MLB Picks: Take Yankees For The Home Win Against Mariners & Their Ace

Jason Lake

Saturday, April 16, 2016 10:21 AM UTC

Saturday, Apr. 16, 2016 10:21 AM UTC

It's King Felix Day in the Big Apple. But will Felix Hernandez and the Mariners beat the MLB odds Saturday afternoon against CC Sabathia and the Yankees?

Jason's 2016 record as of April 14: 4-3 ML (+0.81 units)

Has there ever been a pitcher as good as Felix Hernandez whose talents went to waste like this? Hernandez has been everything the Seattle Mariners could have hoped for these past 10 years: a six-time All-Star, an American League Cy Young winner – everything except a World Series champion. The Mariners haven't even been to the playoffs since Hernandez made his big-league debut in 2005.

They won't make it this year, either. Not at this rate: The M's are 4-6 and 4.02 betting units in the hole heading into Saturday's matinee (1:05 p.m. ET, MLBN) against the New York Yankees. Not that the Yankees are doing all that well themselves at 4-5 and –1.25 units. They'll face King Felix as +115 home dogs on our MLB odds board, and they'll do it with their own six-time All Star and former AL Cy Young winner on the mound.

CC Lemon
That would be none other than CC Sabathia. Remember when he was one of the very best pitchers in the game? Since 2012, Sabathia has been much more hittable; he's 35 years old now, and he's fallen to No. 5 in the Yankees starting rotation. Not a pretty sight. However, Sabathia did get the win in his 2016 debut, allowing three runs over six innings in an 8-4 victory over the Detroit Tigers (–113 at home).

Father Time is here to claim Fernandez, too. After eight straight seasons of 200-plus innings, King Felix is on the same path as Sabathia; he posted a solid, but hardly spectacular 2.8 WAR last year, down from 6.0 WAR in 2013. And even when Fernandez pitches well, the Mariners don't always back him up. They lost his first two starts this year for an early deficit of 2.57 units, despite Fernandez allowing just one earned run in 13 innings of work.


Fantasy Corner
The Yankees have a pretty good history against Fernandez at the plate, with current hitters combining for a .796 career OPS. Apparently OF Carlos Beltran (3-for-6, two walks, 1.458 OPS) is available at 65.4 percent of ESPN fantasy leagues. That's not a very large sample size, but Beltran (.810 OPS this year) seems like too good of a hitter to be that widely available.

If “buy low, sell high” is what this game is all about, we should be selling on King Felix and putting the Yankees in our MLB picks. Sabathia has already been written off by most fans, but Hernandez is still revered, and the price on Seattle is probably inflated.


Full disclosure 
My publicist and I were there at Safeco Field last June when the Yankees (+123) lit Fernandez up for seven runs in just 4.2 innings of a 7-2 victory. Recency bias may be at work here.

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Free MLB Pick: Yankees +119
Best Line Offered: at Heritage

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