Royals v Mariners
King Felix will rule as the Seattle Mariners should take a road victory against the Kansas City Royals on Thursday. Seattle starting pitcher Felix Hernandez has been a consistent dominator. He’s allowed one or fewer runs 11 times this season and in his most recent outing he struck out 12 while allowing just three hits and no walks en route to shutting out a strong Texas Rangers offence. Pitching as a visitor at Kauffman Stadium shouldn’t be an impediment. He has a respectable 3.26 ERA there and has averaged more than a strikeout per inning pitched in Kansas City. The Royals’ Will Smith is raw having started only three Major League games (ERA: 9.00). Expect Hernandez to out duel him for the Mariners victory at 1.67 against KC, who are available at 2.20.
Padres v Astros
The San Diego Padres are a good bet to take a win at home against the Houston Astros. Padres’ starter Edinson Volquez has struggled with control all season (he leads the National League in walks), but when he’s in the friendly (pitching) confines of Petco Park, he figures out a way to work around the problem. In eleven starts at home he has a 3.22 ERA (compared to his road ERA of 4.37). Historically, he’s been an ace against the Astros. He’s 5-0 with a 2.53 ERA lifetime versus Houston. Pitching away from home has not treated Houston starter Lucas Harrell well. He’s 2-5 with a 6.21 ERA on the road (in comparison, he’s 5-1 with a 1.99 ERA at Minute Maid Park). The pick here is the Padres at 1.62 not the Astros at 2.30.