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M’s Hope For Moore, Moore, Moore

Updated: .July 3, 2017

By Charles Jay

The Seattle Mariners got some positive results the first time they sent right-hander Andrew Moore to the mound. And they will hope for more of the same as they begin a three-game series against the Kansas City Royals, with Monday night’s contest starting at 10:10 PM ET at Safeco Field. Remember that if you are an America’s Bookie customer, you have two different “Live Betting” options at your disposal to stay involved with the action even after the first pitch is thrown.

Neither club has a head of steam coming in; the M’s have lost five of their last seven while the Royals are 4-4 over their last eight. But even with records hovering around the .500-mark, they are both harboring playoff hopes.

Right now the Houston Astros are the class of the AL West, with a 15-game lead over the third-place Mariners, who are 41-42. And the Royals (41-40) are tied for second in the AL Central with the Minnesota Twins (three games behind Cleveland). But right now we are looking at a playoff race where the Yankees are the top wild card squad (43-37), while Tampa Bay is second at 43-41. So, as you can see, both of these teams are right in the thick of things when it comes to a prospective opportunity to play in the post-season.

The well-traveled Ian Kennedy (2-6, 4.72 ERA) takes the mound for the Mariners, while Andrew Moore (1-0, 3.86 ERA), who gave up three runs in seven innings against the Detroit Tigers, goes at it again. He was sent to Triple-A Tacoma briefly, just to make room for Felix Hernandez to return, and made a start down there, but he’s now likely to stick around for a while.

In the baseball betting odds posted on this game, the Mariners are the favorites at home:

Seattle Mariners (Moore)
Kansas City Royals (Kennedy)

Under 9 Runs -115
Over 9 Runs -105

Royals +1.5 Runs -175
Mariners -1.5 Runs +155

Kennedy, the former highly-touted prospect of the Yankees, has been a 20-game winner in the majors before, although that was admittedly back in 2011 for the Arizona Diamondbacks, when he was fourth in the Cy Young balloting. He’s always had a touch of wildness, as he has been a league leader in the past in both wild pitches and hit batsmen. He has never exhibited the best control when it comes to walking people (3.1 per nine innings lifetime), and he is infamous for giving up gopher balls. In each of the last two seasons he has surrendered more than 30.

One of the reasons we are telling you all of this is that some of his numbers this season are his worst yet. He is giving up four bases on balls per nine innings, and his home run rate is the highest it has ever been. Since he is also averaging a career low in strikeouts (7.5 per nine), hitters have naturally had the capacity to get around on him a lot easier.

Not that this is necessarily going to be a slam dunk for the Mariners, who had a ten-run outburst against the Angels on Friday, but have tallied more than four runs only one other time in their last seven games. We should probably give Kennedy some plaudits for going five innings last time out against Seattle without giving up a round-tripper (May of last year), although he had coughed up four of them in 9-2/3 frames in the two previous encounters.

And it should be noted that even when he has pitched well, we have seen “overs.” That’s been the result in ten of his 14 starts thus far.

Moore is known as a pitcher with great command and location who doesn’t walk many batters, and indeed he got through his first start without issuing a base on balls. He is not overwhelming with his stuff either, and all of this is just fine with the Royals, who couldn’t care less about walks, having drawn far fewer than anyone else. And they are one of the tougher teams to strike out (6th toughest, in fact). So they like to make contact, and they have an opponent who pitches to contact.

We think this will add up to an OVER, and that is the way we are moving, at a price of -105, as the Charles Jay / America’s Bookie Challenge continues on Monday.

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