Royals vs. Mariners Pick – MLB June 22nd

A small card on Monday to get the new week started off with. I don’t typically like small cards because it limit our opportunities of course to pick a good game. But there is one pitcher playing today that I have made some good money from. Felix Hernandez has been a gem throughout his career, and had his best season of all last year. After a few minor bumps this season, I can say that Felix is still a very good pitcher. One of the better ones you’ll find in the history of the game. Unfortunately for Hernandez, he has never been able to find a solid Mariners team to back him up. We need to go back to the Ken Griffey days to a time when the Mariners were a relevant team, and then, King Felix was absent from the Mariners. With Felix not getting any younger, and the Mariners finally spending money on offense, it seems that the next two years or so are going to be his best opportunity.

Joe Blanton is another guy that I have won a lot of money off, just the only difference is that I have faded him in recent years. However, Blanton has been playing good baseball this season in all actuality. The guy has never really had a good year to hang his hat on in his 11 year career. Only twice did he have years where he had an ERA below 4.00. In his last eight seasons he had an ERA that surpassed 4.00 in all of them. He started out in the bullpen for the Royals, but got moved into the starting rotation. He has held up well to this point, but I don’t know if he’ll be able to keep it going throughout the summer. He faces the Mariners tonight, where he has a chance to prove that this isn’t a fluke.

Kansas City Royals vs. Seattle Mariners

Joe Blanton (1-0, 1.80 ERA) vs. Felix Hernandez (10-3, 3.08 ERA)

If you were completely blind to baseball, you would think that this Joe Blanton guy must be pretty good with a 1.80 ERA. But don’t get too far ahead of yourself, Blanton only has one start this season, all his other appearances coming out of the bullpen. It was a nice start for him yes, but that isn’t enough for me to feel confident about him in any way. Looking at a larger sample size, he hasn’t proven to be successful in the last ten years, so why should we trust him now? He’s coming off a 6.04 ERA year with the Angels. This season Blanton has actually shown some vulnerabilities on the road as well, posting a 3.86 ERA, and the bigger eye opener is his 1.50 WHIP.

There isn’t much more that needs to be said about Felix Hernandez and what he can do, but it is worth nothing that he had the worst start of his career two starts ago, getting hammered for 8 runs in the 1st inning. He then responded though with a brilliant performance, allowing no runs and only 4 hits against the Giants. That start came on the road as well, but at home he sports a 2.59 ERA and 0.92 WHIP. I don’t foresee him having a start like he did against the Houston Astros. I expect him to ride his last start and put together another strong performance. Like I said, I don’t trust Blanton at all in this game. Blanton vs Hernandez just seems like a major mismatch to me, which results in a play on the Mariners.

PICK: MARINERS -1.5 (+138)