The Chicago White Sox have lost six games in a row; The Seattle Mariners have lost 12 of their last 16. So it's two teams going the wrong way meeting when the Sox and M's get together for three games at Safeco Field, beginning Monday night (10:10 pm ET).
Wednesday's Game Three
By: Ron Patrick
Seattle has taken the first two games of this series after winning Tuesday night 7-4, behind four RBI from 41-year-old Raul Ibanez, who for the second night in a row hit a two-run homer, helping King Felix to his seventh victory of the season.
The Mariners, to our delight, won as -155 favorites on Tuesday's MLB betting odds, and the game cruised OVER its very low total of six.
Chicago has now scored a total of 15 runs in losing its last eight games.
So the M's will shoot for the sweep of the Sox when the teams play the series finale Wednesday afternoon at Safeco (3:40 pm ET).
Wednesday's Betting Odds
As of Wednesday AM most baseball betting outlets were listing Seattle with Hisashi Iwakuma at right around -170 over Chicago and Dylan Axelrod, with the total offered at seven.
Wednesday's Pitching Match-Up
Iwakuma (6-1, 2.13), very quietly, is doing some very good things for the M's. So far this year he's 10/12 in quality starts, and only once this year has he given up more than three runs. Last time out he held Minnesota scoreless through 7 2/3 innings, and just before that he limited the Rangers to two runs through eight innings.
For the season this Japanese import has allowed just 57 hits in 80 1/3 innings, walked 13 and whiffed 74.
Seattle, a team that's seven games under .500 overall, is 9-3 in Iwakuma's starts.
Kuma has started once this season against the ChiSox, allowing three runs and four hits through eight innings of a game the Mariners lost 4-3 back in early April. Last year Iwakuma made two appearances vs. the Sox, giving up only a solo home run to Adam Dunn in five innings of work.
Axelrod (3-4, 4.04) is 5/11 on quality starts this year, and two for his last three. Last time out he held Oakland to two runs over seven innings, and over his last three starts he's allowed seven ER through 18 1/3 innings.
For the season Axelrod has permitted 62 hits through 64 2/3 innings, walked 16 and struck out 36.
Chicago is 5-6 in Axelrod's starts this year.
Axelrod has started once against Seattle this season, back in early April, and got good results, allowing one unearned run and three hits through 5 2/3 innings of a game the Sox eventually won 4-3.
Our Take on Wednesday's Game
We've been betting fans of Kuma since mid-last season, and he's treated us well. So while we don't often play prices of more than -150 or so we'll go with the Mariners for our free MLB pick for Wednesday.
Pick: Take Seattle at the -160 offered at MatchBook.
Tuesday's Game Two
By: Ron Patrick
Seattle took the first game of this series Monday night 4-2, on the strength of a three-run second inning and a quality start from Joe Saunders. The Mariners, as we had hoped, won as -110 favorites on Monday's MLB betting line, and the game stayed UNDER its total of 7.5.
However, Seattle closer Tom Wilhelmsen, although he held on for the save Monday night, gave up a run in the ninth, the third time in his last four appearances he's allowed at least one run.
So the M's will look for the series victory, while the Sox will try to break a seven-game losing streak when the teams meet for Game 2 of this series Tuesday night (10:10 pm ET).
Tuesday's Betting Odds
As of Tuesday AM most baseball betting outlets were listing Seattle and Felix Hernandez at around -150 over Chicago and Jake Peavy, while the OVER/UNDER sits at as low as we've seen on any game this season, at six runs.
Tuesday's Pitching Match-Up
Hernandez (6-4, 2.38) is eight-for-12 on quality starts this year, although only one for his last three. Last time out he held the Padres to one run through eight innings last Thursday, but in his two starts previous to that he had gotten clipped for 10 ER and 19 hits in 10 2/3 innings vs. the Indians and Rangers.
For the season King has given up 72 hits in 83 1/3 innings, walked 16 and whiffed 87. But thanks to at least a couple of cases of poor run support the Mariners are only 6-6 in Hernandez' starts this year.
Hernandez has started once this season against the White Sox, giving up four runs in 6 1/3 innings of a 4-3 Seattle loss in Chicago back on April 6.
Last year, in his only start against the Sox Felix got nicked for four runs in five innings of a 7-4 Mariners loss.
