Seattle Mariners (80-69) at Los Angeles Angels (94-56)
Tuesday, September 16 - 10:05 PM EST
Angel Stadium of Anaheim, Anaheim, California
The Los Angeles Angels have wrapped up a playoff spot and attempt to take another step toward winning the American League West when they host the Seattle Mariners on Tuesday. Los Angeles won the series opener to assure it will be part of the playoff field and its magic number stands at three to wrap up the division. Seattle has lost five of its last six games and has fallen two games behind the Kansas City Royals for the AL’s second wild card.
Albert Pujols delivered a three-run double as Los Angeles rolled to an 8-1 victory on Monday but his availability for Tuesday is unclear after he departed with a hamstring cramp. The victory was the 11th in 12 games for the Angels, who have established themselves as the best team in baseball over the past two months. Monday’s defeat represented a bad start for Seattle’s 11-game road trip as the Mariners can’t afford too many losses if they want to remain in the wild-card hunt.
TV: 10:05 p.m. ET, MLB Network, ROOT (Seattle), FSN West (Los Angeles)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Mariners LH Roenis Elias (10-12, 3.81 ERA), Angels RH Cory Rasmus (3-1, 2.80)
Elias has struggled against Los Angeles, going 0-2 with a 5.56 ERA in two outings during his rookie campaign. He received a no-decision against Houston in his last turn when he gave up one run and six hits in six innings. Elias has allowed one run in four of his last five outings despite going just 1-3 during the stretch.
Rasmus is making his fourth consecutive start but has yet to make it through the fourth inning. He lasted 3 1/3 innings against Texas in his last turn on Thursday, giving up one run and two hits in a no-decision. Overall, he has allowed three runs and five hits with nine strikeouts over eight innings in the three starts.
1. Angels 2B Howie Kendrick is 24-for-57 with 15 RBIs in September.
2. Seattle LF Dustin Ackley (ankle) played Monday for just the second time in eight games.
3. Los Angeles LF Josh Hamilton (shoulder) will miss his 11th consecutive game but could return later in the week.
PREDICTION: Mariners 4, Angels 3