The surprising Cleveland Indians
, fresh off a three-game sweep of Boston, will try and win their second straight series when they take on the Seattle Mariners this Saturday night in the second of a three-game weekend set.
Game time from Safeco Field in Seattle is set for 6:10 p.m. (PT) and it will be available on MLB.TV. The weather forecast for Saturday night is not great with a 30 percent chance of showers and temperatures in upper 40s, so expect the roof to be shut.
Sportsinteraction.com listed Cleveland at plus 1800 to win the AL Central this season, but do not tell that to the Indians after a 4-2 start has them tied with Chicago for the early lead in the division. Granted, 156 games remain on the schedule, but so far Cleveland has been solid at the plate with 32 runs and a team batting average of .264.
The Indians, however, have been less impressive on the mound with a 4.83 team ERA.
Right-hander Justin Masterson will make his second start of the season for Cleveland on Saturday. He was solid in his first outing of the year with a win against the White Sox. Masterson went seven full innings and gave up seven hits and one earned run to get the decision.
Last year he went 6-13 with a 4.70 ERA in 29 starts and had a WHIP of 1.5. He is 2-0 with an ERA of 1.16 in his career against the Mariners.
Seattle has held true to its plus 2000 odds to win the AL West with a 2-4 start that has it tied with Oakland for last place in the division. There is still a long way to go, but some of the same problems that plagued this team last season are already starting to rear their ugly head this year.
Mariners pitching has been respectable but nothing special with a team ERA of 3.78, and the lineup has struggled at the plate with a .233 team batting average. Their 21 runs scored is ranked 11th in the American League.
Doug Fister will be on the mound for Seattle in his second start of the year. He got smacked around by the Athletics in his first start; giving up eight hits and two earned runs in 5 2/3 innings of work.
He was 6-14 in 2010 with a 4.11 ERA and a WHIP of 1.28 in 28 starts. Fister has a career ERA of 3.64 at Safeco Field versus 4.86 on the road and is 0-1 with an ERA of 4.63 against Cleveland.
Head-to-head, the Indians have won three of the last five games against the M's, but the series is tied at two games apiece in the last four games in Seattle. The total has stayed ‘under’ in six of the last nine meetings.
Masterson lasted six innings in his only start against Seattle last season and gave up just one hit and no earned runs in a 9-1 romp. Fister lost his only start against the Indians after giving up seven hits and four earned runs in 5 1/3 innings of work.
Cleveland should come into this game as a slight road underdog, but remains a solid pick with the edge in both pitching and hitting tilting in their favor against the Mariners.