Athletics vs. Mariners MLB Pick: Happ & Hahn Attempt to Right the Ship in Sunny Seattle

Mark Lathrop

Saturday, May 9, 2015 3:00 PM GMT

J.A. Happ and Jesse Hahn got lit up for 6 runs apiece their last time out, and our handicapper believes the trend will continue in Seattle on Saturday night. Find inside his free MLB pick.

Seattle Mariners
They can’t seem to win or lose a game by any other way than a walk-off, and last night one finally went in their favor as Logan Morrison deposited a baseball 441 feet into right center field in the bottom of the 10th inning. With the game tied 3-3, I needed someone on base to cash my over pick at 7.5, but baseball doesn’t work that way. We’ve all been there at some point, I’m sure, wishing for the exact sequence of events that will save your offering to the book.

At least with baseball we usually only have to wait 24 hours to redeem ourselves, and tonight in game 2 of this weekend series we have Jesse Hahn taking the mound for Oakland and J.A. Happ taking the mound for the Mariners. Early MLB odds have the home team Mariners favored on the money line at -128, with the O/U total sitting at 7.5. At game time of 6:10 PST, the weather is going to be absolutely gorgeous in Seattle and 78F with the roof open at Safeco. Bring on the garlic fries and Pyramid Hefe!

 

Oakland A's
starter Hahn has picked up the velocity on his fastball in this early season, increasing almost 2 MPH over his career averages. Primarily a two-pitch fastball/curveball guy, the added velocity hasn’t actually helped him miss any more bats. In fact, his contact rates have shot up from 76.1% to 84.7% on all pitches swung at. His whiff rate on swinging strikes is also down 30%. Perhaps his increased velocity has made his off speed pitch less effective, or now in his second season, MLB batters have simply had time to adjust to him. All trends for Hahn over his first 27 innings of work this year are going in the wrong direction.

I was travelling through the Bay area last month and took in Hahn’s start versus the Angels on April 29th. He actually looked better than his numbers indicated, although Mike Trout squared him up for a home run that sounded like a shot from the grassy knoll in the stadium. I was very surprised that the A’s pulled him from the game after only 5 innings, as he had racked up 6 K’s. With only 73.1 innings pitched for the Padres last year in his rookie campaign, there is a chance that Oakland is coddling the youngster and have put him on a season innings limit. That has got to mess with your head, and if it was me I’d be thinking, “I’ve got to win this game in 5 innings”. Again, baseball doesn’t work that way.

Check Out The Most Important Pitching Stats for Over/Under Bettors

Outlook
For the Mariners, J.A. Happ had been pleasantly solid early in the season before getting rocked in Houston in his last start. That was when Houston was red hot, and they were able to pull two HR balls around the left field foul pole off of Happ. He’s been very consistent in giving up 6-8 hits a game (7, 5, 8, 6, 7 hits in last five games). While in the first four games Happ had only surrendered no more than 2 runs per game with those hits, Houston was able to put them over the wall. In Oakland in early April, Happ gave up 7 hits but was only scathed for 2 ER as the M’s went on to win 5-4.

 

The MLB Pick
The Mariners like fastballs and I like the idea that they are going to get a lot of them on Saturday night from Jesse Hahn. With the weather totally awesome, Safeco’s park factors shouldn’t come into play on the total either. The A’s have a few batters in Billy Butler and Ben Zobrist who will look forward to seeing Happ on the mound as well. Although I shouldn’t be dipping in the Over well again, I just can’t help myself. I’m taking over 7.5 runs tonight in Safeco as my Saturday MLB pick.  


Free MLB Pick: Over 7.5 at BookMaker