Matchup of the Day: 6.5.18 SEA x HOU

Photo Credit: NCW

by: Justin Jones @jjones217

The Seattle Mariners (38-22) will take on the Houston Astros (37-25) in Houston at Minute Maid Park. 

This will be the final of a two-game series. The Mariners and Astros are at the top of the American League West being in first and second place respectively. The Mariners will look to get the sweep after last night's win. This matchup will have Wade Leblanc (1-0) against Lance McCullers Jr. (7-3).

Seattle Mariners

The Mariners offense is getting plenty of hits, ranked as the fifth best batting average, but does not always get them across the plate being 13th in the league in runs scored. Shortstop Jean Segura leads this offense with a .333 batting average and makes those hits count with 38 RBI's - which puts him second behind team RBI leader Mitch Haniger at 42. Kyle Seager, Dee Gordon, and Nelson Cruz are also a large part of this offense. Last night the Mariners offense got off to a quick start and will look to continue that tonight.

Wade Leblanc gets the start for the Mariners. He currently has a 2.60 ERA and has moved from the bullpen earlier this year to a starters role. Leblanc got six starts in May and went anywhere between 5-6 innings without giving up more than two earned runs. Earlier this year he made two relief appearances against Houston, pitching two innings in both of them. The first appearance he only gave up one walk and struck out one. His second appearance did not go so well. He gave up five hits and two walks, allowing four earned runs.

Houston Astros

The Astros will look to chip away at the Mariners lead tonight. They are ninth in batting average but third in runs scored, so they are making the hits count. The offense is led by the usual Jose Altuve, Carlos Correa, and George Springer who are hitting remarkably well this year. Evan Gattis could be a wildcard in this game as he has done really well against Leblanc. He is 4 for 7 with 2 HRs and a 2.143 OPS. He could be one to watch tonight.

Lance McCullers Jr. and his 3.89 ERA will get the start tonight. He will look to get the lead in wins for the club tonight as he is tied with Justin Verlander and Charlie Morton. McCullers Jr. dominated the Mariners in their last outing by pitching seven innings and striking out 11. He gave up one hit, one walk, and one run.

Keys to success

The Mariners will need their offense to score big like they did last night which will be difficult against McCullers Jr. They will also need Lablanc to start like he has been and keep runs to a minimum.

The Astros will need to get the offense heating up. Most importantly though. McCullers will need to go out there and keep the game in reach for the offense.

Final Thoughts

This divisional matchup should be a good one to watch as the Astros look to close the gap and the Mariners look to pull ahead.

This game will be broadcast on local networks and on for out of market coverage.

Who do you think will win? Let us know in the comments!

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