MLB Friday: Mariners vs Angels
Two of baseball's best young pitchers clash tonight when the Mariners' Felix Hernandez and the Angels' Jered Weaver face off at Angel Stadium.
The early betting was heavy on Seattle and nearly 80% of total action on the UNDER (you can check on the latest wagering trends and betting breakdowns in the trends section at Sportsbook.ag today).
Mariners vs Angels Matchup Odds and Stats Here Hernandez may only sport a 7-5 record on the season but his tidy 2.88 ERA is more of an indicator of how well he's been pitching. Hernandez has gone the distance in four of his last five starts, including his last outing against the Yankees in which he limited New York to one run on 10 hits with nine strikeouts over nine innings.
Hernandez hasn't posted a loss since June 8, and he hasn't allowed more than two runs in a single start since then. The last time he faced the Angels in late May he was robbed of what should have been an easy victory by a lack of run support and a lackluster bullpen. Hernandez allowed one run over eight strong innings, but had to settle for a no-decision in a 10-inning 5-1 Seattle defeat.
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Weaver finished the first half leading the league in strikeouts. However, his last start before the break wasn't anything special - he faced Oakland last weekend and was tagged with the loss after giving up five runs on seven hits in six innings. That was his second straight loss after also falling to the White Sox in his previous start.
If Weaver's going to rebound from back-to-back mediocre outings Seattle should be the team he wants to face. When he last faced the Mariners in May he spun seven strong innings and allowed only one unearned run on three hits. In two starts against Seattle this season he has allowed only the one unearned run in 14 1-3 innings.
The odds makers' take on tonight's game is the Angels as a -135 favorite at Bovada, and the Mariners as a +115 underdog. Weaver may have stonewalled the Mariners so far this season, but considering how dominant Hernandez has been, Seattle is the better value pick as the underdog. The smartest pick in the game is likely to take the UNDER on the 6.5-run total.
Betting the UNDER on the total looks the smart bet in two other games today as well. Stephen Strasburg makes his latest start tonight against Ricky Nolasco and the Marlins. The total in that one was also set low at 7, but another UNDER bet looks like the way to go.
Strasburg has allowed more than two runs only once in his first seven starts, while Nolasco has allowed only 13 runs combined in his last five outings. Take the UNDER here for sure.
The other game totals bettors should target is Oakland at Kansas City, where Gio Gonzalez will face Royals ace Zack Greinke. Gonzalez had a rough outing in his last start, but before that in his three previous starts he allowed only one earned run over 19 2-3 innings. He's also facing a Royals team that is known for providing a lack of run support for Greinke.
That lack of run support is one reason Greinke is 5-8 on the season. Greinke dominated the Mariners in his last start with seven shutout innings, and he has a great history against the A's; in 11 career starts against Oakland he is 7-4 with a 2.88 ERA. Take the UNDER here too, and get paid.