The Astros picked up a win over the A’s on Sunday to re-gain control of first place in a tight division race. This series with Seattle is major as well. There are heavy playoff implications.
The Mariners also badly need these games, as they are currently on the outside looking in as far as the playoff picture goes. They took game one last night, and will look for more tonight.
Where to begin with a team that has no weak link? The Astros, for the second year in a row, have been absolutely unbelievable. From Alex Bregman to Jose Altuve to George Springer, this team just has so many guys that can come to the plate and clobber the ball. Altuve is set to return from the DL In this affair.
On the other side, Justin Verlander, Gerrit Cole, and Charlie Morton have been among the best pitchers in all of baseball. The addition of Cole has helped put them over the top, while Morton has had a career year. A repeat as World Series champion will not be easy with the Red Sox and Yankees lurking, but it’s sure viable for these guys to do it again. Just as long as they win the division.
The Astros will send Brad Peacock to the mound for his first start of the season. A reliever this year, he has appeared in 49 games, and gone 53 2/3 innings. He has struck out 81 batters while walking 15, and posted a 3.19 ERA. He’s got a big opportunity.
Led by the power of Nelson Cruz (30 home runs), this team has been showing the power this year. But they have been struggling of late, and despite being so far over .500, they have actually been outscored by 39 runs. Jean Segura has continued to hit the ball well, while Ryon Healy, Mitch Haniger, and Kyle Seager have all gone deep frequently. The loss of Robinson Cano early in the season hasn’t taken the toll on this team many people expected, and they are still on contention. Cano is back and helped them to a win ladt night. They’ve got a chance, but they need some wins, especially in this series. 18 games over .500 in the AL in 2018 is not enough.
Mike Leake will take the mound for his 26th start of the season. He has struck out 96 batters while walking 31. He has posted a 3.90 ERA in 154 innings of work. Leake was phenomenal in his last start, throwing eight scoreless innings against the A’s, and allowing just two hits.
Mariners, Leake, close in on Astros
With a chance to move right near the top of the division, the Mariners will not waste any time. In the thick of the race, they’re going to get it done.
Seven solid innings from Mike Leake, and a monster home run from Robinson Cano will help them to a second consecutive win in the series.
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