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Astros vs Mariners ALDS preview: Justin Verlander looms large

HOUSTON, TEXAS - OCTOBER 04: Justin Verlander #35 of the Houston Astros walks to the dugout at the end of the first inning during the game against the Philadelphia Phillies at Minute Maid Park on October 04, 2022 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Logan Riely/Getty Images)
HOUSTON, TEXAS - OCTOBER 04: Justin Verlander #35 of the Houston Astros walks to the dugout at the end of the first inning during the game against the Philadelphia Phillies at Minute Maid Park on October 04, 2022 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Logan Riely/Getty Images) /
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The Houston Astros waited all weekend to see who they would be facing in the ALDS this week and that team will be the Seattle Mariners. The M’s swept the Toronto Blue Jays on the road in a best-of-3 series and will now travel to Houston for a best-of-5 series against the Astros.

The Astros went 12-7 against the Mariners this year, but the regular season simply doesn’t matter when it’s October. It’s not about who you play, it’s all about who’s hot at the right time.

When you compare both of these teams from hitting to pitching, the Astros have the upper hand — but not by a lot. The Mariners are coming off a 10-9 comeback victory after being down 8-1 to win game 2, this clubhouse has a lot of momentum on their side, and hope to keep it like that for this series.

With no confirmed starting pitching matchups, let’s take a look at the possible pitching matchups for the ALDS.

When do the Astros and Mariners play in the ALDS?

Game 1, 2:37 PM CT (3:37 ET) TBS

Justin Verlander (HOU) vs George Kirby (SEA)

Game 2, 2:37 PM CT (3:37 ET) TBS

Framber Valdez (HOU) vs Luis Castillo (SEA)

Game 3, Time TBD, TBS

Lance McCullers Jr. (HOU) vs Robbie Ray (SEA)

Game 4 (If Necessary), Time TBD, TBS

Luis Garcia (HOU) vs Logan Gilbert (SEA)

Game 5 (If Necessary), Time TBD, TBS

Justin Verlander (HOU) vs Luis Castillo (SEA)

Obviously, these matchups can change due to game situations if a team is facing elimination. Justin Verlander (who CtH believes should be the Cy Young Award winner) coming back just in time for the playoffs is huge for Houston. Although he only missed one start, his presence on the mound is much needed if the Astros want to make a World Series run.

My two players to watch for this series are the two rookies, Julio Rodriguez of the Mariners and Jeremy Pena of the Houston Astros.

"Ranking Houston Astros’ most favorable playoff matchups"

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