Mariners vs. Astros Best Bets, Expert Picks & Predictions – July 29, 2022

<p>AP Photos</p>

AP Photos

Thursday night in Houston, the Astros scored a pair of runs in the eighth inning to take the lead over the Mariners and ultimately take the series-opener 4-2. Friday’s matchup is a great one on paper, with Robbie Ray of Seattle facing off against Justin Verlander.

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The Mariners are one of the most exciting teams in baseball right now, with young phenom Julio Rodríguez dominating the spotlight at last week’s Home Run Derby. Rodríguez is one of baseball’s brightest young stars, and it will be a thrill to watch him face Verlander.

Speaking of the Houston ace, Verlander has been fantastic this season, sporting an incredible 1.86 ERA. Has he really been that good though?

Taking a deeper dive into the analytics, Verlander’s xERA (expected ERA) is 3.02. That’s still an impressive figure, but analytically he hasn’t been as dominant has his ERA suggests.

While he is certainly not an easy puzzle to solve for any lineup, this will be the sixth time this season that Verlander is starting against Seattle.

The Mariners’ lineup should be pretty familiar with the behavior of his pitches, as they’ve combined for 137 plate appearances against him this year.

On the other side, Robbie Ray will take the mound for the Mariners. Ray is 8-7 with a 3.90 ERA, and will be making his third start of the season against Houston.

His first two did not go as planned. In fact, Ray faced the Astros just last weekend in Seattle and got rocked for six earned runs in just three innings of work.

I don’t see him being able to completely adjust between starts, and the Astros will be swinging confident bats against the Seattle southpaw.

Seven is a very low number, even with a little juice at -120. Even if Verlander has a great outing, the Astros lineup should deal enough damage to push this total over seven.

Mariners vs. Astros Pick: Over 7 | -120 at WynnBET

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