The MLB postseason doesn’t begin for another week, but it sure feels like a playoff atmosphere in Seattle.
The Mariners are hosting the Astros in the final game of a best-of-three series with major postseason implications on the line. Entering play Wednesday, the AL West rivals are separated by a half-game for the final wild-card spot, with Seattle’s win Tuesday tying the series at a game a piece in their final three-game series of the season.
They will face off in the rubber match Wednesday, with Seattle either having the opportunity to leap over the Astros or Houston having the chance to add to its advantage and go up by 1.5 games over the Mariners.
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A game with these high stakes calls for a high-octane pitching matchup, and that’s what fans will get. Dusty Baker will hand the ball to ace Framber Valdez, who has been dominant in 2023, pitching to a 3.39 ERA across 194 innings with a 24.6 percent strikeout rate and 6.6 percent walk rate. In two games against the Mariners, however, he’s been roughed up, having given up eight runs in two starts. Mariners batters are hitting .326 against him with a .478 slugging percentage.
Scott Servais will match Valdez with one of the team’s standout rookies, Bryce Miller, who has pitched to a 4.17 ERA in 127.1 innings since making his MLB debut in May. He has struck out 22.2 percent of opposing hitters and walked just 4.8 percent. Unlike Valdez, Miller has dominated his upcoming opponent this season with no runs allowed over two starts, and holding the Astros to a meager .100/.143/.125 opposing slash line.
Here’s everything you need to know to watch the Astros take on the Mariners on Wednesday night.
What channel is Astros vs. Mariners on tonight?
- Channel (national): MLB Network
- Channel (local): ATT SportsNet-SW (Houston), ROOTNW (Seattle)
Fans across the U.S. can find Wednesday’s pivotal matchup on MLB Network, with the exception being fans in the local markets. Those in Houston and Seattle can find the game on their local channels, ATT SportsNet-SW in Houston and ROOTNW in Seattle.
MLB Network will also carry the Padres vs. Giants at the same time, with the game being available on MLB Network to those who are blacked out from watching Houston-Seattle.
What time is Astros vs. Mariners tonight?
- First pitch: 9:40 p.m. ET
The first pitch of Wednesday’s game in Seattle is expected to be thrown at 9:40 p.m. ET, or 8:40 p.m. CT in Houston and 6:40 p.m. PT in Seattle.
How to live stream Astros vs. Mariners
Baseball fans wanting to catch this matchup can find it on Fubo, which offers a free trial. Fubo carries MLB Network for out-of-market fans and carries the two local channels for those in the Houston and Seattle markets.
Can the Astros make the playoffs?
The Astros find themselves in the driver’s seat to make the postseason, leading the Mariners by a half-game in the AL wild-card standings.
There is still an outside chance the Astros could win the AL West, though it would require some help. The Rangers wrap up their series against the Angels on Wednesday before starting a four-game series with the Mariners to end the season. The Astros, meanwhile, will face NL wild-card hopeful Arizona in a three-game series to end the season. Texas is 2.5 games up in the AL West with a magic number of three.
Entering play on Wednesday, FanGraphs gives the Astros a 6.6 percent chance to win the division and a 52 percent chance to win that last wild card, giving them a 58.6 percent chance to make the playoffs overall.
Can the Mariners make the playoffs?
Seattle kept hope alive with a win over Houston on Tuesday to even the series at a game a piece. But the Mariners still find themselves a half-game back of the Astros in the AL wild-card standings and three back of Texas in the AL West.
The Mariners’ chances still took a bit of a blow after losing the first game of the series, and they already have their work cut out for them ending the year with four games against the Rangers.
Per FanGraphs, the Mariners have a 6.5 percent chance to win the division, a 42.7 percent chance of winning the wild card and a 49.2 percent chance of reaching the playoffs overall.