Detroit (Verlander) +100 at Seattle (Hernandez) O/U 7
Since coming off the DL, Seattle has gone 3-1 in Felix Hernandez’s four starts. Those results aren’t sustainable, because King Felix is no ‘King’ at this stage of his career. The results don’t lie. Hernandez has a 5.26 ERA in those four starts since coming off the DL. He’s allowed 35 baserunners while only notching 19 strikeouts, while giving up as many home runs as he did for the entire first half of the campaign. His full season numbers are now below the MLB average in just about every advanced metric category. His fastball velocity is down, his strikeout rate is down and his swinging strike percentage is down. To make matters worse, he’s got a lousy track record against numerous current Tigers, including key middle of the order bats Miguel Cabrera, Victor Martinez and Ian Kinsler. Seattle’s bullpen behind him is completely spent following last night’s marathon.
Meanwhile, Justin Verlander is headed in the opposite direction of late. Since getting extended rest over the All Star Break, Verlander has turned back the clock, showing signs of regaining the ace status that he had earlier in his career. In four post-break starts, Verlander is 4-0 with a 1.75 ERA and those numbers are totally legit – he’s struck out 44 batters in 36 innings of work, while only allowing 28 baserunners. And while the Tigers bullpen is almost as spent as the Mariners pen, it’s surely worth noting that Verlander has been eating up innings in a big way, throwing seven full innings or more 12 times in his last 17 trips to the hill. The Tigers blew a pair of saves last night, losing in 15 innings. Expect a strong bounceback tonight in a game I expect them to win with relative ease.