Mariners Look to Close Gap on Royals in AL Wild Card Chase

Willie Bee

Saturday, August 5, 2017 3:11 PM UTC

Saturday, Aug. 5, 2017 3:11 PM UTC

MLB odds for this evening’s collision in Kansas City are tight as two AL playoff hopefuls battle in the third of a 4-game set between the Mariners and the Royals.

The next two days in Kansas City could ultimately decide the second AL Wild Card spot as the Royals battle the Seattle Mariners just 1½ games apart for the honors. After splitting their first two contests, Saturday’s 7:15 PM (ET) start becomes even more crucial with Felix Hernandez (5-4, 4.28) toiling for the visitors against Danny Duffy (7-6, 3.42), a rematch from a little more than a month ago.

A pair of Brandon Moss bombs helped the Royals rally twice from deficits to win Thursday’s series opener by a 6-4 count, Bookmaker closing KC on a -138 money line. The M’s tied the set Friday with a 5-2 decision behind another strong pitching performance by James Paxton. That stopped the Royals’ 4-game run in the rivalry, totals now running 3-2 O/U.

Duffy Aims To Take King Felix Down A 2nd Time
King Felix and Duffy matched up on July 4 in Seattle where the Mariners closed as -130 favorites on the MLB odds. Kansas City knocked Hernandez around with a pair of homers playing large in their six plate crossings against the righthander in six frames, the Royals eventually posting a 7-3 triumph. Duffy pitched into the sixth and allowed two runs to earn the dubya.

That was Duffy’s first start back following a 5-week DL stint due to an oblique strain. He has posted a 3.20 ERA since returning to the rotation, KC splitting the six assignments.  The Mariners have won four of Hernandez’s five outings since losing to the Royals, the veteran pitching to a 3.10 ERA in that span. He didn’t factor into the decisions the last two trips to the mound, allowing four runs each time and failing to get through the sixth though Seattle found a way to win both games.

Umpire Notes, Mother Nature & A Free Pick
David Rackley takes up his position behind the dish on Saturday with a 4-game ‘over’ streak to his credit, leaving the Houston native 12-6-1 O/U/P on the season. His plate assignments have gone 11-8 to the home sides, 9-5 when carrying the chalk. Rackley has called balls and strikes three times at Kauffman Stadium, all three ending in paydays for ‘under’ bettors.

Rain is dancing around the Kansas City area Saturday morning, and it only increase as the day wears on. The weatherman says there’s an 80% chance at first pitch with 100% an hour or two into the game. That keeps me off the 9 run total and with tight money lines for the affair, I’ll make my free baseball pick on Seattle.

My MLB Free Pick: Mariners +103 at 5Dimes
Season: 55-58-3 (-1.20)

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