Date/Time: May 10, 7:10 p.m. EST
Television: Fox Sports
Starting Pitchers: Athletics (Straily) Mariners (Iwakuma)
MLB Gambling Odds from TopBet
Moneyline: Mariners (-150) Twins (+135)
The Oakland Athletics red hot start to the season is now a distant memory as the team has fallen on some really difficult times recently. Cleveland just swept the Athletics in a four-game series. After jumping out to a nice lead in the AL West, the A’s are now just 18-18 on the year. Seattle is 16-19, but the Mariners are 9-8 at home so far this year. Let’s take a look at the series opener for Friday night.
Oakland won games last year thanks to their brilliant young pitching staff. Early this year, the Oakland offense surprised a lot of people (myself included) by piling up the runs. Several weeks into the season, Oakland was top five in team batting average and runs scored. The offense is starting to regress to the mean at this point. The Athletics are still averaging 4.97 runs per game for the season, but their team batting average is down to .246. This lineup just isn’t good enough to keep up the torrid pace they started the season at.
While the offense has been better than expected, the Athletics starting pitching hasn’t been as good as expected. As a whole, Oakland’s team ERA is 4.31. Dan Straily will get the start in this one. Straily is one of the highest rated pitching prospects in all of baseball, but he hasn’t put it together just yet at the major league level. Straily is inconsistent with his control, and he has struggled against the best lineups in baseball.
Seattle has gotten some very good starts out of the top of their rotation so far this year. It comes as no surprise that Felix Hernandez has been brilliant, but Hisashi Iwakuma is really coming into his own as the team’s number two starter. Iwakuma came to the team last year with great stuff. He struggled through the first few months of the year, but he finished the season well. The momentum that he finished last season with has carried right on over into this season. Iwakuma is 3-1 with a 1.61 ERA this year. How consistently good has he been? Iwakuma has allowed 3 runs or less in his last ten starts.
The Mariners still aren’t able to win a lot of games because their offense has a lot of room for improvement. They are better than last year, but consistency has been an issue. No one on this team has a batting average above .300. In fact, the regular with the best average on the team is Kyle Seager with a .282 batting average. Seager is a solid young hitter, but when your leading hitter is batting .282 you know the offense isn’t very good. There is a long list of disappointing hitters on this team so far this year. Justin Smoak, Jesus Montero, and Michael Morse have to step up and produce in the middle of the order.
Free Pick: Under 7
Both of these offenses are scuffling and these two pitchers are fully capable of pitching a great game. Look for a low scoring contest.