Sometimes you just hit a pick right on the head and that’s what happened with my UNDER 7.5 pick between the Padres and Giants last night from San Francisco.
Tyson Ross was excellent for the Padres as he hurled seven innings of one-run ball, but Ross took a very tough-luck loss in the process.
That’s because Ross was outdueled by Madison Bumgarner who delivered his best start of the year in the form of eight shutout innings to go along with eight strikeouts to lead the Giants to a 3-0 win over their division rivals.
After being ice-cold for quite a few days, it’s real nice to get back into the win column.
I will look to make it two in a row with tonight’s free pick featuring the Seattle Mariners and Boston Red Sox from Fenway Park in Boston.
These two teams split a four-game set in Seattle last weekend while the Mariners are coming in after being swept in a three-game set in New York against the Yankees.
The Red Sox dropped the first two games of their three-game set against the Twins, however finished on a high note with yesterday afternoon’s 9-2 victory.
Seattle Mariners vs. Boston Red Sox
Wade Leblanc (2.63 ERA, 3.82 FIP, 1.10 WHIP) vs. Steven Wright (1.23 ERA, 3.42 FIP, 1.04 WHIP)
Scott Servais’ will hand the ball to veteran southpaw Wade LeBlanc to open up this three-game set at Fenway tonight. LeBlanc has been everything the Mariners could have hoped for and more this season as he’s pitched to that lovely 2.63 ERA on the season while limiting the opposition to two runs or less in eight of his nine starts this season and three runs or less in all nine starts. He’s limited the opposition to one run or less in five of his nine starts, including his most recent one against these same Red Sox when he hurled 7.2 innings of shutout ball while allowing just two hits and striking out nine just six days ago.
It’s not too surprising to see the Red Sox held down by a left-handed pitcher. As good as Boston’s offense has been as a whole this season, they are actually among the league’s worst against left-handed pitching. Boston’s .667 OPS against southpaws ranks them 27th league-wide while their .293 wOBA off of lefties also ranks 27th.
According to Daily Baseball Data, current Red Sox hitters have posted a minuscule .088 batting average, .206 OPS and .089 wOBA with just one extra-base hit (a double) across 34 at-bats against LeBlanc.
It’s also worth noting that despite scoring nine runs yesterday, the Red Sox offense ranks 20th with just a .305 team wOBA over the last seven days.
While LeBlanc has been fantastic for the Mariners, right-handed knuckleballer Steven Wright has been the same for the Red Sox.
Wright has made three starts and six bullpen appearances for the Sox this season. In those three starts, he has allowed just one earned run total across 20.2 innings, good for a 0.44 ERA. He has yielded just a .206 wOBA as a starter to go with his excellent .260 wOBA against as a reliever.
Like the Red Sox, this Mariners’ offense enters tonight’s contest cold as well. Seattle’s .284 team wOBA ranks them 25th over the last seven days. Seattle has averaged just 2.8 runs per game over their last five.
According to Daily Baseball Data, current Mariners’ hitters have posted a .214 average, .505 OPS and a .231 wOBA across 42 at-bats against Wright.
While both of these pitchers have been going deep into ball games, we have a couple of good bullpens in this one in case they don’t. The Red Sox bullpen ranks sixth with a 3.23 ERA while the Mariners’ bullpen checks in at 13th with a 3.73 ERA. For what it’s worth, Seattle and Boston have the top two closers in the league in terms of saves as Seattle’s Edwin Diaz ranks first the MLB with 27 saves and Boston’s Craig Kimbrel checks in a second-place tie with 22.
We have two pitchers going here who have been extremely consistent in terms of run-prevention. We also have two bottom-half offenses over the last week as well as two good bullpens. The cooler conditions at Fenway tonight will also favor pitching, so let’s look for a low-scoring affair in the first of three games between these two playoff hopefuls.