Home run (Safe bet)
Pick the New York Yankees at 1.53 to defeat the Seattle Mariners at home.
CC Sabathia, the Yankee’s starter here, is back on form and is a key reason for this Tuesday pick.
Sabathia has dealt with injury over the past few years and lost weight in the off-season in the hopes of avoiding more time on the disabled list in 2014. The initial results weren’t great – he gave up 14 runs in his first 19 innings of work. But Sabathia has returned to form in his two most recent starts.
In tough road games versus the Tampa Bay Rays and the Boston Red Sox he allowed a combined three earned runs in 13 innings and picked up two victories. His past record against Mariners’ hitters also bodes well for New York success. In 129 plate appearances, Seattle batters have a lifetime .212 batting average (and .266 on base percentage).
The Mariners will counter with Chris Young. Although his ERA is a reasonable 3.50, his fielding independent pitching, a statistic that better reflects his real performance is 5.25. In other words, he looks ready for a big fall. Yankee Stadium is as good as any place for that to occur. In two lifetime starts there, Young has lasted just 8 2/3 innings, compiling a 6.23 ERA there.
Squeeze play (Gutsiest call)
The Marlins and Atlanta Braves will combine for fewer than 6 runs in Miami; take it at 1.95
The gutsy factor is created here by the fact that we’ve got two good offensive teams (Surprisingly, the Marlins are third in the National League in runs per game and the Braves are third in the circuit in home runs). They also happen to be playing at Marlins Park, which is currently ninth out of thirty Major League teams in terms of run scoring.
But, as the old adage goes, good pitching beats good hitting and that’s precisely what to expect here. Atlanta pitcher Alex Wood has been one of the game’s most dominant pitchers so far this year. He hasn’t allowed more than two runs in any of his five starts (and he only allowed two once). In terms of this contest, he’s already faced the Marlins once this year and when eight innings. He allowed just four hits and one run while striking out 11.
In Wood’s great outing against Miami, he happened to face the Marlins’ pitcher in this game – Jose Fernandez. The right-hander was even better than Wood in that contest, twirling eight shutout innings. He gave up just three hits and struck out 14. That performance was not an anomaly. He’s only given up an earned run in two of his five starts and, in home games, he 20 2/3 innings and conceded just one run.
Expect Wood and Fernandez to put on another pitchers’ duel in this contest.