Seattle Mariners (66-50 SU, 56-60 ATS, 57-57-2 O/U) at Houston Astros (73-43 SU, 60-56 ATS, 51-59-6 O/U)
When and Where: Friday, Aug. 10, Minute Maid Park, Houston, Texas, 8:10 p.m. EDT.
Gerrit Cole is not in a pitching funk, but the power pitcher has had few wins to show for his efforts of late as he leads the Houston Astros into the second game of their four-game set versus the Seattle Mariners on Friday night.
Mariners’ Leake again tries to end lengthy winless drought
Mike Leake (8-7, 4.16 ERA) has been stuck on eight wins for the since defeating the Boston Red Sox on June 23 as he takes the ball for the Mariners.
The right-hander is 0-3 with a 4.23 ERA in his last seven starts, with opponents hitting .319 in that span by racking up 53 hits in 40 innings. Leake did not get a decision Sunday versus Toronto, yielding three runs and nine hits over 6 2-3 innings before the Mariners recorded a 6-3 victory.
Leake has given up more than three runs just twice in those seven starts, but Seattle has failed to back him with more than three runs in any of those outings. One of the three losses came July 31 to the Astros after he gave up a tie-breaking home run to Evan Gattis and allowed three runs over six innings of a 5-2 defeat.
The righty is hoping facing the Astros in Houston for the first time in five years will provide a better outcome after dropping both his starts against them at Safeco Field, giving up eight runs and 15 hits in 12 innings of those defeats. While pitching for the Cincinnati Reds, Leake won his last four road starts versus the Astros, conceding just five runs in 29 innings for a 1.55 ERA.
Overall, he is 6-5 with a 3.67 ERA in 12 starts against Houston. Gattis has been feast or famine versus the righty as both his hits in 13 at-bats are home runs. Carlos Correa, who could be activated from the disabled list after missing all of July with a sore back, is 1 for 3 with a double.
Cole looks for run support to avoid third straight loss
Gerrit Cole (10-4, 2.46 ERA) has not pitched all that badly over his last seven starts but has just one win to show for it as he takes the mound for Houston.
The right-hander has lost back-to-back starts for the first time this season after being on the short end of a 3-2 loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers on Sunday. Cole was reached for three runs and six hits in five innings, with the two he allowed in the first proving too much to overcome.
Fourth in the American League with 202 strikeouts through games played Wednesday but only five behind leader Chris Sale, Cole fanned eight Sunday and has struck out 56 in just 40 2-3 innings over his last seven starts while going 1-3 with a 2.88 ERA.
This will also be his first start at Minute Maid Park since the All-Star break, having made his last three starts on the road. Cole is 4-1 with a 2.52 ERA in 10 home starts, holding opposing hitters to a .170 batting average while amassing 95 strikeouts in 64 1-3 innings for a rate of 13.29 per nine innings.
Cole split two starts against the Mariners this year, both at Safeco Field. He was a tough-luck loser in the most recent outing July 30, saddled with the loss in a 2-0 defeat after allowing both runs and four hits over 6 2-3 innings. Cole is 2-1 with a 1.19 ERA in three career starts versus Seattle.
Jean Segura has had some success versus the righty with three doubles among his nine hits in 29 at-bats. Dee Gordon is 8 for 22, with all of his hits singles. While Leake will not bat against him since the AL has the DH, he did take Cole deep while they were both in the National League.
The Astros are:
- 6-1 in Cole’s last seven home starts.
- 9-3 in Cole’s last 12 starts vs. AL West opponents.
- 36-16 in their last 52 games vs. starters with a WHIP above 1.30.
- The under is 5-1-1 in Cole’s last seven starts vs. AL West opponents.
- The under is 3-0-1 in Cole’s last four starts vs. above-.500 teams.
- The under is 5-2 in their last seven games.
The Mariners are:
- 3-8 in their last 11 road games.
- 2-9 in their last 11 games following a win.
- 0-4 in their last four during game 2 of a series.
- The under is 4-1 in Leake’s last five starts vs. above-.500 teams.
- The under is 4-1 in Leake’s last five Friday starts.
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
Though it is a small sample size of three starts, with two coming this season, Cole has yet to have a bad outing versus the Mariners. It is also his first start in a month at home, where he has been solid all season and gone 4-0 with a 2.91 ERA in his last seven starts. He’s due for a win and an overpowering outing.
Prediction: Pick: Astros -215
Full-Game Total Pick
Cole has given up only two runs in his last three home starts, but he also has not pitched beyond six innings in any of them. Still, his worst outing at home was when he gave up four runs and that happened only once.
Leake has yielded two runs or fewer in six of his last seven road starts, but it is also his first one outside Safeco Field in nearly a month.
Prediction: Pick: UNDER 7.5 runs
Full-Game Prop Bet
Cole is sporting a 0.99 WHIP, and while Leake’s ratio of 1.30 cancels that out to a degree, both pitchers know how to keep runs off the scoreboard. That will help mitigate some of the damage when Leake gives up a hit an inning and keep the overall count down.
Prediction: Pick: UNDER 24.5 runs+hits+errors (-115)
First Five Innings Side Pick
If the Mariners do not get to Cole in the first inning, chances are they will not get much off him in the next four either as he owns a sub-2.75 ERA in each inning from the second through the fifth. His 3.91 ERA in the first frame is not too bad either.
Prediction: Pick: Astros -0.5 runs (-145)
First Five Innings Total Bet
While Cole has been solid all season, Leake is one of those pitchers who works in and out of trouble. He has allowed 9.85 hits per nine innings, and the Astros have reached him for eight runs and 15 hits in 12 innings this year. Taking the under here may be one you sweat out for a win.
Prediction: Pick: UNDER 4 runs (-120)
First Five Innings Prop Prediction
Cole’s 3.91 ERA in the first inning is solid, but the one area Leake outperforms him is in the opening frame. The Mariners pitcher has a very respectable 3.13 ERA and has not allowed a first-inning run in his last four starts overall and in both games against Houston this year.
Prediction: Pick: NO to a first-inning run (-145)