The last time these two teams faced off, the Indians packed their brooms and took it to the Mariners in a three-game sweep in Seattle. Now the Mariners travel to the Midwest to try and get some revenge on the Tribe. Both these teams had solid Aprils and are looking to keep the good start going into the later stages of the season.
Money Line – Cleveland Indians -185, Seattle Mariners +174
Over/Under – 8 (O -125, U +105)
First Pitch – 3:10 p.m. Central Time. Progressive Field, Cleveland, Ohio
After being the hottest team to start the season, the Seattle Mariners have cooled off quicker than you can say, “the Mariners are one of the most disappointing franchises in MLB history.” The last week of April was especially tough on the Marines as they went 2-5, including two embarrassing losses to the Rangers where they let up over ten runs in each game. They ended the month of April completely average. During April, the Mariners went 13-13 and scored 141 runs while giving up 141 runs. It has not been the hitting that has been disappointing as they still rank in the top half in the AL in most hitting statistics. That is except for strikeouts, which they are ranked last at 329. The pitching is what has been letting the team down the most. A 4.61 team ERA is what is holding them back from making a run for the top of the AL West, and Saturday’s starter Mike Leake is a part of the problem. Leake has given up a team worst 10 homeruns. This team was bound to fall back to Earth after the hot start and it seems like it is only downhill from here.
The Cleveland Indians took a huge blow when ace Corey Kluber was hit by a line drive during Thursday’s game. It is looking like Kluber will be out for an extended period of time, some reports say upwards of three months, and the rest of the starting pitching staff will have to pick up the slack. Carlos Carrasco gets that chance when he starts on Saturday. After five straight seasons with an ERA under four, Carrasco is going to have a tough time making it a sixth. He currently sits at a 5.86 ERA, and worst than that, he is averaging less than five innings a start. Hey, but at least he is striking people out. Carrasco currently ranks 22nd in the league with 41 strikeouts, but if the Indians want to win, they will need him to do better.
The Tribe will also need better hitting if they want to outhit the big bats of Seattle. This season has been really tough on the Indians hitters. When 33-year-old Carlos Santana is the best hitter on the team at this point in the season, there is a problem. Hopefully, Jason Kipnis and Francisco Lindor returning to the starting lineup permanently will have an impact.
Analysis and Prediction
The Mariners are in a slump right now, and I don’t see them pulling out of it in this game. I like the Cleveland Indians at -185. Stay away from the over/under though as these two pitchers are polar opposites when it comes to that. Carrasco has hit the under three out of his last four starts while Leake has hit the over three out of the last four starts.