Forty-Five runs allowed later, the Seattle Mariners are out of Boston and onto the Ballpark in Arlington. It was a rough week for Mariner pitching up in Fenway Park and though Seattle is no longer in the playoff race, its staff looks to turn things around with a new week against a divisional opponent who is trying to make a push for the playoffs. The Texas Rangers find themselves just on the outside looking in at an American League Wildcard race that should stay close all the way to game 162. Texas’ new ace Cole Hamels takes the mound looking for his first really good start (and win) as a Ranger.
Hamels hasn’t been very good in two starts since coming over from Philadelphia following his first career no-hitter. His control has been within reason but he’s been touched by the long ball. He allowed three homers in his last outing at Safeco Field against these same Mariners. However, he got by with only four runs allowed. It won’t get easier going home to take on Seattle in a much more hitter-friendly ballpark but something makes me thing Hamels will get it together against a poor offense and fire his first quality start as a member of the American League. His ERA is still under 4.00 to go along with a strong WHIP overall this season. Recent track record can often be deceiving and in this case with Hamels, I think it may be.
Then there’s Taijuan Walker who is still trying to get that ERA down after what was a crazy start to his season. The 4.60 mark still feels a lot higher than it should be, especially with how he’s pitched for most of the season and what his other peripherals look like. Walker’s WHIP is just a smidgen over 1.20 and his 132 strikeouts compared to just 35 free passes look awful nice next to each other. He’s riding the momentum of four straight quality starts and he’ll probably have to turn out another one going up against the Rangers’ ace. It all adds up to play the under tonight, for one and a half.
Free Pick: Under 8.5 -115
YTD: 15-14-4 -2.19
2014: 45-28-3 +9.02