Losing Streak Creates Money Line Value with King Felix on the Mound

Mark Lathrop

Saturday, June 6, 2015 3:26 PM UTC

Saturday, Jun. 6, 2015 3:26 PM UTC

The losing streak of Seattle has made the money line a little cheaper than it should be with King Felix on the mound. Our capper looks at the pitching matchup in tonight's game & makes his MLB pick.

Lloyd McClendon’s insistence on keeping Fernando Rodney in the closer’s role cost the Mariners another game last night, much to the displeasure of Mariner fans and starter J.A. Happ, who had pitched shutout ball for the home team. Rodney promptly gave up a solo shot to Logan Forsythe, and that was enough to win the game 1-0. In typical Mariner fashion, Austin Jackson tripled to lead off of the 9th, but was stranded there, as the M’s couldn’t even get a productive out to bring him home and tie the game. It was the seventh consecutive loss for the Mariners as they fell to 24-31 on the season. It was the 4th win in a row for the Rays as they climbed to 30-26.

As is often the case lately, Felix Hernandez is called on to save the Mariners from sliding into oblivion. At 8-2, King Felix is responsible for a third of the Mariner wins this season. Although he was rocked in his last start against the New York Yankees for seven runs in 4.2 IP, you don’t have to go much farther back than that to find a gem. Felix’s last win was against these Rays on May 27th, where he pitched a 4 hit shutout as the Mariners went on to win 3-0 on the road. Maybe Felix was pressing against the Yankees because he knew he had to, the Mariner bats have not scored more than 3 runs in ten straight games. The game I covered on Thursday was especially frustrating as the Mariners turned 10 hits into one measly run in a 2-1 loss.  Even with the stellar record the long ball has touched up Felix this season, supporting a HR/FB% of over 20%. One out of five fly balls leaving the yard is quite out of the norm for him so I would expect that number to normalize as the season wears on.

Opposing Tampa Bay pitcher, Alex Colome, has shown flashes of brilliance this year but has been inconsistent. Scattered within solid performances are some absolute meltdowns that have led to his 5.05 ERA. In his last start in Anaheim, Colome was victim of the long ball as David Freese, Mike Trout, and Albert Pujols went yard off of him. In his May 11th start against the Yankees, Colome gave up another four home runs. However, you toss those two starts out and you’ll find that he hasn’t given up another home run this year. Upon inspecting Colome’s situational stats to see if there was a pattern in when he blew up I didn’t really find anything. Right-handers are batting .313 off of him with 4 HR’s. Left-handers are batting .278 off of him with 3 HR’s. Four home runs were at Tropicana Field and the other 3 were on the road. Sometimes there is just not enough statistical evidence to make a judgment one way or the other. Colome has a good fastball that averages 94 MPH that he throws more than half of the time. My guess is that the problem is location, location, location.

With Felix on the mound, Seattle opened up as a heavy money line favorite at -171 at Pinnacle. That line has since tightened up a bit to -166. The O/U total opened up at 6.5 at the same book and hasn’t moved with a consensus of near 50/50.  With the Mariners looking awful this last week we actually have some MLB odds value on the money line here to back the Mariner ace at home as he pitches against the #4 pitcher of the Rays. If the M’s had gone .500 over the last week this line could well have been steeper than -200. Plug your nose and take the M’s as your Saturday MLB pick.

MLB Pick: Mariners -166 at Pinnacle

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