The Mariners and Red Sox have gone ‘under’ in all six meetings this season including doing so safely in the first three games of this four-game series. Look for the teams to go ‘under’ again in the Emerald City Sunday afternoon.
Two teams that have done nothing but play low-scoring games against each other this season look to continue that pattern Sunday when Felix Doubront and the Boston Red Sox (41-37 overall, 20-16 away) take on Jason Vargas and the Seattle Mariners (34-46 overall, 15-22 home) as the teams conclude their four-game series from Safeco Field in Seattle, WA at 4:10 ET.MLB Pick
The posted total at Bookmaker Sportsbook is 8 for this contest with the current odds on the ‘under’ set at -115.
The Red Sox thought they had a golden opportunity to gain ground in the tight American League East before this series with the last-place Mariners, but instead Seattle has taken two of the first three games, leaving Boston in a third place tie with the Tampa Bay Rays and 6½ games behind the first place New York Yankees.
This series has been dominated by pitching as the Mariners took the series opener 1-0 by scoring a run in the ninth inning Thursday, the Red Sox followed up with a 5-0 shutout of their own on Friday, and then Seattle won 3-2 in 11 innings here last night in a game that was scoreless until the bottom of the sixth inning. That makes the ‘under’ a perfect 6-0 in all the head-to-head meetings between these teams so far this year.
Of course playing low scoring games is nothing new for the Mariners, as they rank 27th in the Major Leagues and third from the bottom in the American League with a woeful .234 team batting average. Today, it is Doubront’s turn to try and take advantage of that weak lineup for Boston.
The southpaw Doubront may be a bit intimidated by the Green Monster in Fenway Park, as he has just a 4.54 ERA and 1.39 WHIP overall this season despite his 8-4 record. However, Doubront has done just fine when pitching away from Boston, going 5-1 with a nice 3.19 ERA and 1.25 WHIP on the road, and he now gets to pitch in one of the most pitcher-friendly parks in the American League with games averaging a combined 6.19 runs here in 2012.
Doubront has in fact allowed three earned runs or less in all seven of his road starts this season, and he also has the added advantage of facing the light-hitting Mariners for the first time ever here. Furthermore, Seattle is batting only .204 vs. left-handed pitchers in its own stadium this season.
That lack of offense is the primary reason why the Mariners are in last place in the American League West Division and 16½ games behind the division leading Texas Rangers, as Seattle does have some good pitching. That includes the southpaw Vargas starting today, who has been the subject of trade rumors for pennant contenders seeking a good arm for their starting rotations.
Vargas rebounded from his worst start of the season vs. the Arizona Diamondbacks two starts back by tossing a gem vs. the Oakland Athletics here on Tuesday, allowing only two runs and three hits with an impressive 10 strikeouts in 6.2 innings. As you might expect, Vargas has been at his best at Safeco, posting a 3.12 ERA and a spiffy 1.08 WHIP this year despite a 2-3 record. Thus, it should also come as no surprise that the ‘under’ is 6-1 in Vargas’s home starts.
Vargas’s career vs. the Red Sox further evidences just how much of a pitcher’s park this is. He has made four starts vs. Boston, two here and two at Fenway Park, and while he allowed nine earned runs on 15 hits in 13 innings in Beantown, he allowed only three earned runs in 12.1 innings in Seattle.
Look for more of the same today and for the ‘under’ to go to a perfect 7-0 in this season series at Safeco on Sunday.
: Red Sox, Mariners ‘under’ 8 (-115)