There was a time when it looked as if Felix Hernandez and Michael Pineda would form the backbone of the Seattle Mariners’ rotation for years to come. The former teammates square off for the first time Monday, when Pineda leads the New York Yankees into Seattle for the opener of a three-game series.
Both pitchers were All-Stars for Seattle in 2011 before Pineda was traded to New York and missed two seasons in a row due to injury, making Monday his first appearance against his old mates. While the big Dominican finally has turned the corner to become the Yankees’ best starter this year, Hernandez remains dominant for the Mariners, as he is coming off his 11th career shutout – a four-hitter at Tampa Bay on Wednesday. The aces will be trying to help their clubs turn things around after both dropped three of four over the weekend. New York was blanked 3-0 in Oakland on Sunday, while Seattle was outhit 18-5 in a 12-inning, 6-3 loss to Cleveland.
TV: 10:10 p.m. ET, YES (New York), ROOT (Seattle)
LINE HISTORY: The Mariners opened at -153 and have been bet down slightly to -145. The total is as low as you’ll see at 6.0 runs.
Yankees – SP M Tanaka (15-day DL, arm), RF S Heathcott (15-day DL, quad), CF J Ellsbury (15-day DL, knee), RP C Martin (15 day-DL, elbow), SS G Petit (15-day DL, hand), SS B Ryan (Mid June, calf), SP C Whitley (60-day DL, elbow), SP I Nova (Late June, elbow).
Mariners – RP D Rollins (July 4, suspension), SP J Paxton (15-day DL, finger), SP H Iwakuma (Late June, back), RP T Olsen (15-day DL, knee).
WHAT BOOKS SAY: “The total is the real story here because it’s rare that we hang a 6 on the board. And we don’t have two “elite” pitchers facing off. We know that King Felix will be geared up for a special outing being this is primetime against the Yankees. New York has been in some kind of offensive funk away from home and I don’t think they’ll get to Hernandez enough to snap out of it.” – John Lester of Bookmaker.eu.
PITCHING MATCHUP: Yankees RH Michael Pineda (6-2, 3.36 ERA) vs. Mariners RH Felix Hernandez (8-1, 1.91)
Pineda bounced back from a pair of lackluster outings with 6 2/3 solid innings to defeat Kansas City on Wednesday. He allowed one run and fanned eight against one walk, giving him a remarkable 67 strikeouts and five free passes on the year. The 26-year-old posted a 2.92 ERA in 12 starts at Safeco Field in his one season with the Mariners.
Seattle is 9-1 in games started by Hernandez, who leads the majors in victories and tops the American League in WHIP (0.892) and shutouts (two). He has looked a bit more human in his last two home starts, serving up a pair of home runs in each outing and walking a season-high four in his most recent Safeco Field appearance on May 16 against Boston. The 29-year-old is 9-5 with a 2.87 ERA in 16 career starts against the Yankees but has a 2.11 mark in his last 13 encounters to go along with four complete games – his most against any opponent other than the Los Angeles Angels.
* Yankees are 5-0 in their last five meetings in Seattle.
* Mariners are 10-1 in Hernandez’s last 11 starts during Game 1 of a series.
* Over is 6-0 in Pineda’s last six road starts.
* Under is 7-1 in Hernandez’s last eight starts as a favorite of -110 to -150.
COVERS CONSENSUS: The public is fairly split in this matchup with 58 percent of wagers backing the Mainers at -145. It is even closer when it comes to the total, with 55 percent of wagers backing the over 6.0.