An AL West Battle in Houston: The Mariners v. the Astros

Seattle Mariners v San Francisco Giants
Seattle Mariners v San Francisco Giants / Brandon Sloter/GettyImages

It will be in the mid-nineties in Houston when the Mariners come to town with a possible thunderstorm. Luckily, Minute Maid Park has air conditioning.

Just like the Mariners, the Astros have been facing various injuries to pitchers and position players. Lance McCullers, Jr. and Luis Garcia will not be back until 2024. Yordan Alvarez will be out for another week at least. Jose Urquidy is on the IL-60 list and Jose Altuve had an MRI for an oblique strain on Wednesday.

The Mariners enter this series one game under .500, 42-43, while the Astros are several games above .500, 49 - 38. To use our fellow AL West teams as a reference, they have a 6-0 record against Oakland, a 3-4 record against the Rangers, 5-2 against the Angels, and a 1-2 record against the Mariners. In matches against these same teams, the Mariners have a 7-0 record against Oakland, 1-5 against the Rangers, and 2-4 against the Angels. Seattle needs to play well to defeat Houston but the Mariners can beat the Astros.

The Pitchers

These will be the pitching matchups for the four games. (Read the statistics as 3.21 Earned Run Average, 38 runs and 86 strikeouts in 101 innings pitched.)

Thursday, July 6: George Kirby (3.21 ERA, 38 Rs and 86 SOs in 101 IP) v. TBD (as of 9 AM, Pacific Time)

Friday, July 7: Luis Castillo (3.05 ERA, 41 Rs and 114 SOs in 100.1 IP) v. Hunter Brown (3.76 ERA, 42 Rs and 103 SOs in 91 IP)

Saturday, July 8: Bryan Woo (4.08 ERA, 25 Rs and 39 SOs in 28.2 IP) v. Framber Valdez (2.49 ERA, 34 Rs and 110 SOs in 105 IP)

Sunday, July 9: Logan Gilbert (3.82 ERA, 46 Rs and 100 SOs in 101.1 IP) v. Brandon Bielak (3.81 ERA, 25 Rs and 41 SOs in 54 IP)

Position Players

The Astros' batters have these statistics to date. Read them as player name (position) .277 batting average, 55 runs batted in in 202 at-bats.

Jose Altuve (2B)  .264 BA, 18 RBIs in 121 ABs

Mauricio Dubón (2B) .292 BA, 21 RBI in 271 ABs

Alex Bregman (3B) .241 BA, 54 RBIs in 332 ABs

Kyle Tucker (RF) .293 BA, 55 RBIs in 311 ABs

Jose Abreu (1B) .243 BA, 45 RBIs in 321 ABs

Jeremy Pena (SS)  .251 BA, 32 RBIs in 299 ABs

Yainer Diaz  (DH)  .267 BA, 21 RBIs in 165 ABs

Yordan Alvarez (DH) .264 BA, 18 RBIs in 121 ABs

Corey Julks (LF)  .279 ERA, 28 RBIs in 229 ABs

Chas McCormick (CF) .264 BA, 27 RBIs in 163 ABs

Jake Meyers (CF) .227 BA, 22 RBIs in 207 ABs

Martin Maldonado (C) .171 BA, 13 RBIs in 193 ABs

I think that the Mariners are in a stronger position to play the Astros this season if the team is "locked in."