A matchup of two puny American League offenses takes place tonight in Seattle with Ichiro Suzuki and the Mariners betting favorites versus the Cleveland Indians.
The fact that the Seattle Mariners and Cleveland Indians have no shot at baseball's postseason play does not have any bearing on bettors having a chance to make a profit on the outcome of Thursday night's contest.
The two clubs begin a four-game series with Thursday's opener at Safeco Field, where the Mariners are 31-35. This four-game set will conclude Seattle's season-high 10-game homestand, and it hasn't been pretty.
Prior to Wednesday's contest against the Angels, the Mariners had dropped three of the first five matches on the stand. A lack of offense has continued to plague Seattle, as the club did not score more than three runs in any of the five outings.
The anemic run production should not have gone unnoticed by bettors wagering on the Mariners odds ‘total,' as the ‘under' is now 20-7 in Seattle's last 27 home encounters and 70-53-9 overall.
Doug Fister (4-10, 3.73 ERA) will attempt to get the Mariners off on the right foot in Thursday's series opener. The 6-foot-8 right-hander has not allowed more than three runs in any of his last four starts, but has just one win to show for it.
Fister's last start was typical of his team not supplying any run support. The 26-year-old allowed Minnesota just one run on six hits through seven sparkling innings spanning 107 pitches. He walked two batters and fanned six, but suffered a 1-0 loss as a 100 home underdog.
The Mariners are a dismal 7-15 in Fister's first 22 starts, with the MLB odds ‘under' going 10-8-4. Fister has not allowed a home run in eight of his last 10 assignments, including the last four starts.
The California native is pitching much better at home (3-5, 2.99 ERA) than on the road (1-5, 5.10 ERA). The ‘under' is 8-5 in his 13 home starts, with the Mariners going 5-8 during that span.
Fister did not face the Indians when the Mariners captured two games during a three-game set against the Tribe in the middle of August. Seattle won the first two contests, 3-2 and 9-3, before suffering a 9-1 spanking in the finale.
The Indians will counter with Josh Tomlin (2-3, 4.08 ERA), who will be making just his seventh start of the campaign.
Tomlin received plenty of run support in his most recent outing (Aug. 27) when the Indians clobbered Kansas City as 130 home favorites, 15-4. The 25-year-old right-hander allowed the Royals three runs on eight hits in just five innings spanning 92 pitches.
The combined 19 runs soared above the 8 ½-run closing total, marking the lone ‘over' game in Tomlin's first six starts.
This will be Cleveland's first game on a six-game West Coast excursion which will see the club travel to Anaheim for three games against the Angels after this series. Ckeck th Indians odds here.
The Indians are a dismal 24-41 in their first 65 road dates and 37-55 against right-handed starters. Cleveland has done surprisingly well in close games, going 5-4 in extra innings and 19-17 in one-run outings. The club has a minus-114 run differential after getting outscored 645-531.
Seattle is 41-52 against right-handed starters, 3-10 in extra innings and 18-23 in one-run affairs. The Mariners have a minus-136 run differential, getting outscored 565-429.
Don't forget to check the weather forecast and the umpire reports for all of Thursday's baseball action.