Scott Kazmir (4-5, 2.79 ERA) gets the ball for the Oakland Athletics (36-45) as they meet Roenis Elias (4-5, 4.25 ERA) and the Seattle Mariners (36-42) in the first of a four-game series at O.C. Coliseum. The game gets underway at 10:05 p.m. ET on Thursday, Jul. 2 and will air on ROOT-NW and CSN-CA.
Kazmir has a 3.35 ERA and a 4-4 record in his career against the Mariners, and faces a less-than-stellar Seattle offense that's hitting just .231 on the year. Josh Reddick (.287, 35 Rs, 11 HRs, 49 RBIs, 3 SBs) went 1 for 3 yesterday with one RBI. In his career against the Athletics, Elias is 1-0 with a 3.18 ERA. He gets a strong Oakland offense that's batting .259. Nelson Cruz (.307, 39 Rs, 20 HRs, 48 RBIs, 1 SB) has been hitting the ball well for the Mariners, going 2 for 5 yesterday with two runs, one home run, and two RBIs.
Oakland, a -149 favorite, will look to capitalize at home against Seattle. The Over/Under (O/U) for the matchup is seven runs. When playing as the favorite, the Athletics have a 23-28 record and overall money line at -1,857. They have a 19-22 record SU and are 13-13 as favorite within their division. They have been very patient at the plate, ranking fifth in the AL with an average of 3.1 walks per game. As for the pitching staff, the Athletics rank third in the AL in ERA with a 3.49 team average. The Athletics are fifth in the AL in hits allowed with just 8.1 per game.
Switching gears, the Mariners come into this game with a win percentage of .500 when playing as the underdog (15-15) and an overall money line of -1,224. Over the past 10 matchups, they are 5-5 SU and have played well as the underdog with a 4-1 record. Seattle's pitching staff tends to perform poorly when they play division rivals. They've allowed an average of 4.4 runs per game against teams from the AL West, higher than their season average of 4.0.
The Mariners have gotten the best of the Athletics in head-to-head matchups this season, going 5-1. The Athletics will take on a left-hander (Elias) in this game. They have struggled against left-handed starting pitchers this season, going 4-14. The left-handed Kazmir will take the mound against the Mariners, who have a 7-9 record against lefty starters this season.
Predictions: SU Winner - OAK, O/U - Under
The Mariners are an even 17-17 against the division, while the Athletics sit at 19-22.
When leading after 7 innings, Seattle is 11-13, while Oakland is 15-24.
The Athletics managed to give up four walks in their last game. They'll have to pick it up against the Mariners who are coming in with a 14-10 record against opponents who give up that many walks or more.
When they are outhit, the Athletics are 5-30. The Mariners have an 11-25 record when opponents outhit them.
Ranking 16th in home runs, Oakland has hit 68 this season. Seattle ranks ninth with 81 home runs.
Ranking 15th, Seattle is in the top half of the league in hits, notching 7.70 per game. Oakland ranks in the top five at third with 8.99.
Ranking 26th, Seattle is near the bottom of the league for its on-base plus slugging percentage (.668). Oakland ranks in the top half at 13th with an OPS of .721.
When the Mariners allow at least one home run, they are 14-34, well-matched with the Athletics who are 11-30 when allowing at least one homer.