Mariners vs Astros ALDS Game 1 Picks and Predictions: Verlander is Automatic

The Astros welcome the upstart Mariners to Houston in Game 1 of the ALDS on Tuesday afternoon. Justin Verlander, who absolutely cruised through Seattle in the regular season, is the source of our best bet today as he aims to go deep once again.

Oct 11, 2022 • 12:27 ET • 4 min read
Justin Verlander Houston Astros MLB
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The Seattle Mariners capped off their Wild Card Series victory over the Toronto Blue Jays with arguably the greatest comeback in baseball postseason history. And what is their reward (Besides at least one home game that their playoff-starved fans deserve)?

That's right, a date with the best team in the American League and the likely winner of the Cy Young Award — the Houston Astros and Justin Verlander — in the American League Division Series. 

The Astros earned their first-round bye thanks to winning 106 games on their way to the AL West crown with plenty of meetings with the Mariners along the way. In fact, Verlander made six starts against Seattle this season, a matchup that did not go well for the Mariners. 

So, it should come as no shock that my best bet involves the Astros ace. Find out what it is in today’s MLB betting picks and predictions for Mariners vs. Astros.

Mariners vs Astros best odds

Mariners vs Astros picks and predictions

It was another incredible season for future Hall-of-Fame hurler Justin Verlander, made all the more incredible by the fact that this is his age-39 season and he hadn't pitched for the bulk of two years due to Tommy John surgery.

The right-hander pitched to an MLB-leading 1.75 ERA with a 0.83 WHIP while striking out 185 batters in 175 innings of work. And he limited opponents to one earned run or fewer 19 times in his 28 starts. 

Six of those starts came against the Mariners. And boy, did they hate seeing Verlander for the most part. Outside of one bad first inning against the M’s back in May, the veteran has been extremely effective in silencing the Seattle lineup.

Verlander posted a 2.34 ERA and a 0.92 WHIP while striking out 10.9 batters per nine innings, averaging over seven innings per start, and limiting the M’s to a .210 batting average. Not too shabby.

Tuesday, he’ll take the mound against a Mariners team that is riding a wave of momentum, but outside of Julio Rodriguez, this lineup doesn’t have a ton of pop. In the regular season, the Mariners ranked 27th in batting average and 15th in OPS when facing right-handed pitching. 

The Mariners could be in for a bit of an emotional letdown after the way they advanced. Verlander and the Astros are rested and focused. On top of that, he’s a proven postseason performer. Expect JV to get his team off to a good start in this series and pitch deep into Game 1.

My best bet: Justin Verlander Over 17.5 outs recorded (-135)

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Mariners vs Astros ALDS odds

Teams Odds to win series
Steelers Seattle Mariners +175
Browns Houston Astros -210

Mariners vs Astros moneyline analysis

The Astros opened Game 1 as -215 home favorites and that hasn’t stopped baseball bettors from moving the line to -230.

That’s partly because of Verlander getting the ball. The other part is because the Mariners will counter Verlander with Logan Gilbert. While the sophomore right-hander has great stuff and had solid numbers against the Astros this season, this is his first career postseason start. On top of that, he pitches to a fair amount of contact, giving up a .242 batting average to opponents. That may not play so well against Houston.

This is an Astros lineup that somehow ranks fourth in home runs while striking out the second-fewest in baseball. Houston also employs a bullpen that is just as strong, if not stronger than Seattle’s. 

Even though the Mariners will be confident heading into this matchup, the Astros have the edge in almost every category. Making it even harder to consider fading Verlander here. There is little value on the moneyline but the Astros’ run line is worth a look. 

Mariners vs Astros Over/Under analysis

It’s always hard to feel comfortable betting on these low postseason totals, and we get another one of 6.5 in Game 1 between the Mariners and Astros.

It’s not shocking to see a number like that with Verlander on the mound, but Gilbert did his part this season to contribute to that low number. The right-hander had a breakout season, pitching to a 3.20 ERA, and a 1.18 WHIP. That includes a 2.52 ERA and a 1.08 WHIP over four starts against the Astros.

Mix in the two great bullpens and it’s easy to see why the total is so low here. The Astros are more than capable of sending this game above the number themselves. I’d rather stay away than start a sweat with pitch No. 1.

Mariners vs Astros trend to know

The Mariners 19-48 in the last 67 meetings against the Astros. Find more MLB betting trends for Mariners vs. Astros

Mariners vs Astros game info

Location: Minute Maid Park, Houston, TX
Date: Tuesday, October 11, 2022
First pitch: 3:37 p.m. ET

Starting pitchers

Logan Gilbert (13-6, 3.20 ERA): Gilbert closed the season strong, pitching to a 2.00 ERA, limiting opponents to a .195 batting average, while striking out 41 batters in 36 innings of work over his last six starts.

Justin Verlander (18-4, 1.75 ERA): This will be the fifth Game 1 Verlander has started for the Astros. He has an impressive 2.22 ERA and a 0.90 WHIP over those four starts, pitching at least into the sixth inning in all four.

Mariners vs Astros latest injuries

Find our latest MLB injury reports.

Mariners vs Astros weather

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