After a gut-wrenching Game 1 American League Divisional Series loss to the Houston Astros, the Seattle Mariners will look to even the series on Thursday with their prized trade deadline acquisition getting the start.
Seattle Mariners vs. Houston Astros (-155, 7)
Luis Castillo will provide an encore of his first career postseason start, in which he went 7 1/3 innings scoreless in a road win vs. the Toronto Blue Jays.
Overall, Castillo has a 2.86 ERA in 12 starts as a Mariner, with a career-low 2.1 walks per nine innings and six home runs allowed across 72 2/3 innings.
The Astros counter with Framber Valdez, who at one point this season had a 25-start streak in which he logged at least six innings and surrendered three runs or fewer.
Overall, Valdez leads qualifying American League pitchers with 0.5 home runs per nine innings allowed. In his nine career pitching appearances vs. Seattle, he has allowed three runs or fewer in every one of them, leading to a 1.94 ERA.
The Mariners have the American League’s worst batting average since the All-Star break but are second in the American League in home runs on a per at-bat basis.
With the Astros owning the league’s best bullpen ERA and the Mariners unlikely to stray away from their main bullpen pieces, which led to the team being seventh in bullpen ERA after the All-Star break, Thursday’s Game 2 sets up for a pitchers’ duel.
The Play: Mariners vs. Astros Under 7