There won’t be any downtime for the Seattle Mariners as they stay on the road on Friday for a three-game series meeting with the Cleveland Indians. They got thumped by the Detroit Tigers on Thursday afternoon and ultimately lost their previous series. We’ll see how they bounce back against an Indians team that recently split even on the road with the St. Louis Cardinals. Justin Dunn is expected to toe the rubber at pitcher for the Mariners against Cleveland’s Aaron Civale.
Bauers’ immediate return to ClevelandMariners' first baseman Jake Bauers won’t have to wait long for his return to Cleveland. News broke of the trade on Thursday between the Mariners and Indians. Bauers was sent packing to Seattle in exchange for “a player to be named or cash considerations,” via ESPN.com.
Imagine getting traded and turning right back around and facing your former teammates on your new team the next day.
In any case, the Mariners need all of the offensive help they can get with the team slashing .209/.286/.366. Things are worse than terrible. In the words of NBA legend Charles Barkley, the offense is “turrible” for the Mariners.
Perhaps they’ll have a chance at finding life against Cleveland’s middle-of-the-road pitching rotation. That’s exactly what happened in the previous series with the Mariners averaging 5.6 runs in their last three outings against the Indians.
However, good things tend to happen for the Indians whenever Aaron Civale is starting at pitcher, and Justin Dunn is going to have to make sure to outduel him on the other end. Dunn is throwing a 3.18 ERA with a 1.19 WHIP in only 45.1 innings of work. The Indians have been just as bad as the Mariners are at bringing runners across home plate.
So this one could stall into a moment of opportunity for Dunn.
Civale looks to erase a previous meltdownThe bats for the Indians showed up in their opener against the St. Louis Cardinals, only to go quiet again in the finale of the two-game pit stop. All that was audible was the sound of bats cracking through the Indians’ pitching rotation.
Aaron Civale heard that same sound when his pitches were getting knocked around by the Mariners in Seattle back in mid-May. He gave up seven hits and five earned runs, including two homers, in a loss in that game. It was one in only two losses for him this season. And yet, he has still compiled eight wins with a 3.49 ERA and 1.08 WHIP.
So all eyes will be on the rematch on Friday night.
The Mariners are the worst offensive team in baseball statistically, which doesn’t leave a lot of room for excuses if Civale struggles. This game should serve as his redemption dance.
Of course, that’s assuming the Indians can get their offense going. The last thing they need is another dud of a performance. It’s a legitimate concern with the team averaging less runs at home than they are on the road.
The top supporting trends for this game, found on Covers.com, are:
- Mariners are 5-2 in their last 7 when their opponent scores 2 runs or less in their previous game.
- Mariners are 5-2 in their last 7 games following a loss.
- Mariners are 4-1 in their last 5 during game 1 of a series.
- Mariners are 4-1 in the last 5 head-to-head meetings.
- Indians are 0-5 in their last 5 Friday games.
- Indians are 2-5 in their last 7 during game 1 of a series.
Best Bets for this Game
Full-Game Side Bet
Justin Dunn has made the sort of progress where he probably won’t be limited on Friday. His mere presence on the mound is a welcome return for a Mariners pitching rotation that has struggled. If anything, he can help limit the bats for an Indians team that has lost their last three games to the Mariners this season.
They failed to muster more than three runs in each of those losses.
The Indians have been one of the more frustrating teams this season because of the extremes when it comes to their performances. They’re the Jekyll-and-Hyde team of the American League. They’re steamrolling the Cardinals one week and getting blown out 18-5 by the Baltimore Orioles the next.
The Mariners obviously love proving naysayers wrong seeing as they’re 31-20 run-line dogs. They’ll love it even more when facing the same pitcher they dominated in the last head-to-head meeting. Aaron Civale is in for another tough night.
I’m taking the runs and the Mariners.
Full-Game Total Pick
The Mariners are allowing an average 5.41 runs per game on the road this season. I’m not expecting the Indians to blow up the scoreboard given their own offensive limitations. However, they’ll show more life than they did in the finale against the Cardinals with Dunn starting after coming off an injury layoff. Their sluggish offense should at the very least get something going. They’ll have no other choice to match what the Mariners will be doing at the other end in another matchup with Aaron Civale. They touched him up for five earned runs the last time he started against them. There will be more where that came from in Friday’s opener. Give me the over in this one.