The two last place teams in the AL West meet Friday night to try to get their seasons back on track. See where our handicapper believes the betting value lies in this matchup before making your final MLB Picks.
In late Friday night MLB action we have the Texas Rangers visiting the Seattle Mariners at Safeco Field. Seattle is fresh off of getting swept in Los Angeles by the Dodgers in a series that featured two 6 to 5 tenth inning walk-off losses. Texas is coming off of a 2-1 series loss versus the Angels at home, the last game getting ugly as they gave up ten runs and lost 10-2. The pitching matchup features two journeymen joining new teams this year, J.A. Happ for the Mariners and Yovani Gollardo for the Rangers. Seattle opened as the home favorite on the money line at -145, with the initial O/U set at 7.5. The weather will be fair, 58F and partly sunny at game time, so the roof of Safeco should be open. The humidity will be over 60%; however, so the marine layer may keep a few balls on the warning track that would have gone out of the yard elsewhere.
J.A. has had some success over his career versus the Rangers, never giving up a HR to anyone on the current roster. He was fantastic on the road in his last game out, giving up only 2 ER over six frames, while only using 82 pitches. Last year, Happ only pitched at Safeco once and gave up 2 home runs in that one game versus the M’s. In 2013, he also pitched once at Safeco and gave up six earned runs over 4 innings. Basically, that is Happ’s experience at his new home ball park over his career. Not exactly great, but not enough to draw any kind of conclusions from.
Underdogs in tonight's MLB odds, the Texas Ranger fans are a little riled up at the moment, and the irk of their ire is shortstop Elvis Andrus. Apparently getting booed by the home crowd ten games in, the feeling in Mudville is that Elvis has become lazy and not worth his contract. I mean, someone has to be the fall guy for this roster, right? Fortunately for Andrus, it’s just too easy to point the finger at the pitching staff, who has a team ERA of 4.55 at this point in the season. Tonight’s starter, Yovani Gallardo, has an ERA of 5.59 through just two games, but that is a very small sample size just like Happ’s above. However, Gallardo has given up a home run in each of his first two games. When looking through his history with Seattle batters – low and behold what sticks out like a sore thumb is Nelson Cruz, who has only faced Gallardo twice in his career and hit a home run in each of those at bats. It would be naïve to think that these players don’t know this coming into this game. Cruz has hit a home run in five games straight now and he has to be licking his chops at the idea of facing Gallardo again to hit a sixth, even at home in spacious Safeco Field.
MLB Betting Verdict
Last time out, the M’s fouled up a few scoring chances by some horrible base running, most notably Robinson Cano thinking he was being walked in from third base when in fact the bases where just being loaded. I think the day off will bring their focus back, and they won’t waste the chances they will be given by the journeyman Gallardo. Happ is a serviceable innings eater, but won’t be pitching shutouts. He should be good for a few earned runs as well. With Seattle’s bullpen still taxed by back-to-back extra innings games in Los Angeles, take the Over of 7.5 in your MLB Picks for Friday night.
Free MLB Picks: Over 7 (+100 at 5Dimes)