With Felix Hernandez pitching at home there is no wonder why the MLB odds are heavily skewed in the Mariner's favor as they face the defending AL Champions with Kansas City Royals.
Edgar Martinez Named Hitting Coach for Mariners
There is a thing that teams do when they are having disappointing seasons, and it is finding scapegoats. Howard Johnson, hitting coach for the Seattle Mariners, was that scapegoat this weekend as he was reassigned for a replacement. The replacement hitting coach was the more interesting story this weekend; however, as Edgar Martinez, easily the best hitter to don a Mariners uniform was named as the hitting coach of the big league club.
Edgar Martinez was an accomplished hitter for sure and with a career .312 AVG and .418 OBP he should be in the Hall of Fame. What he hasn’t been is a big league hitting coach. But in the end, this is a pretty low risk move for the Mariners. The PR will be good, the team can’t hit much worse, and until you are forced to part ways with a hometown favorite all will be good with the fans. Maybe Edgar can teach the team some patience at the plate and how to get into hitter’s counts. That seemed to be the case early in Sunday’s game as Houston’s starter Vincent Velasquez had his pitch count in the 40’s before the end of the first inning. Even with getting men on base you have to execute, and the Mariners continued their struggles with runners in scoring position, going 5-30 over the weekend series against Houston. It will be interesting to monitor if Edgar can make a difference with this Seattle lineup over the coming weeks.
Joe Blanton & the Royals
With their new hitting coach in tow, the Mariners welcome the defending AL Champion Kansas City Royals in town for an early week series at Safeco Field. The Royals are coming off of a 13-2 drubbing at the hands of the resurgent Boston Red Sox offense, but still lead the AL Central by 3.5 games over the Minnesota Twins with a 39-27 record. Former Athletic, Joe Blanton, is making the start for KC in lieu of an injure Jason Vargas. Blanton has pitched out of relief so far this year and owns a 1.80 ERA over 20 IP. He owns a career 8-7 record against the Mariners with a 3.69 ERA, and has been very successful against the lineup that he expects to face tonight.
Well the Royals look like they have brought a knife to a gunfight, because Felix Hernandez is taking the mound for the Mariners. Coming off of a dominating 8-inning shutout performance against the San Francisco Giants and Madison Bumgarner, King Felix is now 10-3 on the year with a 3.08 ERA, 1.01 WHIP, and 87/27 K/BB ratio. Even with these great season numbers, Felix is 4-4 lifetime against the Royals with a career 2.80 ERA. His problem with the Royals seems to be run support from his offense – a theme that has haunted the M’s so far this year as well.
Baseball Betting Verdict
With Felix on the mound the line on this game opened at Pinnacle with the Mariners as heavy favorites on the money line at -160. The MLB odds total was also understandably low at 6.5 runs. With the Seattle offense struggling though the play here is to take the +1.5 runs and KC on the run line. The run line is moving in favor of this play and has gone from -175 to -155 at sites such as 5Dimes at time of writing. I expect this move to continue in favor of KC and a wager near game time should garner the maximum value on this side. Felix might not take the loss, but this game is indicated to be close, so take the spotted run and KC as your MLB pick for Monday night.
MLB Pick: Royals +1.5