Seattle Mariners vs. Los Angeles Angels Preview and Pick – R.A. Dickey vs. Joe Saunders

Seattle Mariners (9-8) +145, o/u 9 at Los Angeles Angels (10-7), 10:05 pm Eastern Friday
by Zman of

The two teams expected to battle for the top spot in the AL West this season hook up for the second straight weekend when the Seattle Mariners visit the Los Angeles Angels for a three-game series beginning Friday night at Angels Stadium.

Baseball Sportsbooks list LA as -165 home chalk for Friday’s game, with Seattle gettting around +145 as road dogs, and an over/under of 9.

The Mariners took two of three games from the Angels last weekend in Seattle. And all three games went over their totals, as the three games averaged 13 total runs per.

Last year, LA took the season series from Seattle 13 games to six. The o/u went 11-8 in those 19 games, which averaged 10.0 total runs per.

The Mariners won in Oakland Thursday 8-1 for their third straight win. Meanwhile, the Angels beat KC Thursday 5-3 for their fourth win in their last five games. So going into this weekend’s action, Los Angeles sits atop the AL West, a game ahead of Seattle and the A’s.

The Mariners are 4-5 on the road this year, and 9-8 vs. the run line. On the other side of this match-up, the Angels are 4-4 at home this season, and 7-10 vs. the run line.

Righty knuckeballer R.A. Dickey is scheduled to make his first start in the majors in two years for Seattle Friday against lefty Joe Saunders (2-0, 1.27, 0.94 WHIP this season) for LA.

Dickey started 33 games for the Texas Rangers from 2003 to early ’06, but hasn’t started in the majors since April of ’06. And he hasn’t started a game vs. the Angels since 2005.

Saunders pitched against Seattle last Sunday, giving up two ER on nine baserunners (hits + walks) in 5 1/3 innings of a 10-5 LA win. The Angels are 3-0 in Saunders’ starts this year, the o/u 2-1.

Saunders started twice vs. the Mariners last year. So over those three most recent starts vs. Seattle, Saunders has given up seven ER on 28 BR in 17 IP. Los Angeles has won two of those three games, and two of those games went over their totals.

The Mariners rank 14th in the majors in team OBP at .337, 17th in team slugging at .400 and are averaging 5.0 runs per game.

On the other scorecard, the Angels rank 6th in the league in OBP at .348 and 3rd in slugging at .458 and are averaging 5.1 RPG.

The Seattle bullpen ranks dead last in the league with a 6.13 ERA this year, while the LA pen ranks 25th at 5.16.

On the injury front, Mariners 1B Richie Sexson is listed as day-to-day with a sore shoulder. And Angels OF Vlad Guerrero, who missed Thursday’s game with a bad finger, is probable for Friday.

The o/u is 8-8 in Seattle games this season, which are averaging 9.4 total runs, while the totals are 9-6 in LA games, which are averaging 9.7 runs per. And games played at Angels Stadium last year averaged 10.0 total runs per.

Zman’s Pick: Lay the chalk and take the Angels.