Astros vs Mariners Picks and Predictions: Runs at a Premium in McCullers-Flexen Duel

After blowing a huge lead in an embarrassing loss Monday, can the Astros bounce back and end Seattle's four-game winning streak? Find out with our Astros vs. Mariners picks for what will be a low-scoring game in a Lance McCullers and Chris Flexen duel.

Zachary Cohen
Posted: Jul 27, 2021 10:45 AM ET Updated: Jul 27, 2021 10:45 AM ET Est Time: 4 min
Lance McCullers Jr. Houston Astros MLB
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports

The Seattle Mariners will look to stay hot after a monster comeback win over the Houston Astros extended their winning streak to four games.

Monday's series opener appeared over early with Houston getting out to an 8-0 lead, but the pesky Mariners stormed back and completed the come-from-behind victory with a four-run eighth inning to win 11-8. The win moved Seattle one-game back of the division-rival Athletics for the second-wild spot in the AL. Despite the strong run, Seattle will once again be a large +145 home underdog Tuesday.

Find out who we like in free MLB betting picks and predictions for Astros vs. Mariners on July 27. 

Astros vs Mariners game info

Location: T-Mobile Park, Seattle, WA
Date: Tuesday, July 27, 2021
Time: 10:10 p.m. ET
TV: ROOT NW, ATT SportsNet-SW

Astros vs Mariners odds

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Starting pitchers

Lance McCullers (7-2, 3.04 ERA): McCullers has been pegged as a breakout candidate almost every year of his career, but this seems to finally be the season he’s putting it all together. The righty has a great win-loss record and the best ERA of his six-year career, and he also comes into this game after having struck out eight or more batters in each of his last four starts. He had given up two or fewer earned runs in six straight before surrendering four to the Cleveland Indians on July 21. 

Chris Flexen (9-4, 3.35 ERA): Flexen has given up only eight earned runs over his last 45 innings on the mound, and he maintains that level of effectiveness while not being a strikeout-heavy pitcher. Earlier in the season, the righty pitched six innings of one-run ball against this Astros team, and he did that while giving up 10 hits in that game. That type of damage control isn’t exactly common, so he’ll be hoping to put fewer runners on this time around. 

Weather

Be sure to monitor the gametime conditions with our MLB weather info.

Key injuries

Astros: Alex Bregman 3B (Out), Pedro Baez RP (Out), Josh James RP (Out).
Mariners: Evan White 1B (Out), Kyle Lewis OF (Out), Ken Giles RP (Out).
Find our latest MLB injury reports.

Betting trend to know

The Astros are 5-1 in their last six games as road favorites. Find more MLB betting trends for Astros vs. Mariners.

Moneyline pick

Houston was only able to score one run on 10 hits the last time it faced Flexen. That’s not great execution at the plate, and the Astros know that they need to be much better when they have runners on against the righty. Flexen doesn’t strike out a lot of batters, but he normally gets the exact type of contact he’s looking for.

Still, some of these guys have had success against him, with Michael Brantley being 2-for-3 with a double against Flexen, and Carlos Correa is 2-for-5 with an RBI. Don’t be surprised if somebody breaks through and hits a homer off him. Perhaps it’ll be Kyle Tucker, who is hitting .290 with 12 homers and 33 RBIs against righties this year. 

If the Astros are able to score three or four runs against Flexen in this game, one would think that McCullers would be able to secure the win for them. He's the right guy to get the ball after Monday's embarrassing defeat.

On the season, the righty is 5-0 with a 2.66 ERA in road starts, and he’s also 5-1 when pitching at night. He has tremendous stuff and is starting to really get more confident out on the hill. Also, of the 71 at-bats the Mariners have had against him, the team’s combined batting average is just .141 and that group has combined to hit only one homer off McCullers. Seattle has struggled against righties, too, ranking last in the AL in batting average and 27th in the majors in OPS.

PREDICTION: Astros (-164)

Over/Under pick

The Astros are likely going to get more runs in against Flexen than they did last time, but that doesn’t mean you can expect a signature performance from this Houston offense.

The Astros are the best hitting team in baseball this year, but the Seattle righty has been unbelievable at limiting damage all year. He has shown time and time again that his version of a bad outing is something like three or four earned runs.

McCullers, meanwhile, just gave up four earned runs, but he was rolling before that. Look for him to get right back to it and turn in a solid start here. 

PREDICTION: Under 8.5 (-120)

Astros vs Mariners betting card

  • Astros (-164)
  • Under 8.5 (-120)

Picks made on 7/27/2021 at 9:08 a.m. ET

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