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TOTAL SET AT 6 FOR HARDEN-HERNANDEZ SHOWDOWN
Tue, 02 Aug 2011 12:49 PM EDT

OAKLAND ATHLETICS (49-60, -15.6 Units)

at SEATTLE MARINERS (46-62, -15.3 Units)

First pitch: Tuesday, 10:10 p.m. EDT
Line: Seattle -155, Oakland +145, Total: 6

Felix Hernandez was the man responsible for stopping the Mariners’ franchise record 17-game losing streak last week. He will be matched up Tuesday night against Rich Harden who looks like he’ll continue to wear Oakland green and yellow for the foreseeable future. Vegas odds.

The A’s have recovered from recent defeats nicely, going 6-1 following a loss. Unfortunately for Harden, the A’s are a horrific 18-36 on the road this year, but the Mariners are a sub-.500 home team with a meager .218 BA at Safeco Field. Seattle has been good against Oakland with Hernandez on the mound (14-6), but the Mariners are a putrid 3-13 in their past 16 games versus a right-handed starter. With the A’s sizzling at the plate (.315 BA, 6.6 runs per game during past 14 contests), expect underdog OAKLAND to provide enough runs for Rich Harden to beat Hernandez and the Mariners.

Some more FoxSheets trends that caution against the Mariners include these two:

SEATTLE is 42-82 (33.9%, -40.1 Units) against the money line after one or more consecutive overs over the last 2 seasons. The average score was SEATTLE 3.0, OPPONENT 4.2 – (Rating = 2*). Betting lines.

SEATTLE is 37-65 (36.3%, -31.7 Units) against the money line vs. an AL team with an on base percentage .320 or worse over the last 2 seasons. The average score was SEATTLE 3.4, OPPONENT 4.3 – (Rating = 2*).

Rich Harden (2-1, 4.30 ERA) has been the speculation to many trade rumors recently, but will definitely be excited to pitch at Safeco Field. Harden is 5-0 with a ridiculous 0.86 ERA and .147 opponents’ BA in nine career games (six starts) in Seattle. Harden continues to get stronger each start this year, as he has a 3.44 ERA and 22 K in 18.1 IP over his past three outings. Hideki Matsui has been a big part of his team’s 17-game streak of racking up eight or more hits. Matsui is