The ALDS series between the Mariners and Astros begins on Tuesday at Minute Maid Park in Houston, and the entire WynnBET trading room will be pulling hard for Seattle.
That’s because WynnBET was one of the books to take a hefty futures bet from Jim “Mattress Mack” McIngvale back on May 13. Mack owns a $1 million ticket that will pay 12/1 if the Astros win the World Series.
Eleven wins from Houston is all that stands between WynnBET and a massive $12 million liability.
The Astros are massive favorites with a series price of -250 while the Mariners are at +200. These teams haven’t played since July 31, but Houston dominated the regular season matchups with a 12-7 record, including a 6-1 stretch over most recent seven games.
Houston is the American League’s No. 1 seed after posting a 106-56 record, cruising to a fifth AL West title in six years. From Sept. 1 to the end of the regular season, Houston ranked fifth in wRC+ (114) and first in FIP (2.68). Suffice to say, the Astros pitching staff has been lights out.
Expected American League Cy Young Justin Verlander will start for the Astros in Game 1. At the spry age of 39, Verlander accumulated an incredible 5.9 WAR and a 1.75 ERA in 28 starts. He was masterful in his six starts against Seattle, allowing two earned runs or less in five of those six starts and pitching at least seven innings in four.
Verlander will likely be followed in the rotation by Framber Valdez (2.82 ERA) and Lance McCullers Jr. (2.27 ERA) while being backed by a juggernaut of a lineup headlined by Alex Bregman, Jose Altuve and Yordan Alvarez.
Not to be slept on, the Mariners arrive in the ALDS by way of a thrilling 2-0 road series win over Toronto in the Wild Card Round. Seattle overcame an 8-1 deficit on Saturday to win Game 2, 10-9, and scored a collective 14 runs over the pair of wins against the Blue Jays.
Logan Gilbert will start for the Mariners in Game 1 with prized trade deadline acquisition Luis Castillo starting Game 2. Gilbert made four starts against the Astros this season with mostly positive results. He posted a quality start in all four outings, allowing two earned runs or less in three of them. His best results came back on May 28 when he threw seven scoreless innings while giving up just four hits and striking out five. That was a game Seattle won 6-0.
Castillo is coming off an immaculate outing in Game 1 against Toronto last Friday. He went 7.1 scoreless with five strikeouts in Seattle’s 4-0 win.
The winner of this series will play the winner of Guardians-Yankees in the other side of the bracket. Houston will own home field advantage in the ALCS regardless. Looking ahead, only the Dodgers would claim home field advantage over the Astros in the World Series.
But even as the largest favorites of any team in the Divisional Round, Seattle will certainly make Houston earn it over the upcoming five-game series. And you can bet those in the WynnBET trading room will be cheering outwardly for the Mariners to pull off the improbable upset against the Astros and, by extension, Mack’s lucrative World Series future.