Minnesota Twins vs. Seattle Mariners Preview and Pick – Kevin Slowey vs. Cliff Lee

Minnesota Twins (31-21) Kevin Slowey, at Seattle Mariners (20-31)
Cliff Lee, Safeco Field, Seattle, Wash., 10:10 PM EST, Wednesday,
June 2nd, 2010

by Badger of Predictem.com

Betting Line: Twins +135/Mariners -145
Total: 7

Something is going to give for one of the pitchers in tonights
Minnesota Twins-Seattle Mariners matchup, as both Twins righty Kevin
and new Marniers left-handed ace Cliff Lee come into the third
game of their teams four-game set at Safeco Field with their own
three-game win streaks on the mound.

Speaking of three-game streaks, the Mariners snapped their losing one
last night with a 7-1 victory in game two of the series. Jose Lopez
hit a homerun and drove in three and Chone Figgins continued his hot
hitting (9-for-18 in last five) to finally support another strong
effort out of starter Jason Vargas. The Twins held on for a 5-4 win
in the series opener Monday.

The loss snapped the Twins five-game win streak, with Vargas shutting
down a hot Twins lineup that hit three homeruns the day before and
has been averaging just below six runs a game during the run (5.8).

Oddsmakers opened the contest tonight with Seattle and Lee listed as
-135 favorites on the overnight line, but with most of the early
action at the window coming in on Lee the number is up to as high as
-150 at some offshore sportsbooks with a majority of them sitting at
-145 to -140. The sportsbooks offering dimelines and reduced juice
list Minnesota and Slowey as high as +135 underdogs.

The over/under total is listed at a low number of 7 with the matchup
of hot pitchers combined with the friendly dimensions of Safeco Field
added in the mix.

If things go as expected this game might not be decided by either starter anyway.

Slowey is 2-0 in his three starts, all victories by the Twins, and his splits (1.27 WHIP, 3.12 ERA, .301 OBA) are better than his
overall season totals and indicate his good run on the bump right
now. The Twins are 7-3 in his 10 starts and support him well (5.5
RF), but if theres a worry with Slowey its his inability to go deep
into games.

His last time out was probably his best, when he went 6.2 innings and allowed only one run in a 2-1 victory over Texas. That was his first
start since April 20th where he pitched past the sixth inning, and
just the second time all season. Since the Twins bullpen has already
been forced to eat over seven innings of work in the first two games
of the series, a short start by Slowey tonight could be disastrous.

One player for the Mariners to watch is Lopez, who is 8-for-17 with
two homeruns versus the Twins in his career.

Lee has pitched great since hes come off the disabled list, with
really just one big blemish (6.1 IP, 11 H, 8 R) in what turned into a
victory anyway in a 15-8 win over San Diego. Lee still peppers the
strike zone with pitches (0.99 WHIP) and makes hitters beat him (.242
OBA allowed) in order to score on him.

Hes also been strong against the Twins when he used to face them as
an Indian, going 8-3 with a 3.57 ERA over the span of 17 starts. His
last two outings against the Twins have been stellar, going a perfect
2-0 with a 2.42 ERA.

Tonights pitchers duel could continue a strong betting trend as well, as the under is 3-1-1 in the last five head-to-head games in
Seattles Safeco with the over and the push in that record coming in
the first two games of the series.

The Mariners have played well of late against the AL Central, going
5-1 in their last six games against the division, but they are only
2-8 in games where they are listed as the favorite.

The Twins are 5-1 in Sloweys last six starts against the AL West,
but they too are just 1-7 in their last eight games listed as a road

Badgers Pick: Runs will be at a premium tonight. Take the UNDER.