Mariners vs Giants – MLB Pick for April 4th

We picked up yet another win last night when we took the New York Mets against the Philadelphia Phillies. Matt Harvey isn’t the hero that Gotham wants, but he is the hero they deserve.

The embattled former poster boy for the Mets young rotation has had his share of ups and downs in his short career in New York, but when he is on his game, he still has elite level stuff. I hoped that after a full off-season to get healthy and get his mind right, we would see a vintage Harvey performance, and we did.

Harvey dazzled in his five innings of work as he allowed just one hit and no runs while striking out five and walking just one. Harvey’s pitch count swelled a bit, and that stopped him from going deeper into the game, but it was great to see Harvey pitching with confidence again.

The Mets are a team that I value greatly this year, I love their lineup and rotation, and if Harvey can get back to the Harvey we saw three years ago this team could win their division title.

Today I will look at an inter-league matchup between the Seattle Mariners and the San Francisco Giants.

The Seattle Mariners are in San Francisco looking for the sweep in game two of a short two-game series with the Giants. The M’s took game one last night 6-4 behind a decent start from Marco Gonzalez and some solid production from the middle of the lineup.

The Mariners will start their ace, King Felix Hernandez (1-0 0.00 ERA) and the Giants will counter with one of their best arms, Johnny Cueto (0-0 0.00 ERA). The Giants are -127 home favorites. The game total over-under is set at seven and a half runs. First pitch is scheduled for 4:15 PM PST from AT&T Park.

The Seattle Mariners have been the recipients of a lot of bad luck over the last three seasons. The Mariners have been marred by injuries, especially to their starting rotation. At one point last season, Seattle had six different starters on the disabled list at the same time, including the top four of their rotation.

Seattle got bit by the injury bug again this week as their best hitter, Nelson Cruz got hurt. The Cruz injury was as freak of an injury as you can get as Cruz injured himself coming down the dugout stairs after hitting a home run.

Cruz hit the 10-day DL yesterday with a sprained ankle, and the M’s will be without the heart of their batting order. The one guy they won’t be without tonight is starter Felix Hernandez.

The King in Seattle, Felix Hernandez has spent much of the last two seasons banged up and has not looked like his normal self. Hernandez missed time in spring training this year with an injury and fans were starting to wonder if all those years of two hundred plus innings had finally taken their toll on the prolific right-hander. Well, Felix got healthy enough to take the mound on opening day, and he looked like the King once again.

Hernandez pitched five and a third innings and gave up just two hits while shutting out the Cleveland Indians. Hernandez went toe to toe with last years Cy Young Award winner, Cory Kluber, and walked away with the win.

Felix won’t ever have the dominating stuff he had when he was throwing 95-MPH fastballs, but he can still get guys out, especially with that nasty breaking ball. And there are very few guys with the tenacity of Hernandez, the guy is the ultimate competitor and hates to lose.

San Francisco Giants starter Johnny Cueto might have had the best start of any pitcher this season yet doesn’t have a win to show for it. Cueto pitched seven shutout innings against the Dodgers and gave up just one hit. Cueto had a perfect game going through six innings.

Unfortunately for Cueto, Dodgers starter Alex Wood matched him pitch for pitch and Cueto received zero run support.  It was a hard-luck no decision for Cueto, but it was good to see Johnny back to his old self on the mound.

Last season was not a good one for the Giants ace as he struggled through one of his worst seasons ever in the majors. Cueto had the highest ERA of his career at 4.54, almost two full runs higher than the year before.

Johnny went just 8-8, and the Giants missed the playoffs. If San Francisco wants to make a run to the playoffs this year, they are going to need Cueto on his game like he was to start the season. Another year of a 4.50 ERA and that could spell the end for the Giants.

If King Felix is fully healthy and back to his normal self, and that is a mighty big IF, I will back him getting dog money any time. He is just too good and too fierce of a competitor not to love taking him as an underdog.

The days of Hernandez laying -200 or more are likely over, but I still can’t pass up on the King getting juice. This Giants team won its first two games of the season and haven’t looked good since, going 0-3, and the Mariners have thrived and are for once fairly healthy.

I like what this Mariner team is doing and expect them to get the job done tonight.

Give me the Seattle Mariners as road underdogs getting +107.

The Bet: Seattle Mariners +107

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