We came oh so close to hitting what would have been another huge underdog last night. We backed the Atlanta Braves against the Arizona DBacks and the DBacks -160 price tag seemed far too steep to me. I saw this as a coin flip type of game that could go either way. And after watching the game that certainly seemed to be the case.
The Braves trailed early but made a game of it in the eighth inning when they drove in a couple of runs and then loaded the bases up for Adam Duvall with a chance to take the lead. But unfortunately for us, Duvall struck out looking, and we came up just short. But in a spot where we were getting huge dog money I can’t really complain about being one swing away from winning the game. Obviously, the number was overpriced, so I won’t get too down on myself for taking a shot at a huge payout. For today’s pick, I will look at another spot to back an underdog profitably when I break down the game between the New York Yankees and the Seattle Mariners.
The New York Yankees are in Seattle Saturday trying to put a major damper on the Mariners playoff hopes as they play game two of a three-game series. The Yankees took game one last night behind a dominant start from Masahiro Tanaka. Tanaka worked eight innings and didn’t allow a run while striking out ten batters. Andrew McCutchen finally hit his first homer for the Yankees, and Gleyber Torres added in a long ball as well in the Yankees win.
With the win, the Yankees remain just three and a half games ahead of the surging Oakland Athletics for the first wild-card and the home field advantage that goes with it. So, while the Yankees seem to be near locks to make the postseason at this point, they could end up playing a one-game playoff on the road, which obviously isn’t what they had hoped for this season. For the Mariners, they have to win and win now if they want to have any shot to make the playoffs as the A’s are starting to run away with the second wild-card and hold a six and a half game lead over Seattle for that last playoff spot.
Starting tonight for the Mariners is Felix Hernandez (8-13 5.55 ERA), and for the Yankees, it is Lance Lynn (8-10 5.10 ERA). The Yankees are -118 road favorites. The game total over-under is set at eight and a half runs. First pitch is scheduled for 6:10 PM PST from Safeco Field in Seattle.
The American League just doesn’t look right on Lance Lynn. The guy was a very solid pitcher in the National League for the St. Louis Cardinals for a lot of years. But since be trading to the AL this season he has really struggled. Lynn started out this season pitching for the Minnesota Twins, and that was a disaster. When Lynn was moved to the Yankees at the trade deadline, he was just 7-8 with an ERA north of five runs.
Since joining the Yankees, he has been just as bad. In his last four starts, Lynn has pitched a combined seventeen and two-thirds of an inning and has been blasted for nineteen earned runs. This mighty Yankees offense has managed to pick him up somewhat as they went 2-2 in those four starts, but to say Lynn is struggling would be an understatement.
Another guy that has had his fair share of struggles this season is Mariners starter, Felix Hernandez. Hernandez has been a staple in the Seattle rotation for as long as I can remember, but at this point in his career he looks pretty washed up. The Mariners even made the once unthinkable move of pulling Hernandez from the rotation. It only lasted one start as injuries forced him back into a starting role, but the move was shocking.
But it looks like it might have been effective though as his four appearances since getting sent to the pen he has pitched better. In twenty-three and two-thirds of an inning over his last four starts, he has allowed ten earned runs. While that is by no means elite, it is better than he had been all season long before that so maybe he is finally going to get his act together. The Mariners haven’t made the playoffs since 2001 and if they miss it again this year a lot of that blame will fall on the shoulders of Felix Hernandez.
For some reason or another, Felix Hernandez seems to always pitch well against the New York Yankees. Maybe it is the media hype or the fact that he was always rumored to be traded to New York. Whatever the case may be, the Yankees bring out the best in the King. In his one start against the Yankees this year he pitched five innings and allowed just one earned run.
I just feel that Lance Lynn is going to get lit up in this one. To see him as a road favorite against a contending team like the Seattle Mariners is surprising. He has been terrible, and even with the Yankees powerful offense, he struggles to win games. I expect this game to sail over fairly easy and also think the Mariners find a way to win game two.
It isn’t much of an overstatement to say that the Mariners season rides on this series, so I expect them to pull out all the stops tonight in what should be a very winnable game. Home underdogs are always my favorite, and that is where I will make my bet in this one. Give me the Seattle Mariners as home underdogs at +108 tonight in game two from Safeco Field in Seattle!