A couple of 19-win teams get together on Saturday for some day baseball in Canada. The Rogers Centre plays host to the Blue Jays and the Seattle Mariners where a couple of left-handed starters will battle to try and get their respective side its 20th victory of 2015. Last night, Felix Hernandez won his seventh game in a 4-3 Mariners win in game one of the three-game set. James Paxton duels with Mark Buehrle in game two.
Mark Buehrle is no longer the ace he was for several years in Chicago, but he continues to stay healthy and win games as a Blue Jay. Buehrle has been knocked around this year (63 hits in 47 innings pitched, including 8 home runs), but he’s also won 5 of his 8 starts pitching for a pretty talented Toronto lineup. The beauty of Buehrle is that you know what you’ll get: a fast pace with plenty of balls in play. And that suits any infielder just fine. It also puts him in a decent spot to pitch okay against Seattle on Saturday. The M’s have scored more than 4 runs just once in their last 9 games and haven’t displayed the potency to simply knock a pitcher out of the game without getting some help. Buehrle might not dazzle the Mariners’ lineup, but he shouldn’t help it out much either (11 BB’s in 47 innings). Since getting lit up on May 1 against Cleveland, Buehrle has lowered his ERA by about a run and a half in his last 3 starts. Decent chance he continues to bring it down on Saturday.
Speaking of pitching well, James Paxton has found his rhythm after a very scary start to 2015. Without Iwakuma healthy, Seattle needs Paxton to produce behind Felix Hernandez, something he’s done over his last 5 outings. Paxton has surrendered just 5 runs in his last 33 innings, including nothing in his last 2. He hasn’t allowed more than 5 hits since April and has evened his record to 2-2 after losing his first 2 decisions. He’ll be challenged with Toronto’s right-handed lineup, but you have to love the way he’s been pitching lately, enough for a small play on Saturday.
Play this one for half, and if the 5.0 disappears, it’s probably better to sit it out.
Free Pick: Under 5 -125 (First 5 Innings)
YTD: 5-2-1 +2.73
2014: 45-28-3 +9.02