MLB American League Division Series Best Bets: Astros Receive the Mariners on Game 1

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Logan Gilbert #36 of the Seattle Mariners pitches against San Diego Padres. Denis Poroy/Getty Images/AFP.

Top sportsbooks have released their MLB odds for today’s baseball action. One game that interests me as worth investing in is the ALDS series-opener between Seattle and Houston.

The Mariners are coming off a sweep of Toronto. While the Mariners are more well-rested for having needed only two games to handle the Blue Jays, the Astros are entering today’s game, having gained even more rest than Seattle. However, this may be a case of there being too much of a good thing: Houston has not played since October 5.

For reasons that I will explain, you should play both spread and total for this game at one of our best sportsbooks.

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Seattle Mariners vs. Houston Astros

Tuesday, October 11, 2022 – 03:37 PM EDT at Minute Maid Park

Who Pitches for the Mariners Today?

Logan Gilbert starts for Seattle today.

The fact that Gilbert is facing a familiar opponent will not exercise any negative influence on the result of whether this game goes over or under the posted total. Whereas the "Under" hits in 58.1% of his starts overall, the "Under" hits in 69.2% of his starts against division rivals.

While Astros' batters are certainly familiar with Gilbert, Gilbert is also familiar with Astros' batters and, individually, he has been no worse off for facing them multiple times this season.

Gilbert's Form

Gilbert enters today's game in great form. He has allowed one run or zero runs in five of his last six starts.

The quality of Gilbert's different pitches largely explains his success. While this is true of any successful pitcher, the upshot of Gilbert's pitch quality is that he has a greater margin of error in terms of where he locates his pitches.

In other words, he can more easily locate his pitches in dangerous parts of the strike zone without being punished for it. Whereas this is not true so much for plate-nibblers and the like, it is for Gilbert.

Gilbert's Favorite Pitches

Primarily, Gilbert throws a fastball. He throws this pitch more than half the time. As heat maps show, he is fine throwing it in the middle parts of the plate. Gilbert's fastball is hard to hit because of its velocity. It averages 96.1 mph.

His fastball, though, is not his best pitch. When an opponent does make contact with his heater and does end up on base, he ably resolves by throwing other pitches. The slider is Gilbert's second-most frequent pitch.

Again, he often leaves it in the middle of the plate, but opponents still struggle to deal with it. This pitch yields a .223 BA and .335 slugging rate. It plays well off his fastball because he typically keeps it low while he likes to elevate his fastball.

In addition to playing both pitches well off each other by changing the batter's eye level, Gilbert uses both pitches to create a change of pace that keeps the batter off-balance. This change of pace is a product of the 10-mph velocity differential between both pitches.

Well-Rested Gilbert

Gilbert's form, including the pitches that he favors, will continue to be top-notch because he enjoys his ideal situation in terms of rest.

His ERA is at its best when he goes six or more days in between starts. With this much rest, his ERA is 2.91.

Conversely, bats can easily get rusty when they are not swung for some time. Houston may suffer offensively for not having played in the Wild Card Round. This circumstance is a bonus consideration that, if anything, will further favor Gilbert.

Who Pitches for the Astros Today?

Justin Verlander starts for the Astros today.

Despite regularly getting dealt low totals by MLB oddsmakers, Verlander is a strong "Under" pitcher. It is hitting 74.1% of his starts.

Like Gilbert, he is a solid "Under" pitcher against division rivals. He is also in an ideal spot in terms of rest because his career ERA is 2.89 when he pitches off six or more days of rest.

Verlander's Form

Verlander enters today's game in great form. He has not allowed more than 2 runs in a start since August 16, and he has not allowed over 3 runs since June 18.

His consistency makes him a uniquely reliable "Under" pitcher.

Verlander Against Mariners' Batters

In addition to being consistently superb overall, Verlander is consistently excellent against the Mariners, especially in Houston.

This year, he has faced them in Houston three times. On May 4, he suffered his worst home start against them, allowing 2 runs in 6.2 innings. After this game, he allowed a combined total of 2 runs in 14.2 innings when Seattle visited Houston.

Mariners vs. Astros: The Verdict

With our MLB picks in mind, I prefer the full-game "Under" for this game because both pitchers reliably last 6 or more innings.

Both bullpens are also two of the best at limiting runs. In such a low-scoring and competitive game, it feels like a steal to get the underdog run line at a cheap price.

MLB Pick: Under 6.5 (+100) at BetOnline (visit our BetOnline Review)

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Under 6.5 (+100)
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MLB Pick: Mariners RL +1.5 (-120) at BetOnline

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Mariners RL +1.5 (-120)
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*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.