Not exactly as easy as I expected, but the red-hot Mariners rallied from two deficits Monday night and beat the reeling Indians 5-3, giving me a four-star winner to start the week. Thought about playing Seattle again tonight, but I can’t lay the 2-to-1 odds, and I’m not comfortable playing the run line when Felix Hernandez is coming off his perfect game (and rarely gets run support). So instead, we’ll slide down the Pacific Coast and back the Padres as an underdog.
I know betting against Pirates starter A.J. Burnett has been costly this season—Pittsburgh is 18-4 when the right-hander takes the mound, making him easily the most profitable starting pitcher in all of baseball. But one of those losses came against the Padres 10 days ago, when Burnett surrendered five runs (four earned) on nine hits in 5 2/3 innings, losing 5-0 at home. He followed that with an ugly outing Thursday against the Dodgers, giving up six runs on seven hits in 6 2/3 innings (though he came away with a 10-6 victory). Burnett is just 7-3 with a 4.43 ERA on the road (as opposed to 8-1—again, the loss came to San Diego—with a 2.81 ERA in PNC Park), and he’s now 1-5 with a 4.81 ERA in six career starts vs. the Padres.
Then again, the entire Pirates squad has not fared well against San Diego; after last night’s 3-1 loss, Pittsburgh now has just 15 wins in the last 51 meetings (losing six of the last seven since last August). Meanwhile, in addition to owning the Bucs, San Diego has won 12 of its last 16 home games, and while I’m hardly the biggest Jason Marquis fan, he did outduel Burnett on Aug. 11 in Pittsburgh, pitching a complete-game, two-hitter. Going back to 2008 (when Marquis was with the Cubs), the right-hander has allowed three earned runs or fewer in 10 of his last 11 starts against Pittsburgh, with the Pirates going 3-8 in those contests (1-6 in the last seven).
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ☆
Monday’s Result: Mariners (-110) vs. Indians (Win)