The MLB odds vary depending on the book, but generaly you can find the Athletics favored anywhere from -137 to -140. The Mariners are trading at roughly +130.
Runs are not expected to come easy tonight, explaining why we find a total of seven on the board. Along with the Dodgers/Giants and Rays/Orioles games, it's the lowest O/U of the day's baseball slate.
Seattle Mariners (Hisashi Iwakuma)
What a season debut it was for Felix Hernandez and the Mariners, who won game one of the series in front of a rowdy Oakland crowd.
King Felix went 7 and 2/3 innings and limited the Athletics to three hits and zero runs. He struck out eight batters and had only one walk in the win, in what was a dream start for the 26-year old ace.
What kind of follow-up act will we see from Hisashi Iwakuma tonight? That remains to be seen, but his splits against Oakland in 2012 left a lot to be desired.
Iwakuma was 0-2 with a 6.14 ERA in two appearances versus the Athletics. In his sole start against them, he surrendered six hits and five runs (four earned) in a 6-1 loss, failing to get out of the fourth inning.
Away from Safeco Field last year, Iwakuma finished 3-2 with a 4.20 ERA, while allowing batters to to hit .276 against him.
Oakland Athletics (Jarrod Parker)
The Athletics had no answer for King Felix last night – few teams ever do – but they'll look to bounce back against Iwakuma.
Oakland wasted a good start from Brett Anderson (7.0 IP, 4 H, 2 ER), as Seth Smith and John Jaso were the only two Athletics able to get hits. Smith finished 2-for-3 with a double, but other than that there were a lot of zeros across the board.
Tonight Oakland will send out Jarrod Parker to the mound, who tied for the team lead with 13 wins in his rookie year. His final numbers? A 13-8 win-loss record to go with a 3.37 ERA and a 1.25 WHIP.
Parker didn't have a lot of success against the Mariners last season, going 1-1 with a 5.40 ERA in two starts. Though he struggled in the one outing at home, he toyed with Seattle on the road, holding them to three hits and one earned run while striking out nine in a 2-1 win.
Plus, Parker did fare extremely well at home throughout last season. He went 6-5 with a 2.61 ERA in 15 appearances at O.co Coliseum, far better than the 4.54 ERA he recorded outside of Oakland.
This is quite a bit of juice, but in the end we believe this to be a good spot for the Athletics to get on the winning side of things.
Parker has looked very comfortable at home so far in his young career, while we think Oakland will be able to do more damage against Iwakuma, who was far from unhittable on the road last season. It seems likely that Yoenis Cespedes will make a difference here in game two, considering he hit six homers against the Mariners last year.
When it boils down to making our final sports picks, we feel it's in your best interest to back Oakland to get the win and subsequently even up the series at 1-1 apiece.
MLB Picks: Oakland Athletics -137 at 5Dimes
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