Series Preview: Seattle Mariners vs. Houston Astros

Take care. It’s the Astros again.

The Mariners took a series from the Astros to open their 2022 homestand, which was delightful except for the part where Justin Verlander showed he’s definitely Verlinator or Robolander or choose your futuristic robot sci-fi threat of choice. Clean and good. The Mariners also had the privilege of facing a depleted/slow-starting Astros team at home with the leather-lunged T-Mobile stalwarts shouting all sorts of old maritime curses at the Astros. They won’t have any of those advantages in this series and will also arrive in Houston after being roughed up by the Florida teams, but they will face Verlander again, because the universe is a cube that is quietly collapsing in the dark, indifferent to our human desires.

In short

sailors Astros
sailors Astros
Game 1 Monday May 2 | 5:10 p.m.
LHP Marco Gonzales RHP Jake Odorizzi
43% 57%
Game 2 Tuesday May 3 | 5:10 p.m.
HRP Chris Flexen HRP Cristian Javier
39% 61%
Game 3 Wednesday May 4 | 11:10 a.m.
RHP Matt Brash HRP Justin Verlander
36% 64%

*Game odds courtesy of FanGraphs

Team presentation

Insight Astros sailors Edge
Insight Astros sailors Edge
Batter (wRC+) 117 (1st in AL) 94 (10th in AL) Astros
Fielding (OAA) 36 (1st) -6 (8th) Astros
Starting pitch (FIP-) 96 (6th) 111 (12th) Astros
Bullpen (FIP-) 99 (9th) 89 (4th) sailors

Statistics 2021

After a rocky start to the season in April that saw them split a two-game series with the lowly D-Backs and then drop three straight series against the Angels, Mariners and Blue Jays, the Astros remembered, duh, we are the Astros, and took three of four from the Rangers. They then had to turn around and play the Blue Jays again on the road, however, in a particularly thorny schedule that took them from Houston to Arlington to Toronto to Houston with barely a day off, and the Astros have also dropped out of this series. to the Blue Jays, keeping them firmly below Seattle in the AL West standings despite the irresponsible Mariners rampaging throughout Florida. They’ll be looking to battle the Mariners, and bad news, some of their early season sleepy bats seem to be waking up like a Disney Princess, except instead of cute little forest animals, they’re looking like they’ll be waking up like a Disney Princess. It’s Yordan Álvarez and Kyle Tucker here to beat the insane pitchers with their bats. The Mariners aren’t favored to win either of these games, which you probably guessed, but it’s kind of hilarious how much the numbers changed in the Brash-Verlander game after it was announced on edge. of blast like an unmissable pitcher duel not a week ago. Like, the tiniest, most obscene definition of “hilarious,” but still.

Astros Range

Player Position Bats Pennsylvania BABIP CMR+ BsR
Player Position Bats Pennsylvania BABIP CMR+ BsR
Jose Altuve 2B R 678 0.280 130 2.5
Michael Brantley LF L 508 0.337 123 -1.2
Alex Bregman 3B R 400 0.286 115 -2.2
Yordan Alvarez DH L 598 0.320 138 0.5
Yuli Gurriel 1B R 605 0.336 134 -1.6
Kyle Tucker RF L 567 0.304 147 2.4
Jeremy Pena SS R 133 0.325 126
Chas McCormick heart rate R 320 0.341 109 -0.4
Martin Maldonado VS R 426 0.221 63 -5.0

2021 statistics; Peña de Triple-A’s stats

Again, the tissue paper Astros from the previous series are not. Yordan Álvarez is back in the lineup and making up for lost time by punishing absolutely every baseball that dares look his way; his Stacast page would have even George R. Martin say to take it easy on red. Someone else who bounced back from an early slump with annoying elasticity is Kyle Tucker, who safely shoved all of his Statcast slider bars back into the red after an alarming bout with the blues earlier this season. Good news for my restless fantasy team, less good news for the Mariners. Someone who is also on my fantasy team but hasn’t bounced back as quickly is Michael Brantley, whose slugging (.397) has yet to catch up to his expected (xSLG) count of .563 (!), And woe to the Mariners if he does on this series. Similarly, Brantley’s expected numbers indicate that it should average around 0.330 while it only hits a cool 0.274, which again is fine with us, no need for regression here yet. One Astro who is still recovering from his early season slump is José Altuve; you can’t even say it’s bad luck because its expected numbers are just as stinky as its real numbers. He is also hitting over 10% more than ever in his career. It’s unlikely he suddenly fell off a cliff that hard, but it’s safe to expect the turnaround won’t be immediate. Turns out older players don’t recover so quickly from a weird spring training schedule, who would have thought? [As I strain my back attempting to turn off a light switch] Also, rookie Jeremy Peña has been really good, and that’s boring. Please direct all complaints to Anders, who chose him for ROY.

