The Los Angeles Angels begin their second-half playoff push with the first game of a series against the Seattle Mariners on Friday night. The Angels still have plenty of work to do if they are going to sneak into the 2019 MLB Playoffs. Seattle looked like a playoff team through the first month of the season, but things have gone horribly wrong in the last two months.
The Mariners have fallen to last place in the American League West with a record of 39-55. Seattle won just two of its final 10 games before the All-Star Break and will likely be worse in the second half of the season. Los Angeles went 3-3 in its last six games before the All-Star Break and is hovering around the .500 mark. The Angels sit in fourth place in the AL West with a record of 45-46. Los Angeles is -150 over Seattle in the series opener.
Trout Still Leading Angels
As long as Mike Trout is in the lineup for the Angels, he will always be the most dangerous hitter for opposing pitchers. The All-Star outfielder leads the team with 28 homers and 67 runs batted in to go along with an impressive .453 on-base percentage. Kole Calhoun is also having a solid season for Los Angeles and has chipped in with 19 long balls.
The Angels are planning to go with an “opener” in the first game of this series on Friday night. Right-hander Taylor Cole will take the ball to begin the game but will likely only go a few innings. Cole is 0-1 with an ERA of 4.58 this season, but the Angels simply don’t have any better options. The Angels offense will need to have a big night to take some pressure off of their bullpen.
Leake Makes Start For Mariners
The Seattle Mariners will have their ace on the mound on Friday night, but the term “ace” is used lightly in the Northwest. Mike Leake has been the best pitcher for the Mariners this season, but his numbers aren’t really that impressive. The veteran right-hander is 7-7 with a 4.32 earned run average this season but has pitched well against the Angels.
The Mariners have already started trading away some of their most talented players, and it has really hurt their offense. Daniel Vogelbach leads the team with 21 home runs this season and was an All-Star for his efforts. Domingo Santana has been the offensive star this season for the Mariners and leads the team with 63 runs batted in and a .286 batting average.
Angels Sneak Past Mariners in Series Opener
There will likely be plenty of runs scored in this game, as neither team has a dominant starting pitcher on the mound. A high-scoring game has to favor the Los Angeles Angels as the Mariners really struggle to score. Look for Los Angeles to get off to a great start with a series-opening victory over the Seattle Mariners. Bet the Angels -150 over the Mariners on Friday night.