Seattle’s Hisashi Iwakuma (7-4, 2.97 ERA) takes the hill in a duel of righties with Los Angeles’ Joe Blanton (2-11, 5.40 ERA). Let's look at the match-up more closely for our MLB picks.
M’s, Smoak roll at Safeco
Mariners first baseman Justin Smoak notched four RBIs in Saturday’s triumph, including a three-run homer. Seattle’s Raul Ibanez and Kendrys Morales both went 2-for-4 at the plate, while starter Felix Hernandez held Los Angeles to seven hits over eight innings.
Angels outfielder Mike Trout drilled a triple as part of a 1-for-4 night, while mates Howie Kendrick and Alberto Callaspo united to hit 4-for-7. Los Angeles’ Albert Pujols left three men on base, held to a combined 0-for-8 outing with cleanup man Josh Hamilton.
Iwakuma shelled early
Iwakuma came away with a no-decision in Tuesday’s 11-8 loss for Seattle to the Boston Red Sox, falling as a 133 home favorite. The 32-year-old gave up three early homers as part of eight hits, allowing six runs over three frames.
Seattle’s Brad Miller notched four RBIs, drilling a pair of doubles in a 3-for-5 outing. The Mariners were edged out in hits, 16-13, while the slugfest’s combined 19 runs soared OVER the ‘total’ of 7 ½.
Blanton blasted in Chicago
Blanton logged his first loss in five starts on the same night’s card, failing to cash as 138 road ‘chalk’ in a 7-2 defeat for Los Angeles to the Chicago Cubs. The Tennessee native gave up six runs over five innings, surrendering four homers.
Angels shortstop Erick Aybar was held to a 0-for-4 night from the leadoff spot, striking out twice. The lopsided affair’s nine runs ‘pushed’ the closing ‘total,’ while Los Angeles finished with six hits.
Back the \Angels as Road Dogs
Bet365 opened Iwakuma as a 122 home favorite, followed by early ‘steam’ on Seattle lifting the premium to minus 130 MLB odds. The ‘total’ was first set at eight, with a minus 120 tag added to the OVER.
I am backing Los Angeles in this finale, looking for Mike Scioscia’s club to end its skid at a plus price..
Blanton had held his own against Seattle in two outings this year, allowing a combined five earned runs over 12 2/3 IP. The veteran fell short of cashing with a pair of one-run defeats for the Angels, but should see some more support at the plate from his mates here.
Iwakuma started the year with impressive numbers, but has started loosening up over the past two months. The Tokyo native has given up 22 earned runs over his last five starts (29 IP), allowing eight homers in the span’s three outings at Safeco Field.
Los Angeles is 10-2 in its last 12 games facing a righty starter, while going 6-2 in its eight spots that followed scoring two runs or less. Angels slugger Josh Hamilton has had a quiet series, but could break out here with a homer and double in nine at-bat’s facing Iwakuma.
Look for the Angels to head into the All-Star break with a winning ticket here, adding to the team’s 6-1 mark in its last seven matchups as an underdog.
MLB Pick: Los Angeles Angels +120 at Bet365