Baltimore Orioles (12-9) +135, o/u 9 at Seattle Mariners (11-11), 10:10 pm Eastern Thursday
by Zman of Predictem.com
A couple of left-handers will do battle when Adam Loewen and his Baltimore Orioles take on Jarrod Washburn and his Seattle Mariners in the rubber match of a three-game series Thursday night at Safeco Field.
Baseball sportsbooks list Washburn and Seattle as -145 home chalk for Thursday’s game, with a total of 9, while Loewen and Baltimore are getting +135 as road underdogs.
The Mariners took the opener of this series Tuesday night 4-2, but the Orioles got eight great innings from Daniel Cabrera Wednesday and a tie-breaking home run from Nick Markakis in the 8th to squeak out a 3-2 series evener. So going into Thursday’s action, the O’s, who have won four of their last six games, are in second place in the AL East, two games back of the division-leading Boston Red Sox. Meanwhile, the M’s, who have won five of their last eight games, sit in third place in the AL West, two games behind both the Los Angeles Angels and the Oakland A’s.
Last year, Seattle took the season series from Baltimore seven games to two. But already this season, the Orioles have beaten the Mariners five out of six games.
Also, last year, the o/u went 7-1-1 in this series, and the games averaged a healthy 12.0 total runs per game. But this year, the o/u is 2-4 in M’s vs. O’s games, which have averaged just 7.7 RPG.
Baltimore is 3-5 on the road this season, and 11-10 vs. the run line. On the other side of this match-up, Seattle is 6-4 at home, and 12-10 vs. the run line.
Loewen (0-1, 6.32, 1.79 WHIP this season) has made three starts so far this season, including a 3-1 loss to the White Sox last Wednesday. He’s allowed 11 ER, 12 bases on balls and 16 hits in just 15 2/3 IP. The Orioles are 1-2 in Loewen’s starts, the o/u also 1-2.
Loewen didn’t start vs. the Mariners last year, but in a start vs. Seattle back on April 5, he allowed four ER, seven baserunners (hits + walks) and a pair of homers in 4 2/3 innings of a 6-4 Baltimore win.
Over his last three starts, including a 4-1 loss to the Angels last Saturday, Washburn (1-3, 4.12, 1.25) has given up eight ER and 23 baserunners in 19 IP. Seattle is 1-3 in Washburn’s starts this year, as is the over/under.
Washburn started April 4 vs. the O’s, allowing three ER and seven baserunners in five innings of work in a 7-4 Mariners defeat. Combining that outing with two starts last year vs. Baltimore, and Washburn has given up 13 ER on 24 baserunners in his last 16 IP vs. the Orioles. Seattle is 1-2 in those three starts, and all three went over their totals.
On the offensive side of things, Baltimore ranks 19th in the majors in team OBP at .326, 17th in team slugging at .403, and is averaging 4.2 RPG. But the O’s have scored just six runs over their last three games.
Meanwhile, the Mariners rank 23rd in OBP at .313 and 20th in slugging at .385, and are averaging 4.5 RPG.
The Baltimore bullpen ranks 8th in the league in ERA this year at 3.50 and 1st in WHIP at 1.10. On the other side, the Seattle pen ranks 28th in ERA at 5.40 and 26th in WHIP at 1.58.
On the injury front, Mariners OF Brad Wilkerson missed Wednesday’s game a sore hammy, and is listed as D-T-D. But the M’s have their closer back, after J.J. Putz returned from the DL earlier this week.
The o/u is 6-15 in Orioles games this year, which are averaging 8.5 total runs, while the totals are 8-12 in Seattle games, which are averaging 8.6 runs. And the O’s have played five unders in a row, while the M’s last four games have stayed below their totals. Also, games played at Safeco Field last season averaged 9.6 total runs.
Zman’s Pick: Look for the Mariners to rebound tonight.