Red Sox-Mariners: Former Cy Young Winners Face Off in Opener

Matthew Jordan

Wednesday, June 13, 2018 4:53 PM UTC

Wednesday, Jun. 13, 2018 4:53 PM UTC

The series of the weekend in baseball begins Thursday night from Seattle as the Mariners host the Red Sox in a potential October preview.

Boston (47-22) at Seattle (44-24)Free MLB Pick: Red Sox (& Under)Best Line Offered: BetOnline

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No question that the marquee series around baseball this weekend is Boston at Seattle as the Red Sox are battling the Yankees for the AL East lead and the Mariners are doing the same in the West with the Astros. So we could be looking a wild-card game or ALDS preview here. It’s all but a lock that AL East runner-up is a wild-card team and looking likely that the AL West runner-up will be too. The first pitch in Thursday’s opener is 10:10 p.m. ET from Safeco Field and shown nationally on the MLB Network.

The Mariners are on pace to have perhaps the greatest season in MLB history in terms of winning percentage in one-run games as they are a ridiculous 21-9 in them as of Wednesday. No team has played more one-run games and the M’s are 12-2 in their past 14 of them. Helps that closer Edwin Diaz has been lights out (Red Sox closer Craig Kimbrel has been just as dominant).

Surprising Seattle has gone 10 consecutive series without a loss, the third-longest streak in franchise history. The 2001 team that tied an MLB record with 116 regular-season victories had a 15-series run. Instead of collapsing when All-Star second baseman Robinson Cano was suspended 80 games for PED use, the Mariners have taken off since shifting Dee Gordon to second from center field. In fact, Mariners GM Jerry Dipoto said earlier this week that Cano will not be the team's everyday second baseman even when he does return on Aug. 14.

Boston got its best offensive player back off the DL on Monday with AL MVP candidate Mookie Betts activated without even going on a rehab assignment. He had been out since May 27 with an abdominal strain. Mike Trout has passed him for the MVP lead.

The Mariners and Red Sox split six meetings in 2017, with Seattle going 2-1 at home. It hasn’t lost a series at Safeco to Boston since 2013.

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Mitch Haniger was trying to punch his ticket to the All-Star Game in one night. 🌟

That's worth a vote for five. #VoteHanny

— Mariners (@Mariners) June 13, 2018

Probable Pitchers: Price vs. Hernandez

The Mariners catch a bit of a break in the series in that they avoid Boston ace Chris Sale, who pitched Wednesday afternoon in Baltimore (so a cross-country trip Wednesday night for the Sox), but it’s 2012 AL Cy Young winner David Price on the bump Thursday.

The southpaw Price (7-4, 4.00) was 2-4 with a 5.11 ERA on the season after getting shelled in a loss at Texas on May 3 but has been terrific since in allowing more than two earned runs just once in six starts – Boston has won them all. Price allowed two first-inning runs last time out vs. the White Sox but then none over the next five and left after only 86 pitches.

In his career, Price is 3-1 with a 2.62 ERA in seven starts against the Mariners. Nelson Cruz hits him well, going 9-for-28 with two homers. Kyle Seager is 4-for-20 with a homer. Mike Zunino just 2-for-13 with 11 Ks.

The year before Price won his Cy Young, Seattle’s Felix Hernandez won his. King Felix (6-5, 5.70) is not near that level these days after all those innings and has the worst ERA and WHIP (1.38) in the Seattle rotation. He lasted only three innings last Saturday at Tampa Bay, surrendering six runs and seven hits. It was the fifth time Hernandez has surrendered at least five earned runs in a start in 2018; he used to not allow that many in a season.

Hernandez has started 19 times vs. Boston and is 8-4 with a 4.01 ERA. Betts is 2-for-7 against him. Jackie Bradley Jr. 3-for-10 with a homer. Mitch Moreland hits only .192 with 15 strikeouts in 52 at-bats off Hernandez.

  • Red Sox are 6-2 in their last 8 during game 1 of a series.
  • Mariners are 5-12 in their last 17 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600.
  • Under is 5-1 in Hernandez’s last 6 starts during game 1 of a series.
  • Under is 7-1 in Red Sox’s last 8 overall.

Hernandez isn’t trustworthy these days, and Seattle hast lost four of his past five vs. teams with a winning record, while Price looks as good as he has since signing with Boston. Take the Red Sox for a Thursday MLB pick with a smaller lean to the ‘under.’

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