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MLB Mariners at Royals

July 02, 2007

MLB Baseball Betting - Seattle Mariners (-112, 9) at Kansas City Royals 8:00 PM EST

Raul Ibanez of the MarinersThe Mariners arrive with a brand new skipper managing his first game, after the extremely sudden departure of Mike Hargrove as manager.

While speculation runs wild for the exact reason or reasons, time will have to provide the real answer. Even Hargrove's response leaves the door open, "I don't expect people to understand it, I really don't, because at times I don't understand it myself," he said.

Among the head scratching reasons is how well Seattle is playing, now with eight wins in a row, four games behind division leader Los Angeles and one game out of the wild card race.

Lastly is Kansas City who, despite losing last two games, have won five of seven with exceptional pitching in this stretch from the starters and bullpen, having allowed just 2.4 runs per game over the last week.

Former Mariner Gil Meche might have been too hyped up when he faced his old team back on May 25, and was routed 10-2, allowing seven runs in 4.3 innings. He will seek redemption this time around and will try to pitch more similar to the first time he faced the M's, not giving up any earned runs in 8-3 win on April 28.

Why Mariners win - Who wants to bet against a hot team? Seattle will be going for win number nine in a row for the first time in better then four years.

The Mariners have won 10 of 11 thanks to clutch hitting and a superb bullpen. Seattle is ninth in major league baseball in scoring runs at 5.1 per game and third in batting average at .284. The balance is shown in All-Star Ichiro Suzuki leading the team in hitting (.365), slugger Richie Sexson in home runs (15) and Raul Ibanez in run batted in (49).

The other All-Star representative is closer J.J. Putz who has been especially dominant with 23 for 23 in save opportunities and 0.92 ERA. With a bullpen that has won 17 of 21 decisions and takes control of close games, it comes as no shock the Mariners are 13-4 against the money line after a win by two runs or less this season.

Why Royals win - Expect Gil Meche to be more under control facing his old teammates for the third time this season and second in his newfound home that is paying him 55 million over five years.

While criticized for going to a losing team like Kansas City, the right-hander's biggest problem has been run support leading to 5-6 record despite 3.28 ERA. Over a period of seven straight starts which commenced in early May, the Royals scored a grand total of 13 runs, including being shutout twice for Meche.

He's wholly capable with a little help as noted by 14-5 (+11.6 Units) record against the ML when the total is 8 to 8.5 over the last two seasons. (Team's Record)

The Mariners can't go on winning forever and are 0-10 vs. teams averaging 2.75 or less extra base hits per game in the second half of the season over the last three seasons.

Seattle is -112 with a total of 9 for this baseball contest at sportsbook.com

Top Totals Trends - Seattle is 15-5 UNDER vs. teams who strand 6.9 or fewer runners on base per game in the second half of the season over the last two seasons. Kansas City is 34-21 UNDER against right-handed starters in 2007.

Pick - Seattle is going to lose at some point and it could well happen tonight, however the numbers set up for that not to occur.

Felix Hernandez is M's starter and he was wretched in last start allowing 11 hits and 6 runs in less than six innings. Look for him to bounce back with much better performance.

The Mariners are 10-2 against the ML with an on base percentage of .375 or better over their last five games and the Royals are less then regal with 20-49 record in home games after three or more consecutive games at Kauffman Stadium. Not a strong vote for Seattle, but a vote nonetheless.

Talk about Monday's card in the mlb baseball betting forum here at SCI.


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