Runs might be hard to come by Friday night in Seattle when Felix Hernadez and the Mariners host Chris Sale and his White Sox. Do we dare play an UNDER on a very low total?
White Sox-Mariners Friday Odds
Friday's MLB betting market opened this game with Seattle and Felix Hernandez favored by around -120 over Chicago and Chris Sale, but many shops had to flip the favorite in the early action. As of this writing the best line we could find on the Mariners was the -101 offered at Pinnacle, while the Sox were now giving -104 at Heritage.
Also, 5Dimes was chalking the M's at -145 to win this series, with the White Sox getting +125.
Seattle just dropped two of three games at Texas, losing Wednesday's series rubber match 7-2. So after winning three series in a row the Mariners have now lost two straight, and four of their last six games.
Chicago, meanwhile, just dropped three of four games at Anaheim, avoiding the sweep with an 8-2 victory Thursday. So the Sox are now just 1-5 in their last six series, and 7-13 over their last 20 games.
Big-picture, 56-65 Seattle and 56-63 Chicago are both basically playing out the string on this season.
This is the first meeting this season between these two teams. Last year the Mariners took the season series from Chicago four games to three, with the UNDERS going 5-2.
Friday's Pitching Match-Up
Hernandez (14-7, 3.65) is 16-for-24 on quality starts this season, but only one for his last four. Last Saturday the King got bombed by Boston for 10 runs in less than three innings, and in his three starts previous to that he allowed 13 runs through 20 1/3 innings. Is he tiring? On the season Hernandez has allowed 142 hits through 153 innings, walked 43 and struck out 147.
Seattle is 15-9 in King's starts, with the totals skewing UNDER by a 15-8 margin.
In his most recent outing against the White Sox, back in July of last season, Hernandez allowed just two runs and three hits through eight innings, with eight strikeouts, in a 3-2 Mariners win.
Sale (11-7, 3.32) is 17-for-23 on quality starts, and two for his last two. Last Sunday he dominated the Cubs, allowing just one hit through seven innings, whiffing 15, in a 3-1 Sox victory, and just before that he held the Angels to two runs through 7 1/3 innings of an 8-2 win. On the season Sale has allowed 132 hits through 157 innings, walked 32 and struck out 208 for a K/BB ratio of almost 7/1.
The Sox are 14-9 in Sale's starts, with the totals leaning UNDER 12-9.
In his most recent start against Seattle, in July of last season, he held the M's to one run and six hits, walking none while whiffing a dozen, in a complete-game 7-1 victory.
Friday's Batting Splits
Chicago ranks 15th in the Majors this season against right-handed pitching with a .253 team batting average, and 21st with a .308 team on-base percentage.
Seattle, on the other hand, ranks 13th against left-handed pitching with a .259 team average but 23rd with a .306 team OBP.
We'll call this battle of the bats a wash.
Ballpark Totals Factor
Games played at Safeco Field this season are 28-27 on the OVERS, averaging 7.6 runs per.
Sox-M's Friday Free Picks
One would think the King would be ripe for a bounce-back effort, but at this moment we have to give Sale the edge in the pitching match-up. So with other factors balancing out we like the White Sox for MLB picks tonight. Also, as long as these two bullpens don't get too involved this game should play UNDER.
MLB Picks: Chicago and UNDER six runs