Seattle makes a push before the All-Stars game

To say that things were not going their way, would be an understatement for the Mariners who lost several games in a row before ending the slide. It is uncertain what happened this week, but Seattle is on the verge of sweeping the Angels for the first time in a decade and all they need is another stellar outing from their starting pitcher. Iwakuma used to be one of their best, with an earned run average rivaling Felix Hernandez, but the Japanese sank into near irrelevance in his last three outings.

Seattle makes a push before the All-Stars game

He conceded an average of seven runs per game and lost all decisions, despite his teammates providing him with a surprisingly high number of runs. His home record is much better, which explains why bookmakers are still confident in his abilities to contain the Angels. He won’t be an All-Star player this season and this comes as no surprise, leaving Iwakuma to focus solely on the game at hand.

The Angels have one of the best batting units in the league, but their sluggers were ice cold this week, scoring a total of three runs in two games. What makes things even worse is the fact that LA was blanked in the second match and found no way around Felix. Well before the starting pitcher retired, Seattle had a commanding lead and there was nothing that the visiting team could do to claw its way back in the game.

To avoid a similar outcome, the Angels will need a better performance from their own starting pitcher but this is highly unlikely. Joe Blanton is just as disappointed of his teammates as the Angels are of him, and it is only fair to say that both parties are at fault. Joe posted an ERA of 5.40 which is a number that his teammates are right to frown upon, but it is not that bad to explain a 2-11 record.

For a team that invested millions in improving its hitting unit, the Angels are clearly failing to provide its pitchers with enough runs of support to keep them competitive. Pointing fingers is useless right now and all of them should work together to avoid a humiliating sweep at the hands of one of the weakest teams in the division. Houston is a new addition and it is not even factored in by serious teams, so the Angels need to rebound quickly if they are to prevent the Mariners from overtaking them. An insightful preview of the game is available at–mlb.html.

The obvious way to bet on this match would be to place a sizable wager on Seattle to win, but there is more than meets the eye about this game. Odds of 1.75 are a disgrace when the starting pitcher is mired in a losing streak and the visitors have names such as Albert Pujols in their rotation. A more profitable way to bet is the over 8.5 runs to be scored, because everything suggests that this is not going to be a narrow margin of victory for either team.