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Seattle Mariners vs. Oakland Athletics
Where and when: Oakland Alameda Coliseum, Oakland, California, Saturday, 4:07 pm EST
The Seattle Mariners will play their second straight road series as they will travel to Oakland Alameda Coliseum in Oakland, California, for game-two of a three-game set versus the Athletics this weekend. The Mariners were able to sweep a two-game set versus Oakland earlier in the month in Seattle. On the other hand, they also swept a two-game set at Oakland Alameda on March 31st.
Oakland has gained quite a bit of momentum during their nine-game road trip as they ended with a record of 6-2, with one game being suspended due to weather against the Detroit Tigers. Nonetheless, the Athletics were up by a 5-3 when weather ultimately threatened play, thus forcing officials to call the game. They will have had a much-needed two days off when they suit up for game one versus the Mariners as they are coming off a sweep versus the Cleveland Indians.
In fact, the Athletics have not lost a game since their sweep at the hands of Seattle earlier in the month. Since, Oakland’s offense has awakened in posting a total of fifty-one runs in seven games. On the other hand, their pitching staff, which ranks in the top ten as far as WHIP (1.29, good for ninth), has remained solid in allowing opponents an average of a little over two runs per game during this time. And while Oakland has picked up victories in seven of their last nine home games, they have struggled versus the Mariners all season as they are winless in four matchups.
The Athletics are on the verge of overtaking the Texas Rangers for second place within the AL West division while the Mariners have fallen to the cellar, altogether, after dropping seven of their last ten games, overall. Much of the blame can be centered on lackluster outings on the hill from their pitching staff, which ranks near the bottom of the league in ERA (4.04, 29th), WHIP (1.45, 26th), along with strikeouts (416, 28th). So, aside from their rotation continuing to struggle, the defense for Seattle has fifty-six turnovers this season, another near league worst.
They were swept for the sixth time this year after losing three, straight, close matchups with the Rangers on the road. Aside from Mike Leake getting plastered for seven earned runs along with three homers in five innings of work in the opener versus Texas, Tommy Milone (0-1) along with Marco Gonzalez (5-4) pitched solid innings while allowing just three earned runs during their starts in the final two outings of the set. However, continued mishaps on the mound at critical points in the game was again their ultimate undoing in the end; On the other hand, their offense averaged just three runs per game during the series, overall.
Kukuchi seeks to hang on to present momentum on the hill
Yusei Kikuchi (3-1) has certainly had his fair share of no-decisions thus far in 2019 with a total of seven in ten games; However, the left-hander has seemingly turned the corner as he has not only picked up victories in two of his last three games, but has allowed just five runs in his last four starts, altogether. Furthermore, the team has won five of their last six games with the left-hander at the helm. However, inconsistency on the mound in his last outing versus the Oakland Athletics at home in allowing three earned runs along with three homers, almost cost his team a win.
Back home for 1️⃣1️⃣ starting Monday—with some ☀️ and Mariners Value Games on deck.
— Seattle Mariners (@Mariners) May 24, 2019
And while the Athletics were able to rally and hold on for a 6-5 win in this contest, Kikuchi rebounded with a one earned run on five hits, six strikeout performance in six innings at home versus the red-hot Minnesota Twins on May 19th. Each hitter for Seattle has less than ten at bats versus the left-hander lifetime. Marcus Semien is only one for six in his career while Matt Olson is batting .400 on five at bats.
Kikuchi has been outstanding in his past two road starts in allowing just two earned runs on a total of six hits in addition to recording thirteen strikeouts in over fourteen innings of pitching versus the dangerous New York Yankees along with the Cleveland Indians.
Fiers must prevent home runs in game two
Mike Fiers (3-3) will oppose Kikuchi for game two as he has also been plagued with no decisions in his last two starts. But with an ERA of 5.05 on the year, Fiers has been very careless in preventing the long ball as he has given up nine homers in his last eight games. Furthermore, Fiers has not done well against this lineup for the Mariners in permitting six home runs in his last three starts. Despite this, he picked up wins in two of his last three matchups Fortunately for Fiers, he happens to be unstoppable at Oakland Alameda in winning seven of his last ten.
— Stomper (@Stomper00) May 23, 2019
With Oakland finally re-gaining their momentum at the plate, one can also hope that the pitching staff follows suit, as well. They will not have to worry about facing Dee Gordon as he is expected back in early June (wrist) while Kyle Seager is probable for their Saturday matchup, as he has been dealing with a hand injury.
Jay Bruce has fared decently when facing Fiers in the past in batting .261 on 23 at bats in addition to having five RBI’s. Edwin Encarnacion has only connected on the right-hander in one of twenty-five at bats, total.
- 6-0 last 6 overall.
- 10-3 last 13 vs. a left-handed starter.
- 2-14 last 16 road games.
- 7-21 last 28 overall.
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
Look for Oakland to win their first contest versus the Mariners on the season as Fiers will pitch well enough to cool down the bats for a Seattle team has not had many problems scoring on the year. However, Fiers will certainly be the difference in the end while the Oakland offense will capitalize at the plate versus Kukuci. Nonetheless, the Athletics will show and prove in the end as they will extend their winning streak to four with a victory over the struggling Mariners..
Prediction: Pick: Oakland Athletics
Full-Game Total Pick
I will strongly grab the over for this contest as it has been the play in six of the lst eight starts for an inconsistent Fiers. Also, the over has been the result in nine of the last ten games for Kikuchi. With that being the case, look for some runs to be scored early by both teams; However, look for Oakland to benefit much more as they will pick up a win in a high-scoring contest.
Prediction: Pick: Over