Seattle Mariners (47-66) vs. Houston Astros (72-40)
August 4th at 2:10 ET (Minute Maid Park)
ML: Mariners (+195) Astros (-220)
RL: Mariners (+1.5) Astros (-1.5) O/U: 10.5
Jeff Luhnow deserves a huge round of applause. He decided to pounce on the opportunity to acquire struggling pitcher Aaron Sanchez from the Toronto Blue Jays. Days later, he was the starting pitcher to lead the Astros to their 12th no-hitter in franchise history. Sanchez (6 IP, 6 SO), Will Harris, Joe Biagni (also acquired in the Sanchez trade), and Chris Devenski all combined to throw the no-hitter on Saturday night. Luhnow took a chance on a pitcher who has flashed potential over the course of his career, and was rewarded for taking a chance. Behind Justin Verlander, Gerrit Cole, and Wade Miley the Astros rotation had question marks. After Luhnow worked some magic, he now hopes the rotation is set with stud RHP Zack Greinke and a reborn Aaron Sanchez. The Astros offense took care of business, scoring 9 runs which was plenty of run support, and have already won the series.
Astros are one of the best teams in baseball. They are Top 5 in World Series odds to win it all. A series against the last place team in the division is a good chance to build a bigger cushion. So far, the Astros are getting the job done. Their pitching and batting have been on point. The pitching staff has only allowed two runs. The offense has supplied 19 runs. That ratio will lead to many wins. In addition, the Astros could be more pumped up then ever after their dynamic acquisitions. That could inject the urgency into the players that they are in win-now mode.
At least we can say the Mariners tried. This series has been one to forget. After starter Yusei Kikuchi allowed six runs in Friday's start, the offense couldn't climb out of that deficit. Seattle lost 10-2 in Game 1 of the series. Then, in Game 2, Seattle had a chance to start fresh. A chance to tie up the series with the division leaders, and make a statement win. Newly acquired Aaron Sanchez had other plans. He pitched like an ace. Shutting down the Mariner offense, and leading the no-hitter. The Astros offense once again struck early and often, racking up 9 runs against a below average Mariners pitching squad.
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