Felix Hernandez (10-3, 3.08 ERA) and Joe Blanton (1-0, 1.80 ERA) take the hill in the first of a three-game series between the Seattle Mariners (32-38) and the Kansas City Royals (39-27) at Safeco Field. Action begins at 10:10 p.m. ET on Monday, Jun. 22 and can be seen on FSN-KC and ROOT-NW.
Hernandez is 4-4 with a 2.80 ERA in his appearances against the Royals, but goes up against a good Kansas City offense which is batting .274 this season. Nelson Cruz (.315, 36 Rs, 19 HRs, 44 RBIs, 1 SB) went 1 for 3 yesterday with one RBI. Blanton is 8-7 with a 3.69 ERA against the Mariners in his career. He takes on a below-average Seattle offense that's batting just .231. Lorenzo Cain (.294, 41 Rs, 6 HRs, 32 RBIs, 14 SBs) has been successful at the plate for the Royals, going 2 for 4 yesterday with two RBIs.
Seattle is a -168 favorite against Kansas City and the Over/Under (O/U) for this game is sitting at six runs. The Mariners have an overall money line of -953 and a record as the favorite of 19-23. Seattle is a disappointing 1-3 as the favorite over its last 10 games.
In games where it is the underdog, Kansas City has a 15-12 record and an overall money line of +1,002. The Royals are tough outs for opponents, leading the AL with 9.4 hits per game. Kansas City is excellent at not striking out with an AL-low 5.8 per game. Kansas City's pitching staff is one of the top in the AL, with a 3.41 ERA. When it comes to preventing batters from getting hits, the Royals are second in the AL with an average of 7.9 hits allowed per game.
The Mariners have a 25-30 record against right-handed starting pitchers on the year, which is what they'll be facing when Blanton takes the mound. Hernandez (RHP) will be on the hill against the Royals, who have a very good 29-16 record against right-handed starting pitchers.
Predictions: SU Winner - KC, O/U - Over
The Royals lost their last game by an 11-run margin. In games decided by a margin of 10 runs or more, the Mariners are 0-3. The Royals are 1-2 in blowouts this season.
The Royals are 3-1 in games that go into extra innings. Meanwhile, the Mariners are 4-5 in such matchups.
The Royals managed to give up four walks in their last game. They'll have to pick it up against the Mariners who are heading in with a 12-10 record against opponents who give up that many walks or more.
When they outhit their opponents, the Mariners are 17-12. The Royals have a 34-4 record when outhitting opponents.
Ranking 28th, Seattle is near the bottom of the league in runs, scoring 238 this season. Kansas City ranks in the top half at 14th with 291.
Ranking 30th, Kansas City is at the bottom of the league in walks, notching 141 this season. Seattle ranks in the bottom half at 16th with 201.
When the Mariners hit at least one home run, they are 26-16, well-matched with the Royals who are 26-12 when hitting one or more homers.