Mariners vs Astros: Can Seattle kick Houston while they're down?

With the Mariners coming off of their 5th straight series win and the Astros sitting 10 games under .500, can Seattle kick Houston while they're down?
Seattle Mariners v Houston Astros
Seattle Mariners v Houston Astros / Logan Riely/GettyImages
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As the calendar turns to May, the Mariners are set to play Houston for the first time in 2024. It's tough getting used to not seeing your divisional opponents as often, with teams only playing each other 13 times instead of the 19 matchups that was the standard for so long. For both of these teams, it's even more odd as they find themselves in a position that neither have been all that used to.

The Mariners are in first place in the AL West and the Astros are in last place. I'm sure Alex Mayer knows the last time this happened, as well as some other odd, intriguing, and interesting nugget that occurred during that time frame as well. (Seriously, dude is amazing with all the info he comes up with.) I don't remember the last time it did, but it has been a while since Houston has been in a situation like this as it likely goes back to the pre-Correa days.

There is no way that the Mariners are going to head into this series and overlook the Astros, right? I don't see it and don't think so, as it's too early in the season for that, and there is just too much animosity between the two teams. This isn't a first-place/last-place matchup late in the season where one team is 20-25 games better than the other. There are only six games separating them currently, so you would think the Mariners would be chomping at the bit to push Houston further down.

The Astros are still incredibly talented, though. You can't look past a team with Tucker, Alvarez, Bregman, and Altuve still in the lineup. The pitching staff is starting to get healthy, but they have still been badly roughed up. Let's see exactly who Houston will be throwing this series.