MLB Picks: Angels vs. Mariners Series Coverage

Willie Bee

Monday, May 26, 2014 12:41 PM UTC

Monday, May. 26, 2014 12:41 PM UTC

A late pitching change has delayed the MLB odds for the series finale in Seattle where the Angels need a victory to escape with a split vs. the Mariners.


29th May
Angels vs. Mariners Game 4

By: Willie Bee


One out short of his 10th career shutout, Felix Hernandez nonetheless dazzled Wednesday night in Seattle to help the Mariners to a 3-1 victory and 2-1 series lead over the Los Angeles Angels.

Hernandez was coasting along with a 2-hitter through the first eight frames, all the offense he needed provided courtesy of his catcher Mike Zunino's three ribbies.  Looking for his first shutout since whitewashing the Twins at Target Field in Aug. 2012, Halo stars Mike Trout and Albert Pujols wrecked Hernandez's job with two outs in the ninth, and Fernando Rodney was called in to close the contest.  The victory lifted the M's to a level 26-26 while the defeat pushed the Angels 2.5 behind Oakland in the AL West.


Lackluster Mound Clash For Game 4
It's not exactly a pitching matchup that would lead one to think about a pitchers duel breaking out, even with Safeco Field's penchant for being pitcher-friendly. Los Angeles is sending Matt Shoemaker to the mound for the 10:10 PM (ET) finale opposite Brandon Maurer for Seattle.

The schedule has afforded Angels skipper Mike Scioscia the luxury of not needing a fifth starter much this month, and Shoemaker is effectively taking the place previously held by Hector Santiago. Shoemaker has three fairly effective starts to his credit so far, two of them winners, and has been down on the farm this week while the Halos monkeyed around with their roster to add an extra arm to the bullpen.

Maurer has also seen infrequent action as the No. 5 arm in Seattle's rotation since he made his season debut on April 20. The Californian has yet to register a quality effort in six assignments, and was pounded by the Astros this past weekend in a 9-4 setback, his third straight defeat.

He made two starts and a relief appearance vs. the Angels a year ago, one of the starts a real dandy and the other quite ugly.  All told, he tossed 11.1 innings against LA, allowing nine runs and striking out 11.

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Umpire Notes, Mother Nature & A Free Pick
Dan Iassogna, one of my least favorite field arbiters, completes the umpire circuit for this series with an appearance behind the plate in the finale. Among the most confrontational umps in the biz, Iassogna began 2014 with six straight 'overs,' each contest seeing at least 11 runs come plateward, but has since had a pair of 'under' winners.

Safeco Field was sealed up as expected for Game 3, but the lid should be open Thursday evening when Seattle should enjoy mostly clear skies. Expect he thermometer to be in the low-60s for the start of the game with only a light NW breeze (left to right).

Bettors will need to keep an eye on SBR's live MLB odds for the eventual release of tonight's wagering lines. Seattle should be light chalk at home and I'm thinking 8 for the total, the high side getting my attention.

My Pick: No lines, lean Over

Season: 49-48 (-1.25)


28th May
Angels vs. Mariners Game 3

By: Willie Bee


It was touch and go at the end, but the Angels did come away with a 6-4 victory Tuesday over the Seattle Mariners, pushing Los Angeles up to just a game-&-a-half behind the Oakland Athletics in the AL West race.

Los Angeles can inch even closer to the A's with a victory Wednesday, but that means taking down Seattle with its ace on the bump in the 10:10 PM (ET) contest.  Felix Hernandez is up next in the Mariners rotation, and bettors are being asked to fork over about $1.25 for the privilege of backing the home team.  CJ Wilson opposes Hernandez, and a 6.5 run total split evenly high/low can be found on SBR's live MLB odds.

The Angels built three different 3-run leads in Game 2, but had trouble putting the M's away.  Of utmost concern for manager Mike Scioscia and the Halos was a very shaky 9th-inning performance by Ernesto Frieri, who has lost his closer's job once already this season and pitched as though he's out to lose it again.


