Middle of Seattle Lineup Simmering to a Boil vs Angels

Mark Lathrop

Saturday, April 8, 2017 9:02 PM UTC

Saturday, Apr. 8, 2017 9:02 PM UTC

The Seattle Mariners have started slow on offense, but the results suggest a bit of luck has kept them from scoring more runs than normal. Our handicapper breaks down why they are the value pick as they face the Anaheim Angels on Saturday night.

Seattle Mariners vs L.A. Angels

The Seattle Mariners continue their 10-game, season-opening road trip in Anaheim on Saturday night, where they hope to come out of their offensive doldrums. They’ll face off against journeyman Ricky Nolasco, while Seattle looks to get a longer outing this time around with Felix Hernandez on the mound. The opening line favored the Mariners at -120, but has continually moved towards the Angels to settle in at just -107. The O/U total has opened up at 8 across the MLB board.

Seattle has injected some youth into the top of their lineup this year, with newly acquired Jean Segura batting leadoff and Mitch Haniger batting second. The interesting part about Seattle’s early offensive swoon is that it has been the old stalwarts of the rotation that have started slow, not the new pieces of Segura and Haniger – who lead the team in batting average and home runs. Players like Kyle Seager, Robinson Cano, and Nelson Cruz are all batting at .200 or lower with no home runs yet. But when you look at the veterans, they are still taking their walks, which is a good sign. For instance, Kyle Seager has an on-base percentage of .364 even though his batting average is .125.

This is something I picked up on yesterday, leading to an 'over' call in the first game of the series with Jesse Chavez and Yovani Gallardo on the mound. However, the M’s were held to just one run as they left 15 men on base. For their part, the Angels left 18 men on base even after scoring 5 runs. Good analysis, bad result, as it were.

Felix Hernandez’s last start was cut short due to some groin irritation, as he was pulled with an abundance of caution after just 5 innings. It doesn’t look like the injury was a serious one, and he will be back on the mound today without limitations. Ricky Nolasco lost in his season opener against the A’s on April 3rd, giving up 2 home runs to the anemic Oakland A’s.

Both of these pitchers have a nemesis or two on the other team. King Felix has had issues with Mike Trout, and really who doesn’t. Trout has hit more home runs off of Felix Hernandez than any other pitcher in his career with 7. Nolasco has been terrorized in his career by Robinson Cano, Nelson Cruz, and Leonys Martin – all three of those players have career slugging percentages of .933 or higher of him.

So, although Felix Hernandez has had his ups and downs over the last year, I still think Seattle is due for a night where their offense puts it all together. Overall, their pitching staff has been great otherwise. I like the line value we are getting at -107 with Felix on the mound and will be taking Seattle to win this game outright as one of my Saturday MLB Picks.

Free MLB Pick: Seattle -107Best Line Offered: at 5Dimes

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