Imakuma on the Mound: Mariners Beat Royals

Jeff Grant

Friday, June 20, 2014 12:30 PM GMT

Hisashi Iwakuma has dominated American League Central opponents over the course of his career, which we predict will lead the Seattle Mariners to a series-opening victory over the Kansas City Royals Friday night.

All about Cano
Seattle dropped both of its road games against the San Diego Padres due to scoring just a single run in each affair, but second baseman Robinson Cano continues to impress—hitting .333 on the season after a 3-for-4 performance Thursday. The former Yankees star owns a 20-game road hitting streak, while he’s batting .395 over the course of his career against tonight’s opposing starter.

MLB handicappers will find that the club is 7-3 on the road, with a betting total of 7 or less during the 2014 campaign.


Long streak comes to an end
Kansas City had its 10-game winning streak snapped Thursday, as it suffered a 2-1 setback against the Detroit Tigers as +144 road underdogs, but it’s important to point out that the club hit .327, and scored 69 runs over that period. The Royals may have a hard time getting over that loss, considering their right-handed batters are 0 for 28 combined versus Friday’s scheduled starter in the opposite dugout.

Over the last two-plus seasons, the Royals are 18-29 when the total is 7 or less.


Iwakuma
Mariners starting pitcher Hisashi Iwakuma (5-3, 2.59 ERA) has alternated wins and losses over his last four outings—coming off a 5-1 home victory over the Texas Rangers. The right-hander is 3-0 with a 2.49 ERA in three road appearances, as he’s allowed hitters to bat .231 against him. In 17 career games (13 starts) versus AL Central foes, Iwakuma has put together a dominating 7-1 record and 1.50 ERA, including a 3-0 mark and 1.99 ERA when pitching away from Safeco Field.


Shields
Royals starting pitcher James Shields (8-3, 3.50 ERA) will put his personal five-game winning streak on the line, which includes a 6-3 road victory over the Chicago Cubs Sunday, as he surrendered three runs and 10 hits over six innings.The right-hander is 3-2 with a 3.24 ERA in five home efforts—serving up just a single home run in 33.1 combined frames. Shields has compiled a 4-4 record and 3.83 ERA in 13 career outings versus the Mariners.


Prediction
I’m going to recommend that readers back the Mariners as one of their MLB picks, as they’ve won Iwakuma’s last four road starts.
Free MLB Pick: Seattle Mariners 

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