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Athletics And Mariners Meet In A Meaningful A.L. West Collision

Posted by Dale "Skip" Lalonde on 5/9/2013 7:42:39 PM

A few weeks ago, the Seattle Mariners figured to be a complete non-factor in the American League West. Now, they’re at least a part of the larger conversation in the division.

Series Preview: Oakland Athletics @ Seattle Mariners
Game 1 – Friday, May 10  

NFL betting veterans who don’t focus much of their attention on baseball betting might still check out this series, if only because the months before summer training camp are some of the slower football months of the calendar year. This series actually means a lot more than it figured to a few weeks ago, when Seattle was languishing and showing no signs of life.

The Mariners won seven of nine games to vault past the Los Angeles Angels in the A.L. West standings and create at least some reason for hope this season. Oakland, the defending division champion, has not been awful to this point in the season, but the A’s are looking up at Texas in their division. They have yet to hit their stride in 2013, and the Mariners will try to keep them from finding a prolonged groove. Dan Straily is the starter for the A’s in this contest on Friday. He carries a very high earned-run average into this game, and while Oakland used a lot of previously unknown pitchers to win the A.L. West last season, Straily has not yet shown that he’s on the same plane as many of his fellow pitchers in Oakland.

Straily will be opposed in this game by Hisashi Iwakuma, who has authored a success story for the Mariners in 2013. Felix Hernandez is the unquestioned ace in Seattle’s rotation, but Iwakuma has pitched like a number-one starter to this point in the season. He keeps hitters off balance with great location and a change of speeds. Oakland will have to perform at a high level to beat Iwakuma, and the sense here is that the A’s will fail.  

MLB Betting Pick: Seattle

Game 2 – Saturday, May 11

The betting websites that are scrutinizing lineups and pitching staffs do not need to be told that the Jarrod Parker-Joe Saunders matchup is a confrontation between two very inconsistent pitchers. Both men entered the month of May with ERAs over five runs. Saunders is capable of excellence, as shown in a recent complete-game victory over the Baltimore Orioles, but he is still finding weekly consistency to be elusive. Parker’s ERA is higher than Saunders’ mark, but he is supported by a better, tougher, deeper batting order. Oakland’s hitting will carry the Athletics to victory in game two of this series.

MLB Betting Pick: Oakland

Game 3 – Sunday, May 12

For a lover of online poker, it will not be hard to arrive at a decision on who is the better dealer in this game: Oakland starter Tommy Milone has steadily outperformed Seattle starter Aaron Harang this season. Milone is a youngster with a level head, while Harang – though an accomplished pitcher for a number of seasons – is not as good as he used to be. The A’s should be able to leave the Pacific Northwest with a series victory, nailed down on Sunday afternoon.

MLB Betting Pick: Oakland

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