Things went according to plan yesterday, as the Oakland Athletics once again had major trouble hitting a left handed pitcher. David Price dominated the A’s lineup and led the Tigers to a 1-0 victory over the A’s. All it took was the 1 run from the Tigers to secure the victory with Price locking down the Athletics at the plate. Pretty disappointing season for the A’s who are still looking to get their offense on track. A good win for the Tigers after dropping three in a row. The bullpen was great for the Tigers once again, and Joba Chamberlain continues to trend upwards. I didn’t nor did many other people think Chamberlain would be owning an ERA in the 1.35 range at this point in the game. If he can stay pitching like this it’s going to give the Tigers quite the boost out of the bullpen, something they have been lacking for quite some time and the main reason holding them back from winning a World Series. A completely healthy Tigers team with a bullpen performing will probably get them there, but both may be a grey area when we get towards September and October. Stay tuned.
Felix Hernandez takes the mound today as still being one of the more underrated pitchers in baseball. Underrated not really in the sense that nobody will acknowledge he isn’t a great pitcher, but instead for the fact he doesn’t get much attention. We haven’t seen him pitch in the postseason, or in a game of meaningful significance in a long time, nor is he in a big market so that leads to him being a little left out in the discussion compared to say a Clayton Kershaw. Felix is right up there with the likes of Kershaw, so despite him not being in big games he still does well with what he has in front of him. It is certainly not his fault that the Mariners haven’t been in big games of late. They meet the Tampa Bay Rays today in an afternoon matchup against Chris Archer, who has been pitching well in his own right.
Seattle Mariners vs. Tampa Bay Rays
Felix Hernandez (7-1, 2.19 ERA) vs. Chris Archer (5-4, 2.40 ERA)
A 2.19 ERA and 7-1 record with the Mariners should be enough to get significant attention on Felix. He continues to do his though out of the lime light and he does it well. Like a fine wine, it looks like Hernandez is getting better with age. Last season he put in his best season as a pro, posting an ERA of 2.14 with a 15-6 record. Felix is on pace to have another monster campaign in 2015, and with a better offense in the Mariners’ lineup, life is going to be even easier on him.
Chris Archer has been holding his own as well this season. If you’re not a baseball connoisseur you probably have no idea who Chris Archer even is. Well, again, playing in Tampa Bay doesn’t help matters, but no mistake, Archer is a pretty reliable option in the Rays rotation. For the retooling the Mariners have done, the offense isn’t quite up to par yet. In fact, they are second to last in the league in hits per game with 8.1. They’re also averaging only 3.75 runs scored per game. I like this to be a pitching duel against two fine pitchers. The UNDER looks like the play in this spot.
PICK: UNDER 6.5 RUNS (-115)