New York's Masahiro Tanaka takes the mound Tuesday afternoon in Seattle as a slight favorite on the MLB odds to complete a Yankees sweep vs. the Mariners.
Yankees vs. Mariners Series Finale
By: Willie Bee
The bench and the bullpen did the job for New York on Tuesday, setting the Yankees up to pull off their second consecutive road sweep over the Seattle Mariners as the clubs close out their MLB odds set with a Hump Day matinee.
New York relievers worked 5+ scoreless innings to allow the lineup time to first tie the match and then win it in 11 thanks to Garrett Jones 3-run blast. Jones' homer was one of five hits Yankees bench players collected in the contest after the regular were held to four hits over six innings by Seattle rookie Mike Montgomery who was making his MLB debut.
Neither team will have much time to recover from the extra-inning affair with today's series finale set for a 12:40 PM local time start (3:40 PM ET). Masahiro Tanaka makes his first appearance for the Yankees since late-April, and New York is -117 chalk on the baseball betting board at GT Bets. Taijuan Walker opposes Tanaka, the 7 run total carrying a little extra vig on the 'under' at most sports books.
Walker Set To Make 1st Career Start Vs. Yankees
Tanaka made it through four starts to open the season before having to be shut down due to a partial tear in his right UCL. He performed far better in his two road assignments (0.68 ERA) than the two outings at home (7.00 ERA), and hurled a complete game 6-hitter last June in Seattle, his only appearance vs. the Mariners, and the general consensus is Tanaka will be held to 80 pitches following two rehab starts.
Walker is coming off his best outing of the season after a rough beginning to the 2015 baseball betting campaign. The 22-year-old blanked the Indians over eight innings last Friday, holding Cleveland hitters to just two hits while striking out eight in Seattle's 2-1 victory in a game that closed as a pick 'em.
Before that, the Mariners were 2-7 and off more than 5½ units with Walker on the mound. Wednesday will be his first career appearance vs. the Yankees, Chris Young the only hitter on their roster who has seen Walker up to now.
Umpire Notes, Mother Nature & A Free Pick
We're catching Will Little for a third time this season, including his most recent plate assignment last Friday in the second match of the 4-game set between the Tigers and Angels. That contest finished 'under' the MLB odds, leaving Little 4-2-1 O/U/P on the season. Home teams have generally fared well with Little calling balls and strikes, winning 33 of his 52 career plate assignments (.635).
They played Tuesday's tilt with the roof shut at Safeco Field, and that may be the case again this afternoon with a 20% chance of rain and temps only climbing into the low-60s. I'm liking the 'under' 7 (-115) for my free MLB pick in the series finale.
Free MLB Pick: Under 7 at 5Dimes
Yankees vs. Mariners Game 2
By: Willie Bee
Perfect through three innings with three strikeouts along the way, the game appeared to be moving along in favor of Felix Hernandez and the Seattle Mariners. Looks can be deceiving, however, and the bats belonging to the New York Yankees came to life at that point to post a 7-2 victory in the opener of this 3-game MLB odds series.
The win helped the Yankees to a 1-game lead in the AL East over the Rays who dropped their game in Anaheim on Monday, and New York now looks for just its second 2-game win streak since early May in Tuesday's tilt (10:10 PM ET). The battle features a pair of southpaws, CC Sabathia making his 434th big league start against Seattle's Mike Montgomery who is making his major league debut. Despite that huge difference in experience, the early morning MLB odds have the game as a pick 'em with a 7½ run total.
Sabathia Perfect 4-0 In Seattle As Yankee
It has been a struggle all season for Sabathia who has just four quality efforts among his 10 starts, but his past two outings have been particularly tough. First came a 15-4 loss at home to Texas, the southpaw hitting the showers before he could finish the third inning, and that was followed by another setback at Oakland this past Thursday when he gave up five runs in six innings to leave the Yankees 3-7 behind their former ace.
Sabathia has enjoyed a lot of success vs. the Mariners since he signed with New York before the '09 campaign, 8-2 in 11 assignments with a 2.33 ERA. Those numbers are even better at Safeco Field where Sabathia has won all four starts as a Yankee while recording a miniscule 0.90 ERA.
Originally a 1st-round pick by the Royals in 2008, Montgomery has been dealt twice in the last year, first to Tampa Bay in 2014 and then to Seattle this past March. The 6'-4" lefty made nine starts for the Mariners' Triple-A club in Tacoma, posting a 3.74 ERA in 53 innings and owns a career 4.24 ERA in nearly 850 innings as he prepares to take to a big league mound for the first time.
