Astros vs Mariners Preview and Prediction: Keuchel hopes to get on track
Astros vs Mariners Preview
Dallas Keuchel is the only member of the Astros rotation without a victory under his belt in 2018. He hopes that will change as the Astros (10-6) head to Seattle to take on another talented left-hander and the Seattle Mariners (8-5).
The 2015 AL Cy Young Award winner, is 0-2 with a 4.20 ERA this season, struggling with location and placement of his pitches.
In 15 career appearances against the Mariners, including 14 starts, he’s 8-5 with a 2.70 ERA.
Keuchel pitched just four innings in his last start, a 4-1 loss at Minnesota, and walked four batters for the second straight appearance.
“Teams are giving me the opportunity to get ahead (in the count) and I’m just behind on a few guys,” Keuchel said after his last start. “I’ve got to attack the zone and make more quality pitches and be more competitive early to get them on the defense. When you get major league hitters on the defense, your chances at success go skyrocketing up.”
Keuchel is scheduled to be opposed by Seattle’s James Paxton (0-1, 5.74 ERA). Paxton has made eight starts against the Astros in his career, going 3-3 with a 3.38 ERA.
Paxton took a no-decision Wednesday at Kansas City when he allowed two runs and six hits in six innings of a 4-2 win. He allowed two runs for the second straight start and struck out 10.
He hasn’t performed well to start the season, but the Astros DH Evan Gattis can be the X-Factor in this matchup. Currently hitting .195 with zero home runs and five RBIs to start the year, Gattis has seen his playing time dwindle in the midst of this slump. Known as a slow-starter, Gattis should be in the starting lineup tonight against Paxton. For his career, Gattis is hitting .316 against the left-hander with three RBIs. If he can provide production at the tail-end of the lineup, the Astros should walk away victorious in this matchup.
Seattle gets their hitter back
Nelson Cruz is expected to start in this game after being activated from the disabled list yesterday. In his career, he has dominated Dallas Keuchel, owning a .333 BA with three home runs and 6 RBIs. Keuchel will need to figure him out for the Astros to win this game.
Keuchel finds his groove and continues his winning ways against Seattle.
Astros 6 Mariners 4