Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (57-58 SU, 54-61 RL, 46-61-8 O/U) vs. Seattle Mariners (59-56 SU, 54-61 RL, 55-56-4 O/U)
MLB: Thursday, August 10, 2017, Safeco Field, Seattle, Washington, 10:10 pm ET
Lines: Seattle -210, Anaheim +190; Over/Under: 7.5
It’s the series opener between a pair of AL West rivals up in the Pacific Northwest. The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim kick off a four game series against the Seattle Mariners Thursday night. Anaheim won two of three from the Orioles at home, winning the rubber game of the set 5-1 Wednesday. Seattle won both games of their short road set against the A’s, taking a 6-3 victory in the finale Wednesday afternoon. The Mariners took two of three in the last series between the teams, which took place in Anaheim June 30-July 2.
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim Chasing Wild Card Spot
Anaheim bounced back from losing the series opener to the Orioles by claiming the final two games of the series. The Angels enter this contest two games behind the Mariners for the second wild card spot in the American League. Kole Calhoun (two runs) and C.J. Cron (two runs, two RBI) each had three hits for Anaheim while Mike Trout added each pair in the contest. Troy Scribner (2-0) continued his solid start to his big league season as he got the win: he threw five innings, allowing a run on two hits with no walks and four strikeouts before turning it over to the bullpen.
Tyler Skaggs is on the hill for his seventh start of the year for the Angels in this contest. He is 1-2 with a 4.32 ERA, a 1.35 WHIP with 11 walks against 32 strikeouts in 33.1 innings of work. This marks just his second start in more than three months as he’s been recovering from a Grade 2 oblique strain. Skaggs took the loss in his last start, which came Saturday at home against the A’s. He threw four innings, allowing three runs on six hits with two walks and three strikeouts in a 5-0 Angels defeat. He is 1-1 with a 3.38 ERA, a 1.31 WHIP plus four walks and 13 strikeouts over 16 innings in his last three starts. Skaggs makes his sixth career start against the Mariners in this contest. He is 1-2 with a 5.72 ERA and a 1.659 WHIP over 28.1 innings of work. He is 1-1 with a 4.42 ERA and a 1.636 WHIP over three starts covering 18.1 innings of work in his career at Safeco Field.
Seattle Mariners Look to Protect Wild Card Spot
Seattle won its second straight and seventh in the last 10 games by sweeping Oakland in their two game set. The Mariners hold a one game edge over the Royals and Rays for the second and final wild card spot. Nelson Cruz (two runs, three RBI) and Robinson Cano (two runs) each had two hits in the game for Seattle. Cruz (his 25th and 26th) and Kyle Seager (his 17th) each homered in the victory for the Mariners in the game. Yovani Gallardo recorded a no-decision after allowing three runs on six hits with two walks and three strikeouts over 4.1 innings. Emilio Pagan (1-2) got the win with 2.2 scoreless innings of relief while Edwin Diaz picked up his 25th save of the year.
James Paxton is set to make his 20th start of the year for the Mariners. He missed most of the month of May with a grade 1 forearm strain. Paxton is 12-3 with a 2.70 ERA, a 1.085 WHIP, 32 walks and 132 strikeouts over 113.1 innings of work. He picked up the win in his last start, which came on the road against the Royals Friday, to set a franchise record with wins in seven straight starts. Paxton threw six innings, allowing two runs on four hits with one walk and seven strikeouts in a 5-2 Mariners triumph. He is 3-0 with a 0.95 ERA, a 0.79 WHIP, one walk and 25 strikeouts over 19 innings in his last three starts. Paxton makes his 10th career start against the Angels in this contest. He has a 4-2 record with a 2.04 ERA and a 0.907 WHIP over 57.1 innings of action. Paxton is 16-10 with a 2.74 ERA and a 1.173 WHIP over 34 career starts totaling 200.1 innings of work at Safeco Field.
- Angels are 3-8 in their last 11 during game 1 of a series
- Angels are 1-6 in their last 7 road games vs. a team with a winning record
- Mariners are 6-1 in their last 7 vs. a team with a losing record
- Mariners are 5-1 in their last 6 vs. American League West
- Mariners are 5-1 in their last 6 home games following a road trip of 7 or more days
The Angels have pushed themselves back into the AL wild card race and this will be an important series for both teams. Seattle has been sizzling, which pushed them into the second wild card spot in the American League. The Mariners have the major edge on the mound with Paxton scorching hot at the moment. Skaggs struggled in his return from the disabled list and that trend continues here: look for Paxton to make it eight straight starts with a win as Seattle gets the victory.
Pick: Seattle Mariners -210
There may not be a hotter starting pitcher in all of baseball than Paxton. He’s been lights out with victories in seven straight starts. In that span, he has a 1.59 ERA with seven walks and 53 strikeouts over 45.1 innings. Opposing hitters are hitting just .182 off Paxton with a .214 slugging percentage and a .443 OPS in that span. He’s gone at least six innings without allowing more than two runs in any start in that stretch. Skaggs missed more than three months with an oblique strain and he’s been injury prone throughout his career. He needs to be sharper for the Angels to stay in the playoff hunt.
The over is 4-1-1 in the Angels’ last 6 Thursday games, 4-1 in their last 5 games vs. a left-handed starter and 7-3-1 in their last 11 games vs. a starter with a WHIP less than 1.15 on the season. Seattle has seen the over go 7-3 in their last 10 games vs. a starter with a WHIP greater than 1.30, 4-0 in Paxton’s last 4 starts with 5 days of rest, 5-1 in Paxton’s last 6 Thursday starts and 5-1 in Paxton’s last 6 starts vs. a team with a losing record. The teams have gone over the total in five of the last six meetings in Seattle and six of eight overall. Even with Paxton sharp, Skaggs has struggled and this one looks like a 6-2 or so game: look for the over to come up here.