Felix Hernandez is looking for yet another monster campaign in 2015. The Seattle Mariner lifer has been playing the best baseball of his career the several months. In 2014 King Felix was still at the top of his game, and was worth mentioning in the same breath as Clayton Kershaw. In fact, that was his best season as a pro, and Hernandez has had many good seasons so it is saying a lot. Felix went for a 2.17 ERA last season and has earned his big contract in every way. There are a lot of pitchers that get the paycheck and fade out into irrelevancy. Get the money and don’t care about their play on the field anymore. That hasn’t been the case with Hernandez, who actually got better after he got his monster deal.
Those are the kind of players you want on your team. He deserves a shot at the World Series and I question if the Mariners are going to be able to give him that. They have improved over the last couple of seasons, most notably adding Robinson Cano from the Yankees, but finding a World Series isn’t going to be easy. This isn’t basketball where Hernandez can do it all by his self, he’ll need help. I can though that he is good enough to keep them in the mix for a post-season spot later in the year.
It has been a roller coaster for the Athletics over the years. To the bottom of the league to the top and everywhere in between. When they had their chances to make a run in the post-season, nothing has really come to fruition for them. They are often the hip and popular pick, but it is becoming the same story for the A’s. I see the Athletics contending for the post-season, and if they do make it, I see the same thing happening again. They are there but it isn’t quite enough to make the additional jump to the next level. The A’s will go with Jesse Hahn to go opposite Hernandez today. Oakland is betting on Hahn to follow up a good season with the Padres with another one in Seattle this season. Not a household name by any means, but he was a good pitcher for the Padres last year, nonetheless.
Seattle Mariners at Oakland Athletics
Felix Hernandez (1-0, 1.29 ERA) vs. Jesse Hahn (0-1, 4.50 ERA)
The trusted veteran vs the younger this afternoon in Oakland. Jesse Hahn could only hope to carve out a career anywhere near as good as what Felix has done. In any case, he got off to a good start last season in his first try in the majors, completing 2014 with a 3.07 ERA and 7-4 record with the Padres. One season isn’t enough to justify anything, though. How many times have we seen pitchers have a good season only to disappoint the next? A lot. So we need a bigger sample before we can anoint as being great or even good. Not exactly the start he was wishing for this season, as he got taken for a 4.50 ERA and .346 OBP in his first against the Texas Rangers. 7 hits allowed over 6 innings is too many for him to have a good season. The longest start he has had in his career is 7 innings. If Felix is on then he is most certainly going to outlast Hahn today. Hernandez going 8 or 9 is fairly common if his stuff is working, as it usually is.
Hernandez completed a magical 2014 with a final ERA of 2.14. What did he do to follow it up in his first start this year? Just throw a gem of a game for a 1.29 ERA. It wasn’t through luck either, as he wasn’t putting any runners on base. Felix completed the game with a 0.43 WHIP and .167 OBP. He also fanned 10 batters at the plate. Hernandez has played well against the A’s through his career with a 2.58 ERA and 1.11 WHIP in 35 starts. Whenever he is under -150 you need to take a look at Hernandez and the Mariners. Not only are we getting under -150 but are getting a much better price than that. I can’t ignore him around -130 so I am taking the Mariners today to beat the A’s again today.
PICK: MARINERS TO WIN -131