jimmythegreek Posts:11120 Followers:382
On 05/04/2014 11:13 AM in MLB

SUNDAY FIRST 5 INNINGS PLAY (YTD 7-5)

Seattle/Houston over 4.5 -110:
The Mariners (13-15) used some late heroics on Saturday thanks to an 8 run 7th inning outburst highlighted by Justin Smoak's 2 run HR that helped edge Houston (10-20) 9-8 and even the series. Seattle will look to take the rubber game of this series this afternoon and hope to continue their trend against the team who ranks dead last in the AL in offense. Hishashi Iwakuma won his 2014 debut by sticking around long enough despite yielding 4 ER over nearly 7 IP while Fernando Rodney picked up his 7th save.

The M's will send Brandon Maurer (0-0 6.75) to the hill who has been hit fairly hard in his first 2 starts. However last time out he escaped with a no decision in a 6-5 win over Texas that saw him give up 5 ER on 7 hits in almost 4 IP. While Maurer's struggles are imminent and notable keeping his pitches up in the strike zone, he could find some success against a Houston lineup that is hitting just .216 thus far despite showing signs of life in the series. Despite averaging only 3.4 runs per contest, there is balance in the middle of the Astros lineup as 4 players have 4 HR each. Jonathan Villar (.256 4 12) went 2 for 3 with a HR and 3 RBI in yesterday's defeat and is showing signs of coming around. Chris Carter (.169 4 10) homered and drove in 2 but must cut down on his 37 K's in just 89 plate appearances. Jose Altuve (.290 1 10) is a demon on the base path as evident by his 11 steals and ability to manufacture runs. Houston has to put together more collective and consistent innings especially against Maurer if they expect to avoid repeating the doldrums that conquered them offensively over the past few seasons.

The 'Stros will counter with Collin McHugh (2-0 0.59) who has looked surprisingly dazzling and unhittable over his first 2 starts. He nearly went the distance against Oakland last weekend giving up a run on just 2 hits. While most Houston fans hope this isn't a sign of hurling over his head, he faces a Seattle lineup that like it's opposition has had trouble scoring runs all season before yesterday's wake up call. With nobody hitting better than .300 on the roster, Mariner fans are already losing their patience with Robinson Cano (.288 1 16) who went 2 for 5 with 2 RBI in Saturday's come from behind win. Cano hasn't looked rattled by the subpar start and feels confident the power will come in due time. Justin Smoak (.242 4 17) is showing some signs and looks to build on Saturday's huge 7th inning. Kyle Seager (.237 5 16) is starting to make his presence felt as is Mike Zuzino (.265 4 14) over the last week or so.

This afternoon's price is what we expected in a venue that is especially favors righties hitting out to left center. Minute Maid Park is known for it's intimidating hump in the turf similar to a pitcher's mound to the deepest part of CF where it could be an adventure for outfielders battling long drives. Maurer may need to caution his tendency to pitch in and out of jams if he wants to right the ship and give Lloyd McClendon a vote of confidence in the rotation. Similarly, McHugh is young and might not be used to early success out of the gate given the opportunities that he's had in the past have come back to haunt him. While both ball clubs sport solid lineups on paper, we think that there's too much inexperience to expect a gem on either end especially with both offenses having their way Saturday afternoon. Best of luck however you play!



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bobalou Posts:5052 Followers:146
05/04/2014 04:32 PM

Thanks JTG! Awesome as always!



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jimmythegreek Posts:11120 Followers:382
05/04/2014 10:04 PM

JTG smells a fluke when he knows one, and today McHugh blew. An RBI triple for Robinson Cano cashes this one easy in the top of the 3rd! Thanks and congrats to those who followed! Back up later in the week.

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