CJ, King Felix Square Off For 7th Time
Wilson and Hernandez are no strangers to each other having spent their entire major league careers toiling in the AL West Division.  Wednesday will be the seventh time they've met as starting pitchers, going back to Wilson's days in the Texas rotation, and the lefthander's teams have won four of the previous six encounters.

Wilson has won back-to-back starts for the third time in 2014, and only has a couple of bad outings among his 10 assignments.  One of those was against the Mariners in his season debut at Anaheim, Wilson charged with six of Seattle's eight runs before exiting in the sixth inning.

Hernandez enters this tussle having won three straight, the Mariners victorious in his last four starts.  The Venezuelan missed the Angels the previous two series meetings this campaign, but won two of three against them last year in Seattle.


Umpire Notes, Mother Nature & A Free Pick
Dale Scott is set to work his first 2014 game behind the plate involving either the Angels or Mariners, and so far sports a 3-5-1 (O/U/P) mark on totals.  Two of his three plate assignments at Safeco last season went 'over' the total and the M's are 3-3 his last six games under the mask in Seattle.

They've managed to play the first two games of this series with the roof open, but odds are that won't happen Wednesday night.  A 40%-50% shot at rain exists through the early evening hours, with the thermometer in the upper-50s at first pitch.

Wilson and Hernandez have combined to pitch to a 3.37 ERA during their innings of head-to-head battles, so the 'under' is inviting and indeed might be the wisest bet.  I'm going with my gut in this one, however, expecting Hernandez to be his usual outstanding self with a free MLB pick on Seattle.

My Pick: Mariners -125

Season: 48-48 (-1.05)


27th May
Angels vs. Mariners Game 2

By: Willie Bee


Did the Los Angeles Angels leave their bats back in Anaheim when they headed out to start a 10-game road trip Monday in Seattle? It sure looked that way after Mariners pitchers quieted normally potent LA bats in a 5-1 decision.

Mike Scioscia and the Halos now turns to Jered Weaver to level the 4-game series on Tuesday. The Angels are priced in the -130s for the contest after opening 10¢ or so higher, and the lineup will be facing Seattle's Roenis Elias in the 10:10 PM (ET) start.

SBR's live MLB odds did show some 7.5 run totals early on, but that number has since settled to an even 7 across the board.

Chris Young and three relievers combined to stymie LA's batting order in the opener, Albert Pujols' 14th home run of the season in the seventh all the noise the Angels could muster. Robinson Cano, meanwhile, led an early Mariners barrage that built a 5-run lead after two, helped greatly by one crucial fielding gaffe by Angels shortstop Erick Aybar.


Elias, Weaver Each Out To Avenge Earlier Loss In M's-Halos Season Series
With four wins in his last five trips to the mound, Weaver is coming off a gem this past week when he went the distance with a 2-hitter vs. the Astros. Houston's lone run came on a solo shot by rookie George Springer, and Weaver has given up two runs or less in each of his last seven assignments.

Seattle beat the Halos ace on Opening Day, the Mariners scoring four of their 10 runs during Weaver's 6.1 innings of work. This will be his 15th career start at Safeco Field where Weaver is 6-7 with a 4.38 ERA.

Elias is also coming off a start vs. Houston, recording a no-decision is Seattle's 2-1 win over the Astros last Thursday. That victory snapped a 2-game losing run for the Mariners with the lefty on the hill, and the Cuban is looking to avenge an April 9 home loss to the Angels (5 IP, 2 ER), Elias' only experience vs. the Halos.


Umpire Notes, Mother Nature & A Free Pick
Part of the minor league fill-in group of umpires MLB rotates in and out during a season, Hal 'Tripp' Gibson is about to make his 11th plate assignment of 2014. He's level in the first 10, going 5-5 O/U and 5-5 Home/Visitor.

