The New York Mets’ Johan Santana should get his first win of the season on Saturday at home against the Arizona Diamondbacks. With the exception of one bad outing against the Atlanta Braves, Santana has been an ace in his other four starts, posting a 0.79 ERA with 29 strikeouts in 22 2/3 innings. Historically, he’s fared well against Arizona, owning a career 2-0 record with a 0.62 ERA in four starts. The Diamondbacks counter with Patrick Corbin. The lefty was recently called up from Arizona’s Double-A minor league affiliate and delivered mediocre results in his first start (5 2/3 innings, eight hits, three runs, three walks and six strikeouts) against the Miami Marlins. The Mets have been a better offensive team than Miami in 2012. Go with New York at 1.57 instead of Arizona at 2.40.
A good betting opportunity is on offer when two also-rans meet up in Seattle. The Mariners’ pitcher Felix Hernandez should be able to handle the Minnesota Twins line up. After a wobbly start in his second appearance, Hernandez has been dominant. He’s yielded just four runs in 30 innings over his past four outings. Over that span he’s struck out 29 batters. The Twins proved just how over-powered they can be by an elite pitcher when they were no-hit by the Los Angeles Angels Jered Weaver earlier in the week. The Twins pitcher Jason Marquis is 2-0, but that’s misleading. He owns a 6.23 ERA. In fact, he hasn’t had a full season with an ERA under 4.00 since 2004. Hernandez has had six straight seasons with an ERA under 4.00. Seattle is the pick here at 1.45; the hapless Twins are on at 2.75.