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Mariners vs. Cardinals Pick MLB – September 13th

There’s a full slate of MLB action to choose from tonight after a light schedule yesterday.  There’s also some HUGE matchups in the American League kicking off tonight as four teams are within 2 ½ games of the final wildcard spot chasing the Rays.  The Royals head to Detroit to try to continue their improbable contention dreams, while The Yankees tangle with the Red Sox and the A’s and Rangers battle for the West Division crown.  It should be a great weekend of AL baseball.

Meanwhile, I got burnt for the second straight day wagering against a slumping starting pitcher.  It’s a pretty solid recipe for success over the long haul and has proven valuable over time, but a bad loss is still a bad loss – and yesterday marked two in a row.

Let’s rebound tonight with a look at an Interleague Matchup and a possible pitching gem.

Today’s Free Pick:

Seattle Mariners +166 at St. Louis Cardinals -176 (Total: 7.5)

Hisashi Iwakuma (12-6, 2.97 ERA) vs. Adam Wainwright (16-9, 3.03 ERA)

Adam Wainwright’s ERA took a mighty climb thanks in large part to two of his career-worst starts, both against the Cincinnati Reds, in the last month.  However, he is still the ace of this staff and an excellent starting pitcher capable of dominating any lineup on any given night.  If you remove his two Reds fiascos, he has allowed more than three runs only ONCE in his last eight starts and allowed zero or one in four of the most recent outings.

Meanwhile, Hisashi Iwakuma has been excellent all season long, and is still going strong.  He has turned in five straight quality starts and nine in his last ten outings.  He has struck out 31 batters against just 9 walks in his last five starts, and for the season he is even better with a greater than 4:1 K to BB ratio.  The Cardinals have an excellent lineup, arguably the best in the National League one through eight, but I still expect Iwakuma to fare well in his first ever matchup with the Redbirds.  He has the kind of electric stuff that can be especially tricky for batters who have never faced him.

Adam Wainwright should get right tonight as well.  He gets to pitch at home against the worst offense in the American League.  The Mariners are batting an AL-low .237 and have to insert a pitcher in that batting lineup instead of a DH tonight.  I like Wainwright to navigate the mediocre lineup with ease and notch a solid seven-inning quality start.

This one seems like a low-scoring affair to me, so I’m taking the UNDER 7.5.  Many books have this game listed at 7, and I still like the UNDER in that scenario, but if you can line shop and get the extra half-run, it’s always nice.

Free Pick:  Run TOTAL UNDER 7.5