Peavy (6-3, 3.62), by our tough standards, is six-for-10 on quality starts this season, although he is coming off a losing outing in which he gave up six runs in four innings against the Cubs last Thursday. That came just after he tossed a complete game six-hitter against the Marlins, but then again, that was against the Marlins.
On the season Peavy has allowed fewer hits, 56, than innings pitched, 64 2/3 innings, walked 15 and struck out 66.
Chicago is 6-4 in Peavy's starts this year.
Last year Peavy started twice against Seattle, giving up four ER and 10 hits through 13 1/3 innings; the Sox won both those games.
The OVER/UNDERS are a combined 7-12 in Hernandez and Peavy's starts this season.
Our Take on Tuesday's Game
Chicago has scored 11 runs total over its last seven games, and now they're going up against King? Even though the Sox have had some success their last couple of times out against Hernandez, we'll stick with Seattle for our free MLB pick for Tuesday.
Pick: Take the Mariners at the -147 offered at MatchBook.
By: Ron Patrick
How might we profit from handicapping this series?
Sox-Mariners Betting Odds
As of Monday morning most baseball betting outlets were listing Seattle with Joe Saunders at around -115 over Chicago and John Danks, with the OVER/UNDER pegged at 7.5.
Also, The Greek was lining the Mariners at -170 to win this series, with the Sox getting +150.
Sox-Mariners Series Set-Up
Chicago just got swept three games in Oakland over the weekend, losing Sunday's series finale 2-0. And in losing their last six games the Sox have scored a total of nine runs, getting shut-out three times over that span.
So, Chicago, at 24-30, sits in fourth place in the AL Central, although it's only 5.5 games behind first-place Detroit.
Seattle just dropped two of three games at Minnesota, blowing a ninth-inning lead Saturday, then losing Sunday's series finale 10-0. And in losing 12 of their last 16 games the Mariners have been held to three runs or fewer nine times.
The M's, at 24-33, are in fourth place in the AL West, 11.5 games behind first-place Texas.
This is the second meeting between these former division rivals this season. Back in April the Sox took two of three games from the Mariners at the Cell. Last year Chicago took the season series from Seattle eight games to one.
Monday's Pitching Match-Up
Saunders (3-5, 5.57) is five-for-11 on quality starts this season, as he's bounced from good outing to bad with regularity. Last time out Saunders held the Padres to one run through seven innings, but just before that he gave up six runs in five innings vs. the Rangers. Five times this season Saunders has allowed two ER or fewer, but four times he's given up six runs or more.
For the season Saunders has permitted 77 hits, including 10 homers, in 64 2/3 innings, and his K/BB ratio is a pedestrian 32/22.
Seattle is just 3-8 in Saunders' starts this season.
Last year, while pitching for Baltimore, Saunders started once against the White Sox and got slapped around for six ER and 10 hits in 5 1/3 innings of an 8-1 Orioles loss in August.
Danks (0-1, 5.40) will be making his third start of this season, after missing the first six weeks still recovering from the shoulder surgery he had last Fall. In his first start he gave up three runs in six innings vs. the Marlins, and last time out he gave up three ER in four innings against the Cubs.
So far, Danks has allowed six ER and nine hits, including three homers, in 10 innings of work, walking one and striking out seven. The Sox have split his first two starts.
Last year Danks started once against Seattle, giving up four ER in six innings of a 7-4 Chicago victory at Safeco in April.
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Sox-Mariners Betting Trends
Seattle is nine games under .500 overall, but only one game under .500, 9-10, vs. left-handed starting pitchers.
Chicago is 5-8 against lefties.
The Mariners are 13-12 at home this season, while Chicago is 11-19 on the road.
The White Sox are 18-30 on the OVER/UNDERS this season.
The O/Us are 11-12 in games played at Safeco Field this year.
Sox-Mariners Injury Update
Chicago's Paul Konerko has missed recent action with a sore back, and is questionable for Monday. But the White Sox also just activated IF Gordon Beckham from the DL.
The Mariners, meanwhile, have been playing without IF, Justin Smoak, who's on the DL, and OF Michael Morse, who's dealing with a sore quad.
Our Take on Monday's Game
Saunders has been a much better pitcher at Safeco this season than on the road, while Danks is still trying to return to his old form. So while neither team inspires us, we'll go with Seattle for our free MLB pick for Monday.