The two hottest teams in baseball start a three game weekend series Friday

Mashing Mariners host streaking Astros

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It's rare to have the two hottest teams in baseball square off but Friday we get just that as the Mariners host the Astros in the Emerald City of Seattle.

Both teams have won six straight games and did so on the strength of their bats for the majority of the wins. The Astros though find themselves looking up at the Mariners in the American League West which is a huge surprise for almost every baseball prognosticator, even this early in the season.

Seattle was supposed to be rebuilding after a slew of names were moved in the offseason. Stud infielder Jean Segura was traded to the Phillies and his mate up the middle Robinson Cano was also sent to the NL East in a trade to the Mets. One of the best closers in the game Edwin Diaz was also moved with Cano. James Paxton had been a mainstay of the rotation and was also moved to New York, the Yankees for him. Even young outfielder Ben Gamel was swapped out for another young outfielder.

Replacing them is a hodge-podge of players who failed to succeed elsewhere. It is a who's who of "oh he plays for them now?" Jay Bruce has been a journeyman outfielder converted to first base. Former Astros outfielder Domingo Santana was the player they swapped Ben Gamel for in the trade with the Brewers. Tim Beckham is a failed first overall pick who signed for less than $2 million.

Somehow, Seattle is better. Way better.

It's all led to the best offense in baseball up to this point. They lead in almost every important hitting category and some of those leads are significant. They're 13 points better than Houston who is in second in batting average. They're slugging 30 points better than the closest team. Bruce leads the majors in home runs. Santana is the RBI leader. Beckham, the failed top pick, is slashing .347/.429/.694.

The old baseball adage is each game back in the standings takes a week to erase. The Astros trail the Mariners by four games right now. It isn't the end of the season if the Astros have a bad weekend but it does make the climb to the top of the division a little tougher. Despite Seattle's hot start, they're not super scary.

They have beat up on teams who are supposed to be bad this season and the struggling Red Sox. Their pitching is also mediocre, and did I mention their opponents up to this point have been subpar? The Astros offense has been humming these past six games and that shouldn't change as the eight game road trip begins Friday.

This is a measuring stick for the Astros pitching staff which will see Wade Miley start ahead of Justin Verlander and Gerrit Cole. The Mariners do most of their damage in innings one through six so getting to the bullpen late in the game, where the Astros boast a top ten ERA, will be key.

The AL West might be off to a better start than most expected. This will be the first of many series for the Astros to continue to prove the division goes through them.

Blue Jays demolish Houston on Father's Day

Astros daily report presented by APG&E: 3 hits from the 12-0 loss

Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

Houston was seeking a series sweep on Father's Day after taking the first two games of the series with Toronto. Here is a quick rundown of the series finale:

Final Score: Blue Jays 12, Astros 0.

Record: 48-24, first in the AL West.

Winning pitcher: Trent Thornton (2-5, 4.36 ERA).

Losing pitcher: Brad Peacock (6-4, 3.67 ERA).

1) Toronto jumps ahead early, gives Peacock trouble

The Blue Jays ambushed Brad Peacock in the top of the first inning, getting a leadoff triple then a one-out sac fly followed by a solo home run, grabbing a quick 2-0 advantage. Peacock seemed to settle in after that, allowing just one hit along with a few walks over the next three innings, but Toronto would double their lead in the fifth.

In the top of the fifth, Peacock allowed a leadoff double then a one-out two-run home run to Lourdes Gurriel Jr., Yuli's brother, extending the Blue Jay's lead to 4-0. Peacock would finish the fifth but that would be it for him in a disappointing start. His final line: 5 IP, 5 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 3 BB, 5 K, 2 HR.

2) Thornton handles Astros' offense in return to Houston

Trent Thornton, originally drafted by Houston but traded away in the deal for Aledmys Diaz this offseason, was on the mound for Toronto on Sunday looking to show the Astros what they were missing out on. He accomplished his mission, holding the Astros to just six hits over six and two-thirds innings while keeping them scoreless over that span.

They'd have no luck against Toronto's relievers, either, getting shutout for the fourth time this season.

3) Jays keep scoring against the bullpen

After Peacock's day ending with five innings of work, Cionel Perez came in for the sixth to try and keep the game close. Instead, he allowed a leadoff single, a double, then a three-run home run to extend Toronto's lead to 7-0, an RBI-single to make it 8-0, then a second three-run home run later in the inning blowing the game open at 11-0 with a seven-run inning.

Perez was able to get through the next two innings without allowing any more runs, then with the game very out of reach, Houston put Tyler White on the mound to throw the ninth. White allowed a solo home run to push the lead to 12-0 but would get through the rest of the inning to end the pitching day for the Astros.

Up Next: Houston will travel tonight to kick off a full week of games starting with a three-game series with the Reds in Cincinnati. The first game of the series will start at 6:10 PM tomorrow and will feature a pitching matchup of Wade Miley (6-3, 3.14 ERA) for the Astros going up against Luis Castillo (6-1, 2.20 ERA) for the Reds.

The Astros daily report is presented by APG&E.

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