The Seattle Mariners took the first of a four-game set on Thursday with a 7-3 victory in 10 innings, highlighted by a Grand Slam from Mitch Haniger. The two organizations will meet again on Friday, April 23rd in Boston with the Red Sox coming in as slight favorites. Both teams are at the top of their divisions early on with Boston at 12-8 and Seattle at 12-7.
On Friday night, Boston will turn to lefty Martin Perez, who has a 0-1 record with a 5.93 ERA in three starts. He allowed four runs on seven hits in 3.2 innings of work his last time out in a loss to the Chicago White Sox. Yusei Kikuchi also pitches from the left side for the Marriners, and he will enter with a 0-0 record and 4.74 ERA in three starts. He allowed five runs on six hits and three walks in seven innings his last time out in a victory over the Houston Astros.
Moneyline pick: Mariners +115
The Red Sox have been about as streaky as it gets for a team in April. They started 0-3 before winning nine consecutive games, and they are on the verge of another three-game losing streak. Both pitchers have high ERAs in their careers, so there should be plenty of offense in this one. Perez hasn’t done enough to show confidence taking Boston with a high price at -134 to earn the home win, so let’s go with the underdogs in this spot.
Player Prop: Yusei Kikuchi O4.5 strikeouts (-148)
There’s a bit of a price to pay if you want much of a return in this prop, but we’re comfortable in saying Kikuchi will strike out at least five batters on Friday night. He only struck out three in his last time out despite seven innings of work, but that’s a bit of a fluke. Prior to that, Kikuchi struck out more than 4.5 batters in seven of his last eight starts dating back to last season. He’s worth the cost of this wager.
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