ASTROS @ MARINERS
September 4-6, 2017
Magic Numbers (games as of 9/3)
To clinch AL West: 13
To clinch AL top seed: 24
What happened in the last series?
The Astros (83-53) broke out the brooms against the lowly Mets. Correa returned from injury and drove in a run. Justin Verlander made some new friends.
Similarly, the Mariners (69-68) snapped a five-game losing streak by sweeping the A’s at home.
Monday, September 4 – 5:40pm CDT
Dallas Keuchel (11-3, 2.91) vs. Erasmo Ramirez (5-5, 4.43)
After three quality starts in a row, Keuchel got roughed up by the Rangers for six runs in Tampa. He hasn’t faced the Mariners since Opening Day, when he held them to seven scoreless innings.
Ramirez was acquired from Tampa Bay by the Mariners a few days before the non-waiver trade deadline and has done a mix of starting and bullpen work this season. As a starter he’s 4-4 with a 4.94 ERA and .797 OPS allowed, but that ERA drops to 3.62 as a Mariner as four of his six August starts were quality starts. He has not faced the Astros this year and only pitched two innings of relief against them last year, but in 2015 he won both of his starts against Houston with a 2.31 ERA.
Tuesday, September 5 – 9:10pm CDT
Justin Verlander (10-8, 3.82) vs. Ariel Miranda (8-6, 4.85)
As has been well documented, Verlander has been on a roll since the All-Star break: in ten starts since then he’s got a 2.41 ERA, with six starts of seven or more innings and just one start of less than six innings. Verlander has also had success against the M’s this season, with a 2.13 ERA and 19(!) strikeouts in two starts.
Miranda has only pitched a full six innings once since June and lately has struggled to even last five innings. Most recently, against the Orioles, he was bounced during the 5th inning after giving up six runs on four taters. This season he is 0-2 with a 5.70 ERA in two starts against Houston.
Wednesday, September 6 – 9:10pm CDT
Lance McCullers Jr. (7-3, 3.92) vs. Mike Leake (8-12, 4.14)
McCullers is back from the DL and making his first start in over a month. He’s done well against the Mariners this year (2-0, 3.45 ERA in three starts) but honestly, it’s anybody’s guess how well he will do after a 9.64 ERA in the month of July.
Leake is a recent acquisition for the Mariners, coming over in a waiver deal from the Cardinals last week. His first start for the Hags was a good one, allowing two runs to the A’s over seven innings. He hasn’t pitched against the Astros since 2014.