The roof at Safeco Field was open Monday, and there's less chance of rain on Tuesday when the thermometer is expected to still be in the low-to-mid 60s at game time. A light NW breeze is also in the forecast (left to right).

Admittedly, I don't have a strong feeling one way or another about this game, so take this free baseball pick with a grain of salt, maybe two grains. In the end, rolling with the better pitcher seems the safest way to go.

My Pick: Angels -130

Season: 47-47 (-1.20)


26th May
Angels vs. Mariners Game 1

By: Willie Bee


The AL West is beginning to look like a 2-horse race between the Oakland Athletics and Los Angeles Angels, those two presently owning the 2nd- and 3rd-best records in the Junior Circuit, respectively.   Seattle would like to join that mix, and the Mariners have a golden opportunity to prove they're for real this week with the Angels in town followed by Detroit.

Game 1 of four between the M's and Halos gets underway Monday afternoon (4:10 PM ET) when Chris Young gets the starting nod for Seattle opposite LA's Tyler Skaggs.  The visitors are lined as -125 to -130 chalk for the Memorial Day matinee, a 7.5 run total showing up at most shops monitored by SBR's live MLB odds.

It's the third series of 2014 between the Mariners and Angels, the first two taking place during the first 10 days of the schedule.  Seattle won four of the first five games, sweeping the Halos in Anaheim and splitting a mini 2-game set at home about a week later.  All of the Mariners' victories went past the total while LA's lone triumph stayed 'under.'

The Angels are 73-62 at Safeco Field since it opened midway through '99, but have dropped eight of their last 12 on this diamond.  Last season's totals in the Pacific Northwest ran 5-4-1 (O/U/P).


Halos Hot To Begin 10-Game Division Tour
Los Angeles (28-21, +3.4 units, 26-21-2 O/U/P) is playing as well as any other team right now, wrapping up a successful 7-3 homestand Sunday against the Royals and 12-4 the last 16 trips to the diamond.  The Angels sit fifth in the majors with 176 plate crossings when runners are in scoring position, and third in baseball averaging nearly five runs per game.

Ranking as one of the most profitable pitchers this season (+7.6 units, 4th-highest return), Skaggs has been part of eight LA wins in his nine starts, including dubyas in all three of his road assignments.  The Cali native has been just about unhittable away from Anaheim, holding batters to a puny .139 average and posting a 1.57 ERA.

Monday afternoon will be Skaggs' first look at the M's, with bench players John Buck and Cole Gillespie having seen him before among the Seattle roster.  The young southpaw will be out to record a 2nd-consecutive win for the first time in his career after beating the Astros last Tuesday with a strong performance (7 IP, 1 ER, 6 K).


M's Split 6 Games With Lone Star State Squads
This 11-game homestand started well enough for Seattle (24-25, -2.1 units, 23-23-3 O/U/P) by taking the first two from Houston, but the Astros managed to escape Coffee City with a series split by winning Saturday and Sunday.  The Mariners also halved their road set in Texas against the Rangers before coming home to face Houston.

Young has suffered back-to-back losses, those outings beginning and ending a recent 3-3 road trip through Kansas City and Texas.  The big righty dished up two long balls in each of those games among the combined 17 hits allowed, and his ERA has jumped almost a run to 3.53 as a result of the setbacks.

It has been nearly five years since Young faced the Angels, that start coming in an interleague contest while pitching for the Padres and it wasn't pretty (2.1 IP, 5 ER, 5 BB).  Before that, you have to go back to his days with the Rangers for the rest of his experience vs. the Halos, and he's 3-3 lifetime in eight appearances with a 6.38 ERA.

Rain is in the Seattle forecast -- nothing new there -- for the entire series with a 20%-60% chance through Thursday.  Right now, it appears Tuesday and Thursday are the only days the roof might be open at Safeco Field.

Let's run with the hotter club for our free MLB pick in Monday's matchup, and look for Los Angeles to get its roadie started with a dubya.

My Pick: Angels -125

Season: 46-46 (-1.20)

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