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MLB Twins at Mariners

April 18, 2007

MLB Baseball - Minnesota Twins at Seattle Mariners (-205, 7.5) 10:00 PM EST

Ichiro Suzuki of the MarinersSeattle has already lost five games this season to snow and rain and the teamís best player is off to uncharacteristically weaker start. 

Center fielder Ichiro Suzuki was hitting below the Mendoza-line (.200), until a big series over the weekend has him closer to .300. Even without Ichiroís full contributions yet, the Mariners are 5th in the American League in runs per game at 5.3. Adrian Beltre, Jose Vidro, Raul Ibanez and Richie Sexson formulate a steady ability to score runs on a consistent basis, which only Texas can match in the division.

Though way too early to tell if the pitching will hold up, a young stud is now the masthead of the Mariners staff. Felix Hernandez is all of 21 years old and has been brought along slowly and has convinced management he is ready to be turned loose. Hernandez is 2-0 having yet to allow a run in 17 innings and one hit the powerful Boston line-up at Fenway Park his last time out.

Minnesota will provide the opposition in game two of this series, as Carlos Silva takes the mound. Silva has worked with the Twins pitching coaches to get back to previous years form and be ready to step-up with Brad Radkeís retirement and Francisco Liriano injury.

In the early going Silva has just done that with 0.77 earned run average despite little run support for 0-1 record. The Venezuela native depends on good control and hopes the ball is beaten into the ground to pile up outs. Silva might have one edge, as Seattle has not been running thus far in 2007. He and the Twins are 9-2 against the money line vs. teams averaging 0.35 or less stolen bases a game.

Seattle is a -205 favorite at with a total of U7.5 (-120) because of the presence of Hernandez. As a team the Mariners are not that impressive against clubs like Minnesota with an 11-29 record against the ML vs. American League teams allowing 4.7 or less runs a game.

Silva is 3-1 when starting against Seattle with an ERA of 2.75 and the Twinkies are 4-1 overall.

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