The American League East is one of baseball’s strongest divisions. The Yankees currently have a stronghold on first place but the Tampa Bay Rays and Baltimore Orioles are fighting for wildcard berths. Tonight Tampa takes on the Seattle Mariners in Seattle. Tampa has played great baseball the last few weeks and has won 7 of 8 to move into a tie for second place with Baltimore and both teams are tied for the lead in the race for the wildcard spots in the AL.
Tampa has a record this season of 63-53 and today with have Jeremy Hellickson taking on the Mariners. Hellickson has a record this season of 7-7 with a 3.52 ERA. He has not fared well in August, as his ERA for the month, in just two starts, is a disastrous 7.00. However, in July, he made five starts and his ERA was a very respectable 2.67. He has faced the Mariners four times during his career and has a record of 3-0. He started last Friday against Minnesota and gave up seven hits, but allowed just three runs to win 12-6.
The Mariners are in the process of rebuilding. This season they have traded away veteran players such as Ichiro Suzuki and have replaced them with younger talent. Their record shows they are rebuilding, as they are only 54-64 on the season, well out of playoff contention. Today they will send Felix Hernandez to the mound to face Tampa. Hernandez has a record this season of 10-5 with a 2.74 ERA. The former Cy Young Award winner in the American League has faced Tampa many times in his career. At home, in seven career starts versus the Mariners, Hernandez has a record of 3-0, with four no decisions.
The line at this time has Seattle, behind Hernandez, as the favorite at -130, with the Rays at +115. The total is sitting on 6.5. The Mariners will win today’s matchup in a low scoring game that will make winners of the UNDER.