The Houston Astros stunned the Seattle Mariners with an 8-7 walkoff win in Game 1 of their AL Division Series. The victory does nothing to lessen the fact oddsmakers see Houston as the favorite to win the American League pennant.
According to FanDuel, the Astros are -500 to win their best-of-five series against the Mariners, which resumes in Houston on Thursday. The M’s are longshots at +380 following a crushing defeat when starting pitcher Robbie Ray surrendered a three-run homer out of the bullpen to lose in the bottom of the ninth in Game 1.
Early odds for Game 2 have the Astros at -154, with arguably their most steady pitcher Framber Valdez on the hill for that game. That’s according to FanDuel, who puts odds on Seattle to win Game 2 at +130.
FanDuel, like most sports betting apps, lists the Astros as favorites to win the AL pennant: +275 after Game 1 of this series. Houston, who won the 2017 Fall Classic, and played in it again in 2019 and 2021, are +280 according to FanDuel, and +300 via DraftKings to win the World Series.
The Mariners odds to win this ALDS against Houston have plummeted, and they are now the longest longshot among the eight MLB Playoff teams to win the World Series: +2400 according to odds from FanDuel. That means a winning $100 wager on the M’s to win their first World Series would pay out $2,400.
The Mariners are guaranteed to host at least one game, on Saturday in Game 3 back in Seattle. The Astros are seeking their sixth consecutive appearance in the AL Championship Series.
Mariners vs. Astros, Game 2 ALDS
Odds for the American League Division Series, Game 2, Thursday Oct. 13, in Houston:
Mariners vs. Astros Pitching Matchup, Game 2 ALDS
Luis Castillo (4-2, 3.17 ERA) vs. Framber Valdez (17-6, 2.82 ERA)
Several starters posted excellent outings in the Wild Card round across the MLB Playoffs. But you could argue that Seattle’s Castillo was the most dazzling. Last Friday he pitched into the eighth inning in Toronto and allowed no runs against one of the most challenging lineups in baseball.
Castillo’s performance was critical in helping Seattle upset Toronto in the Wild Card round. Now, the Dominican-born righty known as “La Peidra” (translated to “The Rock) must come through to help his team snatch a victory in Houston and even this series. Castillo has only pitched against Houston once in his career: a start way back in 2019 when he was a member of the Reds. He pitched six shutout innings in the start, only allowing two hits. But that really won’t matter much on Thursday. Most importantly is how well he can locate his four-seam fastball, which opponents hit only .152 against in 2022. Castillo will toss any of his four pitches at any time (fastball, sinker, slider, change), but against the Astros, who are adept at fouling off pitches, he’ll be forced at times to throw a fastball by a few Houston batters.
Valdez had a masterful season, setting an MLB record with 25 consecutive quality starts from late April to mid-September. Perhaps troubling is his 5.74 ERA in the last three starts of the regular season. Did Valdez tire under the strain of pitching 6+ innings pretty much all season? We shall see what the lefthander has in store for the M’s in Game 2. In two starts against Seattle, Valdez wasn’t exactly lights out: he gave up six earned in 13 2/3, though he did fan 15 batters. A key to beating Valdez is putting the ball in play because batters are not going to go deep. The 28-year old allowed just 11 homers.
Houston Astros designated hitter Yordan Alvarez (44) celebrates after hitting a three-run, walkoff home run against the Seattle Mariners during the ninth inning in Game 1 of an American League Division Series baseball game in Houston,Tuesday, Oct. 11, 2022. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
Astros, Mariners ALDS Game 2 Prediction
Day off or no day off, that Game 1 loss is hard for the Mariners to digest. Will there be a hangover from that gut-punch loss? The M’s are professionals, but it’s hard not to be a bit weary after losing a game that seemed in your pocket.
Houston is the best team not located in California. They have a relentless lineup, they field and throw the ball well, run the bases smartly, and their pitching staff might be the best 1-13 in the game. The way Dusty Baker’s team won the opener, on a home run by their biggest bat, nonetheless, bodes well for the team to roll on this postseason. We like Houston to win Game 2 and push the game total Over the 6.5 listed by FanDuel.