Umpire Notes, Mother Nature & A Free Pick
We're catching Mike DiMuro behind the dish for the second time in a week, and the New York native is working with a different crew once again, taking the place of chief Gerry Davis this time. DiMuro is 4-6 O/U for the season, home teams a solid 7-3, 2-1 as underdogs on the baseball betting boards.
Rain held off on Monday to allow the Mariners to keep the roof open at Safeco Field. Tuesday's forecast is very similar -- 60º, 50% chance of rain, 8 mph from SSW -- so it will be another game time decision tonight. Even with his recent struggles, I'm going with CC and the Yankees for my free MLB pick.
Free MLB Pick: Yankees -110 at BookMaker
Yankees vs. Mariners Series Opener
By: Willie Bee
There's always a buzz around any game involving the New York Yankees, and that's indeed the case Monday night when they begin a series in Seattle against the Mariners in a contest that features a duel on the mound between the aces of both staffs. But the buzz about this series has more to do with who will pitch for New York in the series finale on Wednesday.
Masahiro Tanaka's first start since late-April is what's building hype for that contest, the righthander attempting to pitch through a partial tear in his ulnar collateral ligament. Before we get to that clash, however, we need to get through the first two games of the set beginning with Monday's 10:10 PM (ET) affair. New York is sending former Mariner Michael Pineda to the mound opposite Felix Hernandez, Seattle showing up as -145 chalk at Wagerweb and the MLB odds board also listing a 6 run total.
The season's first meeting between the clubs -- the Mariners will return the visit to the Bronx just after the All-Star Game -- finds the Yankees with a 227-178 lead in the rivalry, including the 1995 ALDS and 2000 ALCS. New York also owns a 44-27 (.619) all-time record at Safeco Field, the top winning percentage of any opposing team on this diamond.
Last season's battles were halved, each team pulling off 3-game road sweeps, two of the three matchups in Seattle staying 'under' the totals. The Yankees have won four consecutive series in Seattle, and five of the last six.
Pineda Faces Mariners For 1st Time In Career
New York (26-25, -1.5 units) won 13 games for the second consecutive month, but also lost 16 along the way in May and begins June deadlocked with Tampa Bay at the top of the AL East, the entire division divided by just four games. The Yankees began this West Coast swing by losing three of four in Oakland to an A's team that owns the worst record in the American League and had won just six games at home before New York arrived.
Monday will be Pineda's first appearance against his former teammates since leaving Seattle in a trade after his 2011 rookie season. The big righthander was 5-4 in a dozen Safeco starts that year, posting a 2.92 ERA and holding opposing hitters to a .182 average. One of the no-decisions came vs. the Yankees, the Mariners ultimately pulling off a 4-3 triumph. Pineda was 3-2 with a 3.00 ERA in five May assignments, and is 3-1 in four road starts this year despite a lofty 4.62 ERA.
King Felix Coming 2nd Shutout Of Season
A favorite on the MLB futures odds in the AL West when the season began, Seattle (24-26, -6.3 units) has instead been treading water around the .500 level. The Mariners followed up a 10-12 April with a 14-14 month of May, and opened this 11-game homestand by dropping three of four to the Indians over the weekend. The series setback was compounded by the loss of young lefty James Paxton (finger), and they'll have to call up a replacement for his slot in the rotation on Tuesday.
Hernandez kept his Cy Young caliber season rolling in May by winning four of his five outings, his ERA for the month exactly one run lower than Pineda's mark. The lone loss did come in Seattle, leaving the Venezuelan 4-1 at Safeco this season with a 2.00 ERA. Monday will be his 18th career start vs. New York, the Mariners going 10-7 in the previous 17 while King Felix pitched to a 2.84 ERA. Mark Teixeira has given him the most trouble in the Yankees lineup, batting almost .300 vs. Hernandez (19-64) and taking him deep five times.
There's a 50-50 chance of rain the next few days in the Emerald City, so we could see the entire series played with the roof shut. Monday's forecast is calling for light showers at game time, the thermometer in the low-60s and a 10 mph SSW breeze (out to left-center).
It's never easy to go against Hernandez, especially the way he's been hurling, but I'm going to begin this series with a free MLB pick on the Yankees (+135).
Season: 37-32-2 (+4.85)
MLB Pick: Yankees +131 at The Greek