We got the All-Star Game, our first under out of the break, and the Blue Jays/Red Sox last night. I’ve got a play that I like well enough to play tonight for four in a row.
New York got its three new players on Wednesday but Joe Girardi didn’t fully unleash them, their first day on the job. Todd Frazier pinch-hit late in the game and Tommy Kahnle pitched the last inning of a 6-1 loss. Girardi also gave Aaron Judge the day off before the flight to Seattle. The poor guy looks like somebody who has been pecked to death by New Yorkers.
The Mariners were also on the road this week and took two out of three from Houston. James Paxton made things relatively easy on the M’s bullpen with seven innings at Minute Maid Park. Seattle enters game one of a four-game series three games back of New York in the loss column.
I’m confident that Luis Severino and Felix Hernandez like each other, but each will try hard to defeat the other, more so than any two starting pitchers in any other game on Thursday night. It will be a little bit like watching a father and son; Severino brings back fond memories of King Felix in his prime. Hernandez, a national hero in Venezuela, represents who Severino wants to be, one day.
Luis is youth, personified in this matchup. He’s stronger and more spry but Hernandez’s experience must not be dismissed. The King can take a hit. If the Yankees don’t hit him with a body blow at every possible opportunity, he will keep his team in the game.
But Seattle’s offense will have to win the game and I’m not sure that it will because New York’s pitching starts tough with Severino and very well may just get tougher. Unless Severino gets roughed up, he’s a shoe-in to go six innings, which means Girardi can bridge him to David Robertson, to Dellin Betances, to Aroldis Chapman.
Betances and Chapman have looked a little weary and keeping them fresh was as much a factor in making this move as essentially shortening must-win games to six innings with the three-headed monster. Girardi doesn’t have to lean on his three aces out of the bullpen when he’s got Kahnle, and when Chad Green and Adam Warren are throwing the ball like they have this season. I set the Mariners’ team total at a solid 3.5.
I’ve got the Yankees’ at 4.5 I do lean under any 8.5s that are available but that’s not where the value is tonight. A full run advantage translates into something significantly more than -115, yet that’s the price the Yankees are available at.
Free Pick: Yankees (-115)
felix hernandez • Luis Severino • New York Yankees • seattle mariners • Todd Frazier