Oakland (Hill) at Seattle (Walker) -125 O/U 7
Home/road offensive differentials really becoming magnified with the Mariners after scoring 36 runs on the six-game trip they concluded yesterday. For the season thus far (18 games), Seattle has posted home numbers of .218 BA (28th in MLB), .310 OBP, .366 SLG, and .676 OPS (22nd in MLB). In stark contrast, 25 away games have seen the M’s put up a more impressive .269 BA, .334 OBP, .456 SLG, .790 OPS (#5 in MLB). The weak home offensive numbers combined with the stellar start of tonight’s Oakland starter Rich Hill signals difficulties for the M’s lineup tonight. In a start back on April 9, Hill defeated Seattle going 6 innings allowing 1 run on 5 hits while striking out 10 and walking only one. However, his season average of just around 5.2 innings per start could be costly tonight since Oakland’s bullpen is a bit shorthanded. Key arms John Axford and Sean Doolittle have thrown in back-to-back games with the exact same pitch count of 37. For Axford it’s been three appearances in the last four days so expect these guys to get the night off. If either does throw, their effectiveness isn’t likely to be 100%. The Mariners counter tonight with Tajuan Walker who also has a quality start in his one chance vs. Oakland this year. Walker has pitched at home five times this season and four have gone under the total. His home WHIP of 1.21 and his 32/6 K:BB totals have been excellent. This contest adds up to being a pitcher's duel and despite the potential subtractions from the A’s relief corps, it still appears they have enough arms late to keep the door closed. Expect a low scoring contest that stays under the total.