MLB Picks: Mariners vs. Padres Game 3

Matthew Jordan

Wednesday, June 18, 2014 12:17 PM UTC

Wednesday, Jun. 18, 2014 12:17 PM UTC

It's one of those unusual flip-flop two-game interleague home-and-home series on Wednesday night in San Diego as the Padres and Mariners just finished a two-game set in Seattle. The Mariners opened as -125 favorites on MLB odds for Game 1.

Bud Black First Manager To Go?
If any of you bet on a "first manager to be fired" prop back before the start of the season, there has been no winner yet. I'd call it a minor upset if one isn't canned before the All-Star Break, and the leader in the clubhouse is likely the Padres' Bud Black. San Diego was a playoff team in Bruce Bochy's final season of 2006, but hasn't been back since Black took over the following season, so I'm frankly surprised he has lasted this long. Perhaps Padres brass allows Black to finish out the season, but orders him to fire hitting coach Phil Plantier -- why did the team never install the late Tony Gwynn in that role?

The San Diego offense is nothing short of putrid, by far last in the majors in runs, batting average, on-base percentage and OPS. Once-promising hitters like Chase Headley, Everth Cabrera, Yonder Alonso and Jedd Gyorko all are having terrible seasons. Gyorko has the worst average in the majors at .162 -- he recently got a $35 million extension -- but is on the disabled list. The team's leading hitter is Seth Smith, who really should be a platoon guy. No Padre regular is hitting better than .290 or has more than seven home runs or 25 RBIs. The pitching staff hasn't been bad at all. 

San Diego is about to slide past Arizona and into last in the NL West, which might be all the impetus the front office needs to go in another direction. Ownership expected playoff contention after signing off on a club-record $90.1 million payroll this season. Expect an emotional night at Petco Park for this game as it's the Padres' first back home since the legendary Gwynn, easily the best player in franchise history, died Monday at only age 54. 

Probable Pitchers
It looks to be the pitching matchup of the night in baseball in this one as the two aces on these teams, Felix Hernandez and Andrew Cashner, face off. The Mariners' Hernandez (8-2, 2.29) is off to the best start of his illustrious career. King Felix has allowed two runs or less in six straight starts, going at least seven innings in all of them. Seattle won the first five, but lost last time out, 1-0 against Texas. It was Hernandez's first personal loss since April 21. He was the second-favorite on MLB odds behind Yankees rookie Masahiro Tanaka in the most recent Cy Young prop at sportsbooks. Hernandez is 4-0 with a 2.14 ERA in eight road starts this year. Hernandez doesn't get to start at pitcher-friendly Petco Park very often, but he loves to do so as he's 5-0 with a 1.54 ERA in six career starts there.

Cabrera is 4-for-10 with an RBI off Hernandez. Headley is 4-for-21 with seven strikeouts. Carlos Quentin is 5-for-23 with two homers against the right-hander. Cashner (2-6, 2.47) doesn't get much run support, as can be seen by his record. He missed about a month on the DL, and has been back for two starts, going 0-1 with a 3.00 ERA. He tied his season high in allowing four runs last time out in a loss at the Mets. Cashner has a terrific 1.41 ERA at home this season in six starts but a 2-2 record. No Mariners have more than four at-bats off him. Kyle Seager has two singles in three at-bats against him. Logan Morrison is 2-for-4 with a walk.

MLB free picks: Mariners -125 on MLB odds, as well as +135 on the runline, and 'under' 6 runs for your MLB picks. I'm sure the Padres would like to win one for Gwynn, but it would be a shock if they get more than a run off King Felix. Seattle is 11-2 in Hernandez's past 13 against the NL West. The Padres are 0-4 in their past four interleague home games. The 'under' is 5-1 in Hernandez's past six interleague starts. 

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