We’re finally here. At least for those of you that like to count Fridays as part of the weekend, we’ve made it to Major League Baseball’s last weekend of the regular season. And what a season it’s been for the Oakland Athletics. Picked by many to finish third in the AL West Division (again), Oakland has a chance to get the top seed in the American League playoff picture and will send one of its aces to the hill on Friday to take on King Felix Hernandez who is always up to spoil a contender’s end of the year. Bartolo Colon goes for Oakland and fetches a total of 6.5 going up against the King.
Even with Seattle well out of the playoff picture at home, this game will be unusually competitive for this point in the year. Not only is Oakland vying for the top spot in the American League, Felix Hernandez is looking to end his year strong coming off of injury and the ultra-competitive Hernandez loves pitching in this type of spot where he can send a division foe home unhappy.
Bartolo Colon has been absolutely unreal this year with a sub-3 ERA and a WHIP of just 1.18. What may be the most impressive feat that Colon will accomplish this season? Friday will be “The Handsome One’s” 30th start of the year at age 40. Colon’s season certainly goes a little ways in helping explain what has made the A’s so successful this season when much of the hype surrounded the Rangers and especially the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. Expect Colon to be sharp once again tomorrow against a relatively apathetic Seattle offense. Colon has dominated weaker lineups all year with fantastic command with the fastball/change-up and a slider that still has its bite. Don’t expect Seattle to plate more than one or two.
On the other side, Felix Hernandez certainly has no plans to just hand Colon a win. The King made his first start in 20 days last time out against the Angels and was his typical self in a slightly abbreviated start. Hernandez surrendered just one run on one hit in four innings against Los Angeles. He will look to come out and pitch deeper into this ballgame to not only prove his health going into next season, but to try and bury the A’s down into that two slot to earn them a date with the Detroit Tigers in the first round of the playoffs. Hernandez has given up eight hits in 14.2 innings this season against Oakland…and that’s it. The A’s have yet to touch the dish against Hernandez this season and he’ll expect to keep it that way.
Runs shouldn’t be plentiful in this one and I don’t think the total can be low enough here in a spot where the oddsmakers certainly tried to. The under is the play here.
Free Pick: Oakland/Seattle Under 6.5