We took Sunday off yesterday, but we did pick up a nice win on Saturday. We backed Aaron Nola and the Philadelphia Phillies as underdogs against the Washington Nationals. I don’t know what it is going to take for Aaron Nola to get his proper respect for being an elite starter this season, but until he does, I am going to be betting him just about every start. This kid was an underdog in this one to a rookie pitcher making his fourth ever MLB start.
It didn’t make any sense to me then, and after seeing the Phillies easily win the game, it doesn’t make any sense to me now. Nola wasn’t super sharp, but he did enough to pick up the win. The Phillies have now won ten out of his last twelve starts. As I said in my pick yesterday, it is like Nola is my own personal secret this year as I keep getting to back him at very reasonable prices, and he rarely loses. All this for a guy that is second in the National League in WAR, second in wins, and fifth in ERA.
So much of baseball betting is finding the guys and teams that aren’t getting valued correctly in the betting market, and this Phillies team and Aaron Nola lead that charge this year. The Phillies are a legit playoff caliber team, and Nola is a for sure All-Star and possible Cy Young Award candidate. I have been betting them a lot and will continue to do so until the books figure out what I already know, this team is the real deal. For today’s pick, I am going to look at another team that isn’t getting the respect they deserve when the Seattle Mariners play the Baltimore Orioles.
The Seattle Mariners are in Baltimore Monday for game one of a four-game series with the Orioles. The Mariners are wrapping up an absolutely brutal stretch of games and are happy to be playing some lower level competition in this series. For Baltimore, the Orioles are playing a bit better over the last week then they have been so far in June and have won three out of their last five games.
Starting tonight for the Orioles is Andrew Cashner (2-8 4.72 ERA), and for the Mariners, it is Felix Hernandez (6-6 5.14 ERA). The game total over-under is set at nine and a half runs. First pitch is scheduled for 4:05 PM PST from Camden Yards in Baltimore.
The Seattle Mariners knew that this stretch of games in June might very well make or break their season. They have had series against the Houston Astros, the Los Angeles Angels, the Boston Red Sox twice, and the New York Yankees already so far in June. That is basically the entire American League playoff picture. The Mariners finished that stretch of games 7-8.
That isn’t a great run of games, but considering who they had to play, it showed the world that the Seattle Mariners are the real deal this year and can play with just about anybody. And when you take a little closer look at that stretch of games, you realize that Seattle could have likely had a winning record as they blew five runs leads in games against the Yankees and the Red Sox. This team still has some work to do and needs to have a good trade deadline, but they have shown the rest of baseball they aren’t going away this year.
Seattle will be happy to face a Baltimore Orioles team tonight that is tied with the Kansas City Royals for the worst record in all of baseball. And who do the Mariners get in their next series after this one? The Kansas City Royals. Don’t be shocked if Seattle suddenly gets red-hot again as the competition is about to take a major dip.
Starting tonight for the Mariners is Felix Hernandez. The King’s struggles this season have been well documented. He has not pitched very well. But in the month of June, he is seemingly starting to figure things out. In three of his last four starts, Felix has allowed just one earned run. His last two starts, against Boston and New York, two of the best offensive teams in baseball, Hernandez pitched a combined twelve innings and gave up just two earned runs.
So, while Hernandez’s season-long stats aren’t very good, he is getting his act together recently, and the Mariners are happy to see it as they need Hernandez to pitch well if they want to be considered as a legit playoff threat this season.
Starting for the Orioles is Andrew Cashner. Cashner has struggled all season long. Cashner’s eight losses are just one behind the most in the American League, and his ERA is ninth worst in the league as well. The Orioles are just 4-10 in games where he starts this season. He has really struggled to get deep into games recently as well. In his last nine starts he has yet to make it past the sixth inning and in six of those starts he could even make it that far. His inconsistency has really put a burden on the O’s bullpen that has really struggled this year. The Baltimore bullpen has the fourth highest ERA in the American League this year.
The Seattle Mariners were the hottest team in baseball before running into this brutal stretch of the schedule. They held their own against baseball’s best teams, and I expect that they will really enjoy these next couple of games against Baltimore and Kansas City. The Orioles are fresh off a nine-game losing streak before having a decent weekend and are just 6-14 in the month of June.
To me, this feels like a blowout. Cashner has been terrible all season long, and the Baltimore bullpen has been even worse. I just don’t see any way that Seattle doesn’t put several runs on the board tonight in game one. As for the Felix Hernandez? Yeah, he isn’t the guy he used to be, but given the opportunity to face this joke of an Orioles lineup that is twenty-ninth in the majors in runs scored, I feel he will do plenty to lead his team to victory in this one.
The money line is much lower than I expected it to be, it is currently at Seattle -121 which I see a lot of value in taking the Mariners. But in this game, I have a strong feeling it won’t be close so I will take a look at the run line as well. The run line is offering us a jumbo payout of Seattle +133. Getting to back the much better team on the run line and picking up a bunch of dog money on top of it, is just too much value to pass up on in this one. Give me the Seattle Mariners laying a run and a half on the run line at +133 tonight in game one!