The Seattle Mariners and Los Angeles Angels close out the first half of the season with the series opener of a four-game set Thursday night at Angel Stadium
Seattle Mariners at Los Angeles Angels
Seattle had its three-game winning streak snapped Wednesday in dropping a 2-0 contest in Oakland and now finish out the week in Anaheim before the All-Star break. The Mariners are now 9-10 in their last 19 games and are in the middle of a six-game stretch of facing right-handed pitchers. The club is 35-30 when facing right-handed starters compared to 8-14 versus southpaws. One of the strengths of the team is its bullpen, who enters this series having given up just a single run in its last 18 innings dating back to June 24. Over that span, opposing hitters are batting just .175 against them. Seattle is 11-10 versus divisional opponents this year.
Mariners starting pitcher Doug Fister is 3-9 with a 3.02 ERA in 17 starts this season and came away with a 1-0 defeat last time out versus San Diego. The right-hander is 0-1 in his last three starts despite surrendering only one run in each. In fact, Fister is 0-4 over his last six outings, posting a 2.68 ERA and lasting at least seven frames in each of those. Seattle is providing him with just 2.19 runs of support, which is the lowest mark in the American League. He will be looking to even up his career record versus the Angels, entering with a 1-2 mark and 3.86 ERA in five lifetime starts against them.
Los Angeles was unable to hold a late-innings lead Wednesday and dropped a 5-4 contest in the series finale to Detroit. The Angels have still enjoyed great success in winning seven of their first nine of a 13-game homestand. One player that was missing in yesterday’s defeat is expected back tonight, outfielder Vernon Wells sat out due to a sore ankle and heel that he sustained in Tuesday’s game. He expects to return to the starting lineup tonight and has slugged eight home runs in his last 20 games. It hasn’t all been good on the offensive end at Angel Stadium, as the squad is hitting .242 on its home turf compared to .269 on the road.
Angels starting pitcher Jered Weaver has thrown seven innings-or-more in eight straight starts and enters with a 10-4 record and 1.92 ERA. His ERA leads the Majors and the right-hander has allowed one run or less in six of eight starts. Weaver has posted a solid 4-1 mark and 2.06 ERA in seven home outings, surrendering just a single home run in 52 1/3 innings. The former Long Beach State product will be facing the Mariners for the 21st time tonight, coming in with an 11-4 record and 3.44 ERA, including a complete game shutout in his last effort on June 14 in Seattle.
Bettors will likely back the Mariners due to their 15-6 record following a loss, while the Angels are 9-11 against division opponents