St Louis (38-33) at Seattle (36-37)
When: Friday, June 24th 2016
Where: Safeco Field, Seattle, WA
Time: 10:10 ET | TV: FSN Midwest, ROOT Northwest
Two teams going in opposite directions currently will meet Friday night to begin an interleague series at Safeco Field in Seattle where the Mariners host the St. Louis Cardinals. Seattle returns home from a ten game road trip in which they only won two games and dropped the last six. Yesterday’s 10th inning loss in Detroit put them below .500 for the first time in two months. Nelson Cruz hit two of Seattle’s four solo homers in the latest defeat that ended with Steve Cishek’s bases-loaded wild pitch in the 5-4 setback. Cruz appeared rejuvenated after getting Wednesday off following a 2-for-21 slump over the previous five games. The Cardinals opened an eight-game road trip with a three-game sweep of the first place Chicago Cubs this week. That comes on the heels of a season-worst five-game losing streak. St. Louis catcher Yadier Molina was hitless in 13 at-bats against the Cubs and is 1-for-20 over his last five games. SS Aledmys Diaz was 6-for-11 with a homer in the sweep of the Cubs. Seattle 3B Kyle Seager is 7-for-48 over the past 12 games with four of the hits being homeruns.
Pitchers: Cardinals – Carlos Martinez (7-5, 3.17 ERA) | Mariners – Wade LeBlanc (NR)
Carlos Martinez gets the nod for St. Louis tonight and he comes in hot. Martinez is 3-0 with a 1.23 ERA over his past four starts after losing his previous five starts. He received a no-decision in his last outing despite blanking the Texas Rangers on four hits over seven innings. Martinez is 4-1 with a 1.78 ERA, 0.96 WHIP in five road starts this season.
Wade LeBlanc will get his first start since 2014 after he was acquired from the Toronto Blue Jays on Wednesday and is starting in place of injured Taijuan Walker. LeBlanc was 7-2 with a 1.71 ERA at Triple-A Buffalo and is 21-33 with a 4.47 ERA in 107 major-league appearances (71 starts) with five different teams.
The Mariners have struggled at home all season (15-18) while the Cardinals are the best road team in baseball (23-12). LeBlanc is a veteran which is probably why he had good numbers in Triple-A this year, but those numbers never translated to the big stage. Martinez is a hot pitcher going to a ballpark that doesn’t yield many runs. I like the Cardinals to push our winning streak to five.
Pick: Cardinals -135