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#971 Kansas City Royals 9 vs.
#972 Seattle Mariners -115
Monday, June 17, 2019 at 10:10pm EDT
Written by Sporty Jordy

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When and where: June 17, 2019, T-Mobile Park, Seattle, WA, 10:10 PM ET

The Seattle Mariners kick off a seven-game home stand on Monday night with a three-game meeting with the lowly Kansas City Royals. There isn’t much hope emanating from the Royals nearing the midway point of the season, aside from the mere chance of beating out the Baltimore Orioles to avoid the American League’s worst record. Meanwhile, the Mariners face the struggles of competing in a shark-filled AL West division. Danny Duffy will lead the way in the pitching rotation for the Royals in this series opposite of the Mariners’ lefty Tommy Milone.

Royals on the wrong side of history

Only five teams since 1980 have gone consecutive seasons losing 100 games, and the struggling Royals are currently on pace to be the sixth. The effect from the 2015 World Series win is starting to wear off, and hope of a turnaround is dwindling for Royals’ fans. Things have rapidly declined to the point where everything needs fixing—most notably, the moribund offense and unreliable pitching rotation.

Perhaps they could try convincing Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes to follow in his father’s footsteps and play baseball in the NFL offseason. The Royals have reached the level of desperation and clearly need any talented arm they can get. They currently sit in last place in the AL Central division, two games out from tying the Orioles for the worst record in baseball.

After taking a series win over the Detroit Tigers, the Royals got off to an early start and upset the Minnesota Twins in Sunday’s closeout game of the weekend series.

Duffy will get his chance to lead the way towards a bounce-back series on Monday when he starts against the Mariners. The veteran lefty is throwing a 4.38 ERA in 49.1 innings spent on the mound this season. He recently clocked seven innings against the Detroit Tigers, who he held to four hits and two earned runs, while striking out seven batters. However, that strong performance still wasn’t enough to save the Royals from another loss.

Mariners lose Encarnacion to the Yankees

It’s a fire sale in Seattle, and hard-hitting designated hitter Edwin Encarnacion was the next to go for the Mariners. The ball club completed a trade with the New York Yankees on Saturday that sent the former three-time MLB All-Star to the Big Apple in exchange for minor league pitcher Juan Then and cash considerations.

Add this move to another in the “what were they thinking” category for the Mariners.

They’ve essentially handed over their best power hitter to the Yankees for little in return. The defense for the Mariners has stunk all season, but there was at least hope the offense could carry the load at times. An offense that was already on shaky ground is now down a proven veteran slugger that also happened to lead the American League in home runs this season.

The Mariners currently sit in last place in the AL West division with 44 losses already in the season. They’ve essentially fallen from an 89-73 record in 2018 to being on pace to losing 100 games in 2019.

Milone (3.42 ERA) will try to do his part to build on the Mariners’ 2-1 road series win over the A’s when leading off the pitching rotation against the Royals. The 32-year-old veteran has only appeared in five games this season, but he’s made a good enough impression to stick in the rotation. He recently held the Twins to four hits and three earned runs in six innings, while also striking out six batters. That performance combined with him holding his own against the Houston Astros and Texas Rangers is the reason why he’s getting another chance to start on Monday.

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The Mariners didn’t need Encarnacion on the field to finish the job against the A’s over the weekend. Their defense stepped up to the plate for a second time in the series, and the offense answered the challenge after getting shut down on Saturday. Fast forward to Monday’s game against the Royals, and the odds are considerably more in the Mariners’ favor.

The Royals are the worst road team in baseball by three games right now. That’s good news for the Mariners heading back home a bit more confident after their surprise win over the A’s. Duffy has faced struggles this season, mostly due to him consistently facing some of the best offensive teams in the league, but he is a reliable and experienced arm that will pitch them to a victory against a Royals batting lineup slashing .242/.307/.401.

For all of the Mariners’ defensive shortcomings, the Royals lack the means to take advantage of any of them. I like the Mariners to open up this three-game meeting with a lopsided victory.

Prediction: Seattle Mariners

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The Mariners’ lineup is averaging 5.20 runs per game, which is sure to put tremendous pressure on a Royals defense giving up an average of 5.13 runs. In each of the four head-to-head meetings between the two teams this season, the Mariners have scored at least six or more runs. Give me the over betting total here.

Prediction: Over
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Written By Jordy McElroy , "Sporty Jordy"

Born in Germany and raised in the beautiful state of Tennessee, Jordy McElroy is a storyteller of sports, a sports betting enthusiast and a semi-deep thinker. Being a New England Patriots fan means he's a six-time Super Bowl winner as well, which means you'd have to be a fool to ignore his advice. Prior to joining our team here at Winners & Whiners, Jordy’s work appeared on CNN.com, FOX Sports, Bleacher Report, USA TODAY and BJPenn.com. There are no beaches where he comes from -- just rolling hills, green valleys and all the Sun Drop you can drink.