SEATTLE MARINERS (10-14)
at NEW YORK YANKEES (15-10)
First pitch: Tuesday, 7:05 p.m. ET
Line: New York -170, Seattle +160, Total: 8
Robinson Cano heads back to the Bronx for the first time since joining the Mariners when his team opens a three-game series versus the Yankees on Tuesday night.
Even with all of its offseason acquisitions, Seattle was unable to get off to a good start this season and recently suffered an eight-game losing streak. In the four games since the streak, the club has done much better, going 3-1 while winning its weekend series against the Rangers. The M's got to the Texas bullpen on Friday and Sunday, scoring eight runs in just four innings and winning each game by a score of 6-5. Seattle 3B Kyle Seager (.228 BA) really struggled out of the gate, but showed his talent over the past four games, going 8-for-15 with five home runs and 11 RBI. 2B Robinson Cano has provided a great average this year (.301 BA), but has just one home run and five doubles over his first 93 at-bats with his new team. Not many thought that New York had much of a chance at the division this year because of its pitching, but that part of its roster has impressed so far, including holding opponents to just a .240 average over the past seven contests. OF Brett Gardner (.272 BA) does not get the chance to play every day with such a crowded outfield, but has made the most of his past three games played, going 4-for-10 with five runs and four stolen bases. Looking to keep the Mariners going in their winning ways will be journeyman RHP Chris Young (0-0, 3.50 ERA) as he looks to put together his first full season since 2007. Opposing him for the host Yankees will be LHP CC Sabathia (3-2, 4.78 ERA) who attempts to build on two consecutive quality starts. Seattle has not played well on the road this season, with a 5-8 record, but New York has been tremendous at home going 8-4 in front of its fans. Over the past three seasons, the Yankees hold a 10-6 overall advantage in this matchup (4-5 at home though), with 12 of the 14 games going Under the total. Bettors should be aware that New York is just 22-27 (.449) in home games after two or more consecutive Unders since the start of 2012 while the Mariners are 32-56 (.364) after batting .240 or worse over a 15-game span since the beginning of last season. Both 3B Yangervis Solarte (shoulder) and OF Brett Gardner (foot) are questionable for the Yankees in this game.
Chris Young has been around for quite some time now, making his debut for the Rangers back in 2004. But he did not pitch in the majors last season starting just nine times in the Nationals' minor-league system. He began this year with eight scoreless innings in his first two games (1 start), but has given up seven runs on 11 hits in his previous two starts (10 IP) while walking more batters (8) than striking them out (6). Out of his 162 career starts at the big-league level, only three have come against the Yankees, and he is 1-0 (1-2 team record) with a 5.52 ERA (1.50 WHIP) in the matchup. Young’s most recent game against them came back in 2012 as a member of the Mets, and he allowed three runs and seven baserunners (4 H, 3 BB) over six innings while striking out four. Both OF Ichiro Suzuki (8-for-21, 2 HR, 6 RBI, 5 walks) and OF Alfonso Soriano (4-for-17, 2 HR, 3 RBI) have hit Young hard and have the most experience against him, while OF Carlos Beltran (2-for-4, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 1 double) has been great in limited at-bats. On the other hand, INF Kelly Johnson and C Brian McCann have combined to go just 4-for-23 (.174) versus Young with McCann hitting a solo home run. The Mariners' bullpen has been solid this season, and despite its poor 3-7 record, it has a 3.45 ERA (1.39 WHIP) in 78.1 frames while getting a save in 5-of-8 opportunities. Fernando Rodney (3.24 ERA, 5 saves) has blown just one save so far on the year and already has 12 strikeouts in just 8.1 innings on the mound.
CC Sabathia has seen his ERA rise in each of the past three seasons and had a career-worst 4.78 ERA over 32 starts last year. His strikeout rate also fell to 7.5 K/9 after seeing his average fastball velocity drop below 90 MPH for the first time in his career. After allowing at least four runs in each of his first three starts this year, Sabathia has done much better in his past two starts (13 IP), where he has allowed just four runs (3 ER) on 10 hits and five walks, while getting 14 strikeouts. In his career against the Mariners, the left-hander has a tremendous 13-4 record (team 16-6) with a 2.50 ERA, 1.14 WHIP and double-digit strikeout performances in each of his past three starts against them. Sabathia’s team has won nine consecutive games against Seattle when he is pitching, and he is personally 8-0 in that time. The current Mariners players do not have much experience against the lefty, while utility INF Willie Bloomquist (.217 BA) is batting .357 (10-for-28) with three doubles in the matchup. The only starter on the team with more than one hit against him is 1B Justin Smoak (.241 BA) who is 2-for-9 with a solo homer and three strikeouts in his career in the matchup. The New York bullpen has seemingly stabilized with the return of closer David Robertson from the DL. The unit has gone 3-2 with a 4.04 ERA and 1.39 WHIP while striking out an impressive 87 batters in just 75.2 innings this year, while saving 10-of-12 games. Robertson (0.00 ERA, 4 saves) has been a perfect 4-for-4 in his save tries this year while giving up just two hits and two walks in his five innings of work.