The Oakland Athletics and the Seattle Mariners do battle in the second of a big four-game divisional series on Friday night. Frankie Montas is looking to lift his road record to 5-2 for Oakland. It will be Yusei Kikuchi hoping to avoid a third straight defeat for Seattle. The A's took a 4-3 lead in the season series after Thursday's 4-1 win.
Montas Eyes Third Career Win vs. Mariners
Frankie Montas will make his 20th start of the season to open the series. Montas was effective in his previous start, holding the Indians to only two runs in six frames, but was charged with the tough-luck defeat to even his record at 8-8. The young right-hander is thriving, yielding two or fewer runs in four straight performances, and is sporting a 4.33 ERA and a 1.30 WHIP in 106 innings on the season. Montas has fared well in his career against Seattle, recording a 2-2 record and a 3.31 ERA in 35.1 innings.
Oakland responded from a series loss to the Indians by issuing the two-game sweep of the Angels prior to this series. The pitching has been especially effective recently, allowing just one run in the two bouts with the Angels. Every game is huge considering Seattle and Toronto are trying to catch the A’s in the Wildcard.
SEND THEM HOME, RAMÓN pic.twitter.com/THiT5frwgE— Oakland A's (@Athletics) July 20, 2021
Watch for Matt Olson who has feasted on the Mariners pitching this season, registering a .409 average with seven RBI’s in 22 at-bats. The 27-year old slugger is having a terrific season, launching 25 taters along with 63 RBI’s and a .967 OPS. Olson has 10 RBI’s this month.
The Athletics are scoring an average of 4.40 runs per game, ranking them 15th overall. The pitching staff is sporting a 3.73 team ERA, good for 10th in the Majors.
Kikuchi Struggles Again, M's Remain in Wildcard Contention
The Mariners will give Yusei Kikuchi the nod for the 18th time of the year on Friday. Kikuchi was clobbered in his latest effort, conceding seven runs on nine hits in five innings against the Angels, and was tagged with the loss to bring his record to 6-5. The veteran southpaw has been exploited in back-to-back starts and his ERA has dipped to 3.92 along with a stellar 1.13 WHIP in 103.1 innings of action on the season. Kikuchi limited Oakland to one run in six frames in the lone meeting this season and is 1-2 with a stifling 2.54 ERA in 39 career innings against the foes.
Seattle continues to find ways to win games. They stand at 3-2 in their last 5 five clashes overall propelled by consistent run production. The M’s earned one win in two games against the Rockies this week and are only 3.5 games out of the Wildcard.
needed more, got Moore 🤗 pic.twitter.com/GB3qcmmjRg— Seattle Mariners (@Mariners) July 21, 2021
J.P Crawford has fared reasonably well against the A’s pitching, logging a .280 average in 25 at-bats. The 26-year old shortstop is in a slump right now, batting only .210 with one RBI this month. Crawford has five homers along with 31 RBI’s and a .709 OPS on the season.
The Mariners are averaging 4.15 runs on the year, placing them 23rd in the big leagues. They enter with a 4.44 team ERA, landing them 20th overall.
The Oakland Athletics are:
- 4-0 in their last 4 games against the AL West.
- 11-4 in their last 15 games in the second game of a series.
- 5-2 in their last 7 games overall.
The Seattle Mariners are:
- 1-8 in Kikuchi's last 9 home starts against a team with a winning record.
Best Bets for this Game
Full-Game Side Bet
This is a big divisional game considering Seattle is trailing Oakland for the Wildcard. It’s been a rough few outings for Mariners’ starter Yusei Kikuchi. The lefty surrendered five runs against the Yankees followed by seven runs against the Angels last weekend. He has squandered three homers in his last two starts and the A’s have plenty of power.
Furthermore, A’s starter Frankie Montas has been stellar, limiting his foe to two or fewer runs in four consecutive performances highlighted by gems against the Red Sox and Astros. Oakland has won six out of their last eight games and I anticipate another victory in this one.
Full-Game Total Pick
I expect a lower-scoring battle in this matchup. Frankie Montas is consistent in keeping opponents in check and features a respectable 3.31 career ERA against Seattle. Oakland’s pitching has been incredibly consistent and has allowed four or fewer runs in 10 consecutive games entering Friday. The under is also 4-0 in the A’s last four games.
In addition, while I expect enough offense against Yusei Kikuchi to register the victory, overall he has fared well against the A’s, recording a terrific 2.54 career ERA. The under is also 4-1 in Oakland’s last five road games overall.
Full-Game Prop Bet
The under on the Mariners team total is an attractive prop. Seattle has scored four or fewer runs in eight out of their last 10 home games overall including just one in Friday’s loss. Montas should give Oakland six innings and the bullpen ranks in the top with a 3.83 ERA on the season.
First Five Innings Prop Prediction
Kikuchi has some issues the first time through the order, posting a 4.24 ERA in the first inning and a 5.82 ERA in the second. This is ideal for Oakland who does big damage early in games, accumulating 151 runs in innings 1-3 which is their highest scoring stretch. Seattle only has 129 runs in that span.