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Oakland Athletics vs. Seattle Mariners Predictions, Picks and Preview – May 8, 2015

Oakland Athletics vs. Seattle Mariners Predictions, Picks and Preview – May 8, 2015

The city of Seattle must be having some sleepless nights of late as the Mariners, the preseason favorite to win the AL West, sit at the bottom of the division. But the Mariners can turn that around with a big win over the visiting Oakland Athletics tonight. The A’s are just one spot above Seattle in AL West. But they can further separate themselves through explosive offense and a strong outing from their ace. Think the A’s pile even more misery on the Mariners?

Fellow AL West teams Houston and Los Angeles also face off tonight. Check out our complete preview for the Astros vs. Angels. And if intra-divisional rivalries suit your fancy, check out AL Central’s Royals vs. Tigers.

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Oakland Athletics vs. Seattle Mariners Preview

Where: Safeco Field, Seattle

When: Friday, May 8, 10:10 PM ET

Line: Oakland Athletics (-120) at Seattle Mariners (+110); total 7.0view all MLB lines

Betting on the Oakland Athletics

The A’s hand the ball to Sonny Gray tonight. The Oakland right hander has been lights out this season, going 4-0 with a 1.67 ERA in his first six starts. Gray was fantastic in his last outing on the road, pitching 6.2 scoreless innings in a 7-1 rout at Texas on May 3. He allowed just two hits and fanned 10, but could use some more control after walking seven batters. He had not issued more than four walks in a game prior to that game.

[sc:MLB240banner ]Oakland could use a solid outing on the mound after dropping their last two games by a combined score of 19-5. Gray is 4-1 with a 2.21 ERA in eight career starts overall against the Mariners. He’s been even better at Safeco Field, posting a 3-0 mark with a 0.98 ERA in four outings. He allowed two runs in eight innings in his last outing at Seattle, a 3-2 victory last September.

Gray could get some much needed run support if Oakland’s batters remain hot. Brett Lawrie has hit safely in his last 11 games at the heart of the order. He has hit .390 with three doubles, one homer, 10 RBIs and five runs scored over those games. Ike Davis could also be up for another big night. He went 2-for-3 with a double, a homer and two RBIs in Thursday’s 6-5 loss at Minnesota. Davis has hit 5-of-15 with three doubles and four RBIs in three games against Seattle thus far in the season.

Billy Butler, who is hitting just .136 this month, has hit 4-of-12 with a double, two RBIs and two runs scored in his last three games. Butler has gone 6-for-11 with a double and an RBI in three outings against Seattle this season.

The total has gone under in three of Gray’s four starts at Safeco Field.

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Betting on the Seattle Mariners

Nelson Cruz

Seattle is in trouble if tonight’s starter, Taijuan Walker (1-3, 8.74 ERA), continues his struggles. Walker allowed 14 runs over 7.1 innings in losing his first two starts of the season. He struggled again his last outing, allowing seven earned runs on nine hits (three homers) over three innings in an 11-4 loss at Houston on May 2.

Walker wasn’t any better in his first start against the A’s, allowing nine earned runs on nine hits in 3.1 innings of a 12-0 loss on April 10. But he had one of his better starts of the season in his lone appearance at home, allowing just one earned run on four hits while striking out eight in 5.1 innings in a 6-3 loss against Houston. He didn’t receive a decision.

Getting Walker run support may be difficult. Nelson Cruz, the Mariners’ best offensive weapon, leads the majors with 14 homers. He’s hitting .389 over his last nine games but is just 1-for-9 lifetime against Oakland’s Gray.

Robinson Cano could pick up the slack. He’s hit .278 with a double, a homer and three RBIs in his career against Gray. He’s batting .340 with seven doubles, four RBIs and has walked five times in 12 home games thus far this season.

Seattle will be well served if it can force Gray into an early exit. Oakland’s relievers have a collective 5.54 ERA. But the Mariners’ batters need to get going before Oakland closer Tyler Clippard steps on the mound. Clippard has limited Seattle to hit just .184 in his career.

The Mariners have lost four of their last six at home.

Writer’s Prediction

The A’s (120) batter Walker while benefitting from a solid effort from Gray.

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Written by Kevin

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