ALDS preview: Astros have pitching advantage over Mariners
The Houston Astros are set to take on familiar foe, Seattle Mariners, in the best-of-five American League Divisional Series beginning Tuesday. Success in the postseason has, and always will, come down to one thing: pitching. So, which side has the edge?
Astros vs. Mariners ALDS rotation comparison
It’s pretty easy to identify which staff has the best overall pitcher and that’s the Astros Justin Verlander. The guy, who we all at CtH think is the sure-fire Cy Young winner, posted an 18-4 record with a 1.75 ERA and 185 strikeouts. At 39 years old, the Ageless Wonder put up video game numbers.
The Mariners traded for their own ace at the deadline and he’s not too far off from Verlander. Luis Castillo has been incredible for the Mariners since he came over from Cincinnati. the stat line isn’t as pretty as Verlander’s, but if his 7.1 innings of shutout baseball in the first Wildcard game tell us anything, it’s that he’s ready for the big moments.
Unfortunately for the fans, the two aces won’t go head-to-head unless we see a Game 5.
The good thing for both teams is once the aces pitch, the drop off is very slight if there is any at all. Both the Astros and the Mariners rank in the Top 10 when it comes to starting pitching, according to MLB.com. The Astros have a 2.90 team ERA and the Mariners aren’t far behind at 3.59.
Not only do the Astros have the numbers on their side but also the experience. Verlander and Lance McCullers, Jr. were on the team in 2017 and have found success in the postseason. You can throw the numbers out the window, it comes down to experience to win it all, and the Astros have just that.
Astros vs. Mariners ALDS bullpen comparison
Statistically, these bullpens are very similar. Similar in the fact that neither of these bullpens likes to give up runs. The Astros bullpen ERA is the best in the MLB at 2.80 and, like the starting staff, The Mariners aren’t far behind at 3.33.
Two players on each team will determine the success of these bullpens in the ALDS. For the Astros, it’s Ryne Stanek and Ryan Pressly. For the Mariners, it’s Paul Sewald and Diego Castillo.
Stanek was lights out for Houston all year long. a 1.15 ERA in the back end of the bullpen is a nightmare for any team to spark a rally. His running mate, Pressly was scorching hot to end the year. He notched 5 saves in his last seven appearance to cap off a solid 2022 for the closer.
On the flip side, Sewald was the opposite. In his last seven innings of the regular season, he allowed four runs on seven hits and had a 5.14 ERA to show for it. Not to mention, he gave up four run in Game 2 of the Wildcard in Toronto.
This is why I won’t be surprised if the Mariners turn to Castillo late in games. Castillo ended the year on a tear with a 1.35 ERA in his last seven outings.
Both of these bullpens have the ability to be great and we’ve seen throughout the regular season. When it comes dow to it, The Astros have more guys to trust in the big moments.
Although I believe the Astros have the edge when it comes to who is on the mound, one thing is for sure: it’s going to be hard to to score runs when the ALDS begins.
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