Mariners face Houston with playoff hopes on the line

This weekend, the Seattle Mariners will host the Houston Astros for a three game series that has both teams playoff hopes on the line.

Houston enters Seattle having lost six of their last ten and hold a 5-8 record in the month of September. As a result, the Astros have plummeted in the standings and desperately need a sweep of the M’s to get themselves back into the playoff discussion.

Meanwhile, the M’s are entering this game playing out of their minds. They’ve won nine of their last ten games and are currently 10-3 in the month September. Seattle is enters the weekend in the middle of a nine game winning streak that has the team within two games of a playoff spot; this winning streak has also seen their odds of reaching the playoffs increase to a little over 29%.

Both teams desperately need a series win, with Houston probably needing a sweep to even have a chance at the playoffs, to increase their odds of making the playoffs.

Unfortunately for the Astros, MVP candidate Jose Altuve has an injured oblique muscle and his ability to play this weekend is in doubt. Even once he is cleared to play, an injured oblique takes a lot of time to heal and it’s an injury that has historically impacted other players performance on the field while they recover. That’s going to put more offensive pressure on George Springer and Luis Valbuena to produce offensively. It’s not an ideal situation for a fringe playoff contender to be in.

Probable starting pitchers

Friday, September 16th at 7:30 PM

Houston: Collin McHugh — 4.11 FIP, strikes out 22.5% of opposing batters

Seattle: Felix Hernandez — 4.55 FIP, strikes out 19.4% of opposing batters

Saturday, September 17th at 6:10 PM

Houston: Mike Fiers — 4.65 FIP, strikes out 17.7% of opposing batters

Seattle: James Paxton — 3.02 FIP, strikes out 21.2% of opposing batters

Sunday, September 18th at 1:10 PM

Houston: Doug Fister — 4.62 FIP, strikes out 14.7% of opposing batters.

Seattle: Ariel Miranda — 5.04 FIP, strikes out 17.4% of opposing batters:


[twitter-follow screen_name=’sportswithneil’] [twitter-follow screen_name=’nvr93′]