The A.L. West will be on full display Saturday afternoon as the Los Angeles Angels (12-12) take on the Seattle Mariners (15-12). Seattle will host this one at T-Mobile Park, with the first pitch scheduled for 9:10 pm ET.
This will be the second game of a three-game series between the two teams. The Mariners took the first game 7-4.
In the win, the Mariners hit three home runs, including a lead off home run from Mitch Haniger in the bottom of the first inning. Dylan Moore and Tom Murphy both hit their second home run of the season in the game as well.
In the loss, Shohei Ohtani hit his eighth home run of the season. Unfortunately for Angels’ fans, Andrew Heaney was not good. He didn’t even make it through the fourth inning and gave up six hits, two walks, and four runs. In that short span, he gave up three home runs.
Despite playing on the road, the Angels are the favorites in this one. They are -144 to win while the Mariners’ moneyline is +122. The runline features Seattle +1.5, and the over/under for total runs is 8.5.
The Angels will send righty Griffin Canning (1-2, 8.40 ERA) to the mound against the Mariners. In his last start, a 16-2 loss to the Astros, Canning gave up six runs in just over two innings of work.
For Seattle, Ljay Newsome (1-0, 1.69 ERA) will make his first start of the season. Prior to this, he has been working out of the bullpen. In 10.2 innings, he has allowed just two earned runs while striking out 11.
By The Numbers
Offensively, the Angels hold the advantage. They currently rank sixth in scoring averaging 4.83 runs per game. The Mariners fall to 20th averaging 4.04 runs per game.
Defensively, it is the Mariners that have been better. They currently rank 13th in the majors in runs allowed per game at 4.12. The Angels rank dead last in all of baseball, allowing opponents a whopping 5.52 runs per game this season.
Angels Hope Pitching Can Support Offense
Every year, it seems like the Angels are just hoping to get enough pitching to stay competitive. Sadly, this year seems like the same frustrations for Angels fans as their pitching staff has struggled to keep runs off the board.
Thankfully for the Angels, their offense has not had too many troubles putting runs on the board. Leading the way is future Hall-of-Famer Mike Trout. He is currently hitting .425/.517/.764 with six home runs, 14 runs batted in, and 18 runs scored.
While Trout continues to be a dominant force, one of the most exciting players early in the season has been Shohei Ohtani. He currently leads the team in both home runs (eight) and runs batted in (19), and is hitting .286/.323/.659.
If the Angels hope to have any success, though, Griffin Canning is going to have to be a lot better than he has been lately.
Mariners Hope To Keep Pace In West
After a solid start to the season, the Mariners have slowed down a bit lately. Coming into play Saturday, they were 4-6 in their last ten games. Despite most not expecting them to compete this year, they are trying to keep pace in a solid A.L. West.
Offensively, Mitch Haniger continues to have a solid start to the season. Coming back from a few days off with an illness, he homered in Friday’s game. He is now hitting .277/.312/.545 with six home runs, 18 runs batted in, and 18 runs scored.
Third baseman Kyle Seager has also been stellar. He is hitting .250/.301/.471 with four home runs and a team-leading 20 runs batted in thus far.
Seattle hitters haven’t had a lot of exposure to Canning, but Kyle Lewis, last year’s A.L. Rookie of the Year, has taken his yard once.
Taking Seattle And The Runline
Frankly, neither of these pitchers inspire a lot of confidence. Canning hasn’t made it through the third inning in back-to-back starts, and Newsome will transition from long man to making his first start of the season.
With so much uncertainty in the starting pitchers, the smart play is to take the runs. For this one, that means taking Seattle at +1.5.