The Cleveland Indians try to keep pace in the AL Central race when they take on the host Seattle Mariners in the second of a four-game series on Friday night. First pitch for this contest is set for 10:10 p.m. ET at T-Mobile Park in Seattle.
The Indians took the series opener on Thursday night, notching their fourth straight win. Cleveland improved to 21-14 with the victory and enters action in second place in the AL Central, one game behind the first-place Chicago White Sox.
The Mariners have dropped five in a row to fall to 18-20. Seattle is in third place in the AL West, three games behind the second-place Houston Astros and a half-game ahead of the fourth-place Texas Rangers.
The MLB odds have the Indians with a moneyline of -111, while the Mariners are listed at +101. The over/under has been set at 7½ runs.
On A Roll
Right-hander Aaron Civale goes for a sixth win against no losses. Civale is 5-0 with a 2.91 ERA in seven starts, striking out 33 and walking 14.
Civale is coming off a win against Cincinnati last Saturday, going seven innings and allowing one run on five hits while striking out five and walking two. He’s gone at least 5⅓ innings in every start he’s made this season.
He’s trying to follow up the series-opening effort of Zach Plesac, who lost his shot at a no-hitter in the eighth inning.
“For about seven innings, he was about as good as you can be throwing all his pitches for strikes,” Cleveland manager Terry Francona said of Plesac’s effort.
The Indians offense has been doing just enough to win, with Cleveland having come out on top in nine of its last 10 entering Friday’s game. Jose Ramirez hit his 11th home run of the season in Thursday’s win, putting him atop all American League players.
Outfielder Franmil Reyes got into the act with a home run as well, his ninth of the season, upping his team-high RBI total to 24.
The Mariners have scored two or fewer runs in three of their last four games, and they’re going to have to improve in that area to climb back up the AL West standings. Seattle entered Friday’s action last in baseball with a .201 team batting average, with the team’s 241 hits ranking 28th in the majors.
Outfielder Mitch Haniger went hitless for the second straight game on Thursday after hitting two home runs in Tuesday’s loss to the Dodgers. Haniger has 10 home runs and 27 RBI but he hasn’t been able to carry the Mariners’ offense on his own.
Highly touted outfielder Jarred Kelenic made his major league debut on Thursday, going 0-for-4 with a strikeout, but Seattle is hoping he’ll improve with more experience at the big-league level.
Right-hander Chris Flexen will take the mound for the Mariners, as he makes his seventh start. Flexen is 3-1 with a 3.78 ERA in his first campaign with Seattle, striking out 23 and walking just seven in 33⅓ innings.
Flexen got the win in his last start, against Texas last Friday, going 6⅓ innings and allowing four earned runs on 10 hits, including a home run. It was the second straight start that he’d allowed at least three earned runs and a home run but not taken a loss.
Indians Stay Hot
Although Flexen has a good-looking record, he’s been lucky to give up runs but not taste defeat. That should change in this one, as the Indians are hitting their stride in an effort to keep pace with the White Sox.
Seattle’s offense just won’t have enough against Civale to win this one, as the Indians win again.
When making your MLB betting picks, take Cleveland to make it two straight over Seattle.