Game: Oakland Athletics at Seattle Mariners
Time: 10:10 PM ET
Starting Pitchers: Cole Irvin vs. Chris Flexen
Odds: Athletics -101, Mariners -106
Both Oakland and Seattle are still alive in the American League playoff race. That makes this three-game series between the two teams that much more important. Currently, the Yankees (89-67) and Red Sox (88-68) hold the two AL wild cards. Toronto (87-69) is a game behind. Seattle (86-70) is a game behind the Blue Jays and Oakland (85-71) is a game behind the Mariners.
A little over a week ago, the A’s swept the Angels and were looking good in their quest for a playoff berth. Then, they were swept by the Mariners in four games. They did rebound with a three-game sweep of Houston in a series where Oakland outscored the Astros 20-6. Crazier things have happened, but currently sitting behind Boston by three games facing a division rival that has beaten the A’s in nine straight games is not promising.
Oakland will put Cole Irvin on the mound in an attempt to get a win. It will be the fifth time this season that Irvin, who is 10-12, has started against Seattle. He hasn’t had much success against the Mariners. Seattle has won all four games that Irvin has started. His last start was a 4-1 loss to Seattle. Irvin gave up seven hits and three earned runs in five innings in the loss.
The Mariners have the pitching advantage in this one as Chris Flexen will start for Seattle. Flexen is 13-6 this season and sports a 3.56 ERA. Flexen started last week against Irvin in that 4-1 win over the A’s. Flexen pitched seven innings, allowed just one earned run and struck out eight.
Like Irvin, Flexen has four starts against Oakland. The Mariners won two and lost two in those starts. More recently, Flexen has been clamping down on opposing batters. Over his last seven starts, his ERA is just 2.93. Seattle has needed his pitching, as well as that of the rest of the staff since the Mariners’ offense, isn’t all that great.
Seattle is just 23rd in runs per game averaging 4.27. The big bat for the Mariners is Kyle Seager who has 35 home runs and 100 RBIs for the season. Over the last week, Seager hit .398 with four doubles, a homer, and four RBIs.
Oakland is tied for 11th in runs per game (4.60). They are led by Matt Olson who has 38 homers, 109 RBIs, and is batting .272. Olson was one of the keys in the A’s three wins over Houston over the weekend.
Remember, Seattle is 9-0 against Oakland in the last nine against Seattle. In all four games that Irvin started against the Mariners, the total went Under. Likewise, in all four games that Flexen started against the A’s, the total went Under. Oakland has gone Under in seven of its last nine games overall. The Under is 8-2 in the last ten games played between Oakland and Seattle.