MLB Game Preview - Houston at Seattle
Tue Sep 24, 2019 10:10 PM EDT

PHI
1
WAS
4
F
MIL
4
CIN
2
F
MIN
4
DET
2
F
CHC
2
PIT
9
F
PHI
5
WAS
6
F
BAL
11
TOR
4
F
MIA
4
NYM
5
F(11)
NYY
1
TB
2
F(12)
BOS
12
TEX
10
F
CLE
11
CHW
0
F
ATL
6
KC
9
F
STL
2
ARI
3
F(19)
COL
8
SF
5
F(16)
OAK
2
LAA
3
F
LAD
6
SD
3
F
HOU
3
SEA
0
F
Division-winning Astros eye another prize
Mon Sep 23, 2019 7:34 PM

The Houston Astros still have something to play for when they visit the Seattle Mariners for a two-game series beginning Tuesday night.

The Astros (102-54) clinched their third straight American League West title during the weekend, and began the week holding a half-game lead over the New York Yankees for the league's best record and home-field advantage throughout the league playoffs.

"Our first goal is winning the division," Astros shortstop Alex Bregman told MLB.com. "Everyone that's in here is happy about that, but nobody's satisfied.

"We've got to take it one step at a time. We've got a few games left in the regular season, and we want to finish strong. We want our guys to go into the postseason feeling healthy, and I think we're off to a great start."

With the division title secured, Astros manager AJ Hinch challenged his players to capture another World Series. Houston won it all in 2017.

"We worked for it all year, and this is not easy," Hinch said. "These guys put in the work and we get to the finish line and win the West. We feel really good about it. We love this team. We can accomplish big things, and this is the first step, hopefully, of a few of these celebrations if we keep playing."

The Astros clinched their division title with Sunday's 13-5 home victory against the Los Angeles Angels. George Springer hit three home runs and Justin Verlander won his 20th game.

Right-hander Gerrit Cole (18-5, 2.61 ERA), who joins Verlander as leading Cy Young Award contenders, is scheduled to start Tuesday against Mariners right-hander Justin Dunn (0-0, 6.75 ERA), making his third major-league start.

Cole has a major league leading 302 strikeouts, 11 shy of J.R. Richard's team record set in 1978.

Cole is 5-2 with a 2.09 ERA in eight career starts against the Mariners. He's 3-0 in three appearances this season, allowing four earned runs on 10 hits in 21 innings, with 36 strikeouts.

The Astros have feasted on the last-place Mariners (66-90), going 16-1.

Seattle returns home following a six-game (4-2) trip to Pittsburgh and Baltimore.

One bright spot for the Mariners has been outfielder Kyle Lewis, a 2016 first-round pick called up from Double-A Arkansas on Sept. 10.

Lewis homered in six of his first 10 major league games.

"That's Superman over there," rookie shortstop Donnie Walton, called up from Arkansas the same day as Lewis, told MLB.com. "He's been doing that all year, but it just didn't show because we play at a field where it doesn't fly. It doesn't have these baseballs. But we all knew.

"We were like, 'If (Lewis) just gets to the big leagues, it's gonna show.'"

Lewis said he has been trying to keep a simple approach.

"Every day is still a learning process for me," Lewis told MLB.com. "I'm just trying to work and keep my head down, honestly."

--Field Level Media

Team Record Comparison

Team Standings GB W-L Aw/Hm Stk L10
Houston            
Seattle            

Scheduled Starting Pitchers

Gerrit Cole - NYY
Matchup
Season
vs. Opp Has not pitched vs. Seattle
Justin Dunn - SEA
Matchup
Season
vs. Opp Has not pitched vs. Houston

Hot Batters (Last 10 team games)

Injury Report