This isn’t any fun anymore. Lots of losing since June started has us in the red, down almost a full unit after the Giants lost in the eighth in game one in New York. We’re going to chase another half unit with a play on the under tonight in Pittsburgh.
Felix Hernandez is back from a strained calf that sidelined him for almost two whole months. Hernandez looked ok in his first start the last time out against the White Sox, though his line doesn’t necessarily suggest as much. The King gave up 10 hits and five earned runs in 6.2 innings of work, but was around the plate and suffered a three-run shot off the bat of Todd Frazier in his very first inning back. He settled down from there, though he only struck out two batters on the day. Accounting for his last two starts, the one before the injury and the one after, Hernandez’s ERA has ballooned by more than a full run (from 2.21 to 3.23). And while the Pirates’ lineup is formidable, this
could be a decent time to get behind Felix, whose numbers are a tad inflated and who should have a pretty fresh arm after all his time off. The hope is the arm is fresh and the rust is now gone. It could all add up to vintage Hernandez on the road in Pittsburgh.
He’ll duel with Francisco Liriano. Liriano is having a very okay year, with an ERA just under 5.00 and a meaty WHIP. He’s thrown two straight quality starts and hasn’t allowed more than three runs in his last four. But he’s shown very little propensity to completely shut down an opponent. And as I write this now, it makes me lean toward Seattle is Felix can give us the outing I think he may. It’s not a huge problem for Pittsburgh if Liriano just goes five because it has the bullpen to back him up. That said, I don’t think he’ll be good enough to get Felix tonight. Let’s go a little on the under and a little on the M’s as a small road doggie.
YTD: 18-19-1 -0.93
2015: 31-25-5 +1.09
2014: 45-28-3 +9.02