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MLB Free Pick: Astros vs Mariners

August 22, 2018

The Houston Astros play the Seattle Mariners on Wednesday in the third and final game of their current series at Safeco Field. The Astros won the second game of this series on Tuesday 3-2 as Josh Reddick hit a solo homer and Carlos Correa collected three hits and an RBI.

Houston is now tied for first in the American League West with the Oakland A’s as both have identical records of 76-50. Seattle following the loss dropped to 4 ½ games behind the Astros and A’s.

The current line has Houston favored at -145, Seattle +125 and the run total on 8.5.

The Astros bats finally came back to life Tuesday with Tyler White going 2 for 4, while Alex Bregman and Tony Kemp each had hits. Framber Valdez was credited with the win in his debut in the majors after giving up just one unearned run in 4 1/3 inning of relief work. Hector Rondon earned his 14th save closing out the 9th.

Seattle won the opener of the series but could not produce much offense on Tuesday. Jean Segura and Ryon Healy each had a pair of hits for the Mariners. The Mariners had nine hits, but all were singles. Ross Detwiler was tagged with the loss dropping to 0-1 after allowing eight hits and three runs in six innings.

The Astros will start Charlie Morton on the mound Wednesday. The right-hander is 12-3 with a 2.78 ERA. Morton this season has 175 strikeouts. Over his career, the Houston right-hander is 3-3 with a 3.15 ERA against the Mariners. At Safeco Field in 2018, Morton has pitched well going 2-0 with a 1.39 ERA versus the Mariners.

Marco Gonzales will be the starter for Seattle on Wednesday. This season the right-hander is 12-8 with a 3.91 ERA. Gonzales has 125 strikeouts this season. The Mariners pitcher has only one other start in his career against the Astros. Gonzales has been one of the top two starters this season with Seattle, but is 0-3 in his past three starts.

Prediction: Houston is grinding away trying to find a solution to its poor play over the last two weeks. Charlie Morton enters this game on a better run than does Marco Gonzales for the Mariners. Look for another close game, but the Astros hitters will get to Gonzales while Morton will keep the Mariners’ bats quiet. Astros win 4-2.

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