Major League Baseball on Friday night and I will have a Free Pick in the game between the Seattle Mariners and the Los Angeles Angels, which will be played at Angel Stadium in Anaheim. First pitch is scheduled for a 10:10 PM (Eastern) start time and the game will be televised locally.
Over/ Under: 7 O -130
This is game 1 of a 3 game series between these American League foes. Neither of these teams are where they were expected to be at this points of the season as the Mariners are in 4th place in the AL West, 8.5 games behind Houston, while the the Halos are just 1 game over .500 and 4.5 games behind the Astros. This really is a huge series for both teams. The Mariners rank 28th in scoring (3.40 rpg), while on the mound they are 15th in ERA (3.82). Los Angeles ranks 23rd in scoring (3.95 rpg), while on the mound they are 14th in ERA (3.81).
Trend for this game include: The Mariners are 5-1 in their last 6 games following a loss and 7-3 in their last 10 road games vs. a right-handed starter, but just 27-56 in the last 83 meetings in Los Angeles. The Halos are 41-17 in their last 58 home games vs. a team with a losing road record and 51-25 in their last 76 games vs. a starter with a WHIP greater than 1.30, but just 1-6 in Shoemaker's last 7 home starts.
Getting the ball for Seattle tonight will be Taijuan Walker, who is 5-6 with a 4.94 ERA in 14 starts this year, while on the road he is 3-4 with a 7.03 ERA. Walker has not faced the Angels in his career.
Toeing the rubber for the Los Angeles tonight will be Matt Shoemaker, who is who is 4-5 with a 5.20 ERA in 13 starts this year, while at home he has gone 0-4 with a 5.17 ERA in 6 starts. Matt is 3-1 with an 2.67 ERA in 6 appearances (5 starts) vs the Mariners in his career.
Pick: I will go with the Halos in this game. Matt Shoemaker was to make a start a couple of days ago, bu he was held back and moved into this slot. He gives up a lot of homers Houston hits many, so that may have been the reason to not have him start vs them. Tonight he will face a Seattle team that isn't as good at the longball as the Astros are and he does have solid numbers vs the Mariners in his career, while Walker has really struggled on the road this year with a 3-4 mark and a 7.03 ERA. I see the Halos taking game 1 of this series tonight.
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In Defense of Pete Rose
A recent ESPN Outside the Lines piece revealed Pete Rose did more than just bet on baseball--he bet on the Cincinnati Reds aka the Big Red Machine during hist stint as player/manager. Since Rose never bet against his baseball team, pro bettors Teddy Covers and Steve Fezzik come to his defense, pointing out he never fixed games like, say, the Chicago Black Sox did. Comparing to other athletes who bet on sports, his lifetime ban from baseball and the Hall of Fame seems pretty harsh compared to the one-year ban of football player Alex Karas. In short, the sports world is being way too harsh on one of the great players of the game.