The goal is the same for the Mariners and Royals: do enough to squeak into the postseason. Both have 55 wins and are flirting with a wildcard. The Royals also have the opportunity to catch the Indians who are 3 games up on them in the AL Central. The Mariners can forget about winning the AL West, down by 15 games to the Astros, it’s been a wrap before the All-Star break. The Yankees are doing a good job throwing their season away lately, so maybe the Mariners can come from out of the shadows and steal it from the Yanks.
Aaron Judge was playing so hot that there was bound to be some regression. It’s just happening all at the wrong time for the Yankees who can’t fall to pieces now. This could just be a blip on the radar, but in any event, they’ve managed to score just 3 runs over the last two days. Getting torched by Kluber is understandable; however, you can’t let it happen to Anibal Sanchez and Jordan Zimmermann.
The Mariners are loving every minute of it, as they are well within reach of a wildcard at this point. One team they are chasing for a wildcard would be the Kansas City Royals. If the postseason started today it would be the Yankees vs. Royals in a wildcard matchup, while the Rays and Mariners sit outside looking in.
No team with a record of around .500 should be in the postseason, let’s throw that out there, but at this rate it’s looking that way. James Paxton most certainly deserves a roll of the dice in the postseason, though. The Mariners vs. Yankees would provide an interesting twist, as Cano would be up against the team where he got his start. If the Yankees miss out completely, it would be an ultimate choke job for them. Will the Mariners or Royals be in? Or will neither? One team will be closer to making it happen after tonight. Get our free Mariners vs. Royals pick below.
Seattle Mariners vs. K.C. Royals Pick
James Paxton (11-3, 2.68 ERA) vs. Jason Hammel (5-8, 4.75 ERA)
Paxton has been a diamond for the Mariners this season. In a year that has seen Felix Hernandez regress, Paxton has stepped into an ace role and handled it with positive results. Do you think other teams who want to spend some money are taking a look at what he’s doing? With numbers like an ERA of 2.68 and a 1.10 WHIP I’d say he is catching some attention.
His most recent stretch has garnered a national spotlight. He hasn’t allowed a run in two starts for 13 innings. His ERA stands at 0.45 in his last three outings, including a 0.85 WHIP. Paxton has been around in the majors for five years and only getting recognition now. In five years, his ERA never eclipsed the 4.00 mark.
Paxton worked well against the Royals a year ago, allowing just 2 runs across 7 innings. Jason Hammel has been pitching well lately as well. Not quite as good as Paxton, but still good. He posted an ERA of 3.32 and 0.95 WHIP in his last three starts. Hammel hasn’t allowed more than 3 runs since July 1st. I thought we’d be seeing a total of 8 here, so I’m not opposed to a play on the UNDER 8.5.
PICK: UNDER 8.5 (-115)