Probable Pitchers

Updated Stuff + Explainer

Houston Astros vs Texas Rangers

Photo by Ron Jenkins/Getty Images

RHP Jake Odorizzi

104 2/3 20.6% 7.7% 11.6% 35.3% 4.21 4.48
Ground Frequency Speed Turnover rate Tips+ Food + BEEP+
Four seams 55.2% 92.2 2113 89 109 95
Cutter 10.0% 86.8 2058 63 83 69
Separator 22.0% 84.7 1260 70 69 88
curve ball 5.2% 73.5 2066 62 43 99
Slide 7.6% 83.1 2032 104 60 91

Statistics 2021

From a preview of the previous series:

Jake Odorizzi struggled through a wobbly path midway through his career. A top prospect with the Rays to start with, he never quite put it all together in Tampa Bay. His big breakthrough came in Minnesota in 2019; he posted a career-high 27.1% strikeout rate that year and 4.3 fWAR. He received a qualifying offer in the offseason and accepted it, returning to the Twins on a one-year deal. Unfortunately, injuries cost him most of the shortened 2020 season, making just four starts for Minnesota. He signed a two-year contract with the Astros late last spring, but a handful of minor injuries once again prevented him from repeating the success he enjoyed in 2019. With a prototypical modern fastball with tons of carry, he’s been a bit prone to home runs in his career. His secondary offerings are inconsistent at best, making him too reliant on his heater.

HRP Cristian Javier

101 1/3 30.7% 12.5% 14.2% 27.6% 3.55 4.43
Ground Frequency Speed Turnover rate Tips+ Food + BEEP+
Four seams 59.3% 93.5 2343 110 124 84
Change 5.9% 86.6 nineteen eighty one 79 39 108
curve ball 7.8% 75.9 2924 87 98 65
Slide 27.0% 81.0 2541 73 140 149

Statistics 2021

The Astros opted to run a six-man rotation during a particularly busy part of their schedule. This pushed Cristian Javier into a starting role for now, one he was familiar with for part of the last year. Even though he has a full starter-worthy four-pitch repertoire, he throws his fastball and slider more than 85% of the time. This pitch mix is ​​a little skewed based on his time in the bullpen, but these are also his best pitches and extremely effective; he leaned heavily on them even during prolonged outings from the paddock. His breaking ball is particularly untouchable. Last year, batters swung and missed nearly half the time they offered on the field. Even more impressive: He allowed only nine out-of-bounds hits, although seven of them were extra hits. He’s increased his slider usage by up to 40% this year, though his on-field odor rate has been halved so far.

HRP Justin Verlander

223 35.4% 5.0% 16.0% 35.9% 2.58 3.27
Ground Frequency Speed Turnover rate Tips+ Food + BEEP+
Four seams 49.9% 94.6 2577 161 146 91
Change 4.2% 86.9 1866 81 111 141
curve ball 17.3% 79.4 2821 117 82 94
Slide 28.7% 87.5 2612 133 114 108

statistics 2019

From a preview of the previous series:

At 39, Justin Verlander is attempting to do something almost unprecedented in major league history: successfully return from elbow surgery at an extremely old age. He made a start in 2020 before succumbing to Tommy John surgery; it was only the second major injury of his career and he became the second oldest starter to ever undergo the procedure. He had pitched over 200 innings in every season of his career, save two up to that point. During the offseason, the Astros signed him to a one-year, $25 million contract with a player option for 2023. The Astros clearly expect him to pick up where he left off. . Whether or not that happens is a bit murkier.

Alright, so maybe it’s a little less murky than everyone expected. After four starts this year, Verlander looks as deadly as he did before his Tommy John surgery. His fastball averages just under 95 mph and his secondary deals are still powerful.

The big picture:

The AL West

Team WL W% Games behind Recent form
Team WL W% Games behind Recent form
angels 15-8 0.652 WWWLW
sailors 12-10 0.524 2.5 LLLLW
Astros 11-11 0.500 3.5 WWWLL
Athletics 10-12 0.455 4.5 LWLL
Rangers 8-14 0.364 6.5 LLLWW

The Mariners continue to cling to second place in the AL West despite almost pulling away from that big veranda in the sky on their trip to Florida (it’s a Golden Girls benchmark, for those of you under 30, and if you haven’t seen it, you should because it’s the best show in the world to fall asleep to). Of course, that could all change if they continue to play like they did against the Astros. The angels continue to rule the AL West, personally validating me for saying no really, it’s the year of LA but making everything else feel bad. Texas and Oakland are also here. Oakland should by all rights play worse than them and Texas better than them, but it’s baseball, baby.

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