The Toronto Blue Jays are trying to fend off some teams, while they are trying to play catch-up as well. In one instance, the Blue Jays want to reel in the Boston Red Sox and take the division. However, they have to worry about other teams chasing them to grab a wildcard. The Red Sox won again last night, their fifth in a row. The way they’ve been playing it isn’t looking like anyone is going to leapfrog them, but baseball can change on a dime as we all know. The Blue Jays’ offense hasn’t been the best this month, but everything could do a 180 in just two or three games. Toronto is currently up on the Mariners by 2 runs early, as I wrote this article late last night. A Jays’ win would put a three-game gap between them and the Mariners.
The Seahawks look pretty bad this season, so the Mariners making the postseason would take the sting away from the start of their football team. Signing Robinson Cano meant it was going to be postseason or bust for the Mariners. If they fall short here, it appears that it’s going to be another season lost for them. It’s sad in a sense for the Mariners, because they’ve had a healthy and strong Felix Hernandez for countless years while they haven’t been a threat. Now that the Mariners have been a better team, Hernandez has been injured and not playing at his normal elite level. That’s the way it goes sometimes, not just in baseball, but life. There have been important games littered across the MLB schedule the last couple of days. It’s no different in Seattle, as the Blue Jays and Mariners vie for their postseason lives.
Toronto Blue Jays vs. Seattle Mariners
J.A. Happ (19-4, 3.27 ERA) vs Hisashi Iwakuma (16-11, 3.87 ERA)
J.A. Happ has been a miracle worker for the Blue Jays in 2016. When the Jays signed him, there were no big expectations placed on him. Notably, they weren’t looking at him to step in and be the best pitcher on their staff. With no pressure on him to pitch this well, Happ has made the most of his second opportunity in Toronto. Happ has a spectacular record of 19-4, as he tries to keep pace with another surprising pitcher, Rick Porcello in Boston who has only four losses as well. Happ will be searching for his 20th win of the year tonight. He’s only allowed 3 runs in his last two games, 1 against the Angels in his last outing.
Iwakuma has continued to be a rock for the Mariners. He’s about consistent as they come in baseball. He’s never had a season with an ERA under 4.00, and it looks like it will stay that way in 2016. Iwakuma holds a 3.87 ERA and he’s had some good success against the Blue Jays, a 2.50 ERA. He has done a pretty good job silencing some heavy lineups, including 0 runs allowed against the Tigers and Red Sox. Happ owns a 4.70 ERA against the Mariners in his career. While I don’t expect the Mariners to jump up to the postseason, they look like pretty good value tonight at home as an underdog.
PICK: MARINERS TO WIN +115