominant arms a significant edge in this matchup. Still, with how Valdez struggled down the stretch and with Castillo continuing to get better as the games matter more, it’s difficult not to lean toward the value that you’re getting with the visiting Mariners. After blowing away a late lead in Game 1, expect the Mariners to hold on this time and even the series, meaning we’ll be targeting their moneyline price of +136.
Best Bet: Mariners moneyline (+136)
After seeing 15 runs in Game 1, it’s interesting that the total is set at just 6.5. The Mariners’ bats have found success early in the postseason, and this is potentially another solid matchup for them, while the Astros boast one of the most formidable lineups to beat in MLB. Even with both arms having the potential to throw gems, Valdez allowed three earned runs in both starts against the M’s, while Castillo didn’t face the Astros this year. It’s hard to see a world where both offenses don’t find at least mild success, meaning targeting the over 6.5 at -124 is the direction bettors should lean.
Best Bet: Over 6.5 (-124)
Despite the Astros left-hander only having faced the Mariners twice this season, you can get an idea of what he’s capable of in both appearances. During the first matchup, Valdez pitched six and 2/3 innings and struck out eight, while the second contest saw him pitch seven innings and strike out seven. It’s hard to determine how deep he’ll go in Game 2, but he showed his fair share of strikeouts during the regular season, which means looking toward one of his alternate strikeout prices has some value. The number that sticks out the most is for him to strike out six or more batters, currently priced at -118. Even with a quick leash being common in the postseason, Valdez has the stuff where he can work effectively in a short amount of time.
Best Prop: Framber Valdez to Record 6+ Strikeouts (-118)