The June 14th AL free pick is a good one as two first place teams meet up for the start of a four game set in Seattle. The Mariners have ridden an 8-2 record over their last 10 to go up 1/2 a game on the equally surging Astros in the AL West. Boston has ridden a similar 7-3 record over their last 10 to go a game up on the Yankees. These are the two best races in baseball so both teams need a W tonight. The big question is, who gets it?
David Price Is a Solid Backing Tonight
Nobody would blame bettors for siding with Red Sox starter David Price (7-4, 4.00 ERA) in the June 14th AL free pick. The Red Sox starter has picked up the win in 5 straight decisions, allowing over 2ER just once – a June 2nd start against Houston where he surrendered 3ER in 6.0 IP. The lefty has had success against Seattle too. In 7 career starts against the Mariners Price is 3-1 with a 2.62 ERA. Tonight marks Price’s third ever start at Safeco Field, where he has allowed 5.0 ER in 16 IP (2.81 ERA). Collectively the current Mariners team is hitting just .213 against the Boston starter in almost 100 total AB.
The thing about Price picking up wins is that he doesn’t have to always be great with the MLB’s #2 scoring offense behind him. That being said the Red Sox bats are on a bit of a mini-slump, scoring over 4 runs just twice in the last seven games. A positive sign heading into Thursday night’s battle is that both of those higher scoring games have come the last two nights as the Red Sox completed the sweep of Baltimore outscoring them 11-5 on Tuesday and Wednesday. Dustin Pedroia has a majority of the experience against Felix Hernandez, but he’s out indefinitely with a knee injury. Besides Mitch Moreland and Brock Holt, no other Boston player has faced the King more than 10 times. That being said the Red Sox will be just fine if Andrew Benintendi continues his recent tear (.355 3HR, 3-2B the last 7 days).
What Can We Expect Out of Hernandez However?
Felix Hernandez (6-5, 5.70 ERA)’ reign has shown signs of coming to an end lately. The veteran has four outings giving up 5ER in his last 7 starts. That being said, he was his usual great self two starts ago against Tampa Bay throwing 8 innings of 1ER ball. Hernandez has been moderately successful against Boston in his illustrious career, going 8-4 with a 4.01 ERA. He also has 3.20 career ERA while pitching at Safeco Field – a place where Seattle is 23-12 on the year.
The truth is, Hernandez might have to be great in the June 14th as the Mariners will be battling a bit shorthanded. Robinson Cano has already been out a month due to an 80-game drug suspension. Kyle Seager is also listed as questionable for Thursday due to personal reasons. All that being said, the good thing for the home team is that they are deep…and talented. Seattle has won 6 of their last 7 and just finished off a 3-game sweep of the Angels scoring 19 runs in the process. Nelson Cruz is all lit up with 6HR in the last 7 days while Jean Segura is hitting .441 the past week. Ryon Healy and Mitch Haniger also both have 4 long balls in the past 7 days so Seattle can hurt you in a multitude of ways.
June 14th AL Free Pick Betting
There’s two solid pitchers on the hill, but with these offenses tonight’s O/U of 8.5 could easily sail on the high side.Plus, every average bettor in new sportsbooks in New Jersey and Delaware are going to be hammering the ‘under’ when they see Price and Hernandez on the hill. It will be an electric atmosphere in Seattle tonight and Boston is making a 2,700 mile trip after playing in Baltimore yesterday. Both sides are drawing public action, with the Red Sox pulling in a slight 56% of the wagers. The scary thing heading into tonight is that Hernandez pitched just 3.0 IP last start, getting pulled after surrendering 5ER. At the very least he should be fresh after throwing just 53 pitches. This game could legitimately go either way, but it feels like Seattle finds a way to get to Price tonight while Hernandez shuts down a jet lagged BoSox offense.
Free Pick: Seattle Mariners +110