Well, consider me impressed. Zach Plesac was making his third ever major league start last night against the New York Yankees, and I thought he was going to get hammered. It’s not that I didn’t think the kid could pitch, but after looking very impressive in his first two starts and being the talk of Cleveland all week long, I just had a strong feeling the hype train would derail last night against this hard-hitting Yankees lineup.
I have to give credit where credit is due as this kid came out super shaky and managed to settle down and pitch a great game. The Yankees scored on him in the second inning and then followed that up with another run in the third, and it looked like he was going to have a rough outing. But he settled down and ended up pitching seven innings, allowing just those two early runs.
It was quite surprising to see such a young and inexperienced pitcher manage to shut down this Yankees team. The Indians did a great job of taking advantage of the solid outing from Plesac and won the game, and we lost our bet. It will be very interesting to see how much hype Plesac gets now as he has pitched great in each of his three appearances and has an ERA sub-two runs.
I always love to find spots where the next big thing has more hype than he likely deserves, and I have a feeling Plesac will fit that role in his next start as it will probably be in Detroit against a bad Tigers team. Don’t be shocked if the books have him laying -200 in that one. For today’s pick, we will head out west where the Los Angeles Angels host the Seattle Mariners.
The Seattle Mariners picked up a rare win last night in game one of this three-game series against the Angels. The M’s are hoping to follow that up with a win tonight to take the series win, something they haven’t done since sweeping the Oakland Athletics way back in early March. The Mariners have fallen on hard times, and trade rumors are swirling around all of their best veteran players.
For the Angels, they haven’t been much better than Seattle this year. While clearly still trying to compete, Los Angles finds themselves four games under .500 and thirteen and a half games back of first place in the AL West Divisional race. The Angels have to be able to win games like this one tonight if they want any real shot at contending for the playoffs this season.
Starting for the Mariners is Yusei Kikuchi (3-3 4.43 ERA), and for the Angels it is Dillon Peters (0-0 3.00 ERA). The game total over-under is set at nine and a half runs. The Angels are -134 home favorites. First pitch is scheduled for 7:07 PM PST from Angel Stadium in Anaheim.
Yusei Kikuchi had looked pretty good in his first several starts, in this, his rookie season in the major leagues. Kikuchi was a star in Japan and seemed to catch on to the American game fairly quickly. But in his last couple of starts, he has really struggled. Kikuchi has allowed eleven runs on twenty hits in just six and two-thirds of an innings in his last two starts.
His last start came against these very same Angels, and he got hammered for six runs on ten hits in just three and a third innings of work. The big storyline in that game was the fact that Shohei Ohtani did not get to play, which robbed the Japanese fans of seeing two of their best face off in the big leagues. It appears the fans will get that matchup tonight as Ohtani is expected to play. You wonder if Kikuchi will manage to stay in the game long enough to give the fans what they want, a couple of at-bats between the two Japanese stars.
Dillon Peters has worked exclusively out of the bullpen this year for Los Angles. He has three appearances, all in mop-up duty in blowout losses and has three innings pitched, with a 3.00 ERA. Peters has been used very sparingly in his first couple of years in the majors and has a career ERA of nearly six runs in limited action.
The Seattle Mariners aren’t scoring runs like they did early on in the season when they were clubbing home runs at a near-historic pace. But they can still hit the baseball, for now. The Mariners are allegedly shopping Kyle Seager, Edwin Encarnacion, Dee Gordon, and any other veteran that isn’t tied down in what could end up being an epic fire sale. But until they completely tear things down, this team can still score runs. We saw that last week when they put up fourteen runs on the Houston Astros.
This game has slugfest written all over it. Both of these pitchers can’t be trusted, and while the M’s bats have cooled down some, they are still second in the majors in runs scored and home runs. And neither of these teams can pitch. The Angels are 27th in the majors in team ERA, the M’s are 28th. It wouldn’t shock me at all to see one of these teams score double digits on their own.
So, when I see that the game total is only nine and a half runs, I feel like it is going to go way over. And surprisingly the early morning action has been coming in on the under, so we actually get a little break on the juice for this one at just -105. So, I will take the over, and expect a high scoring affair tonight in Los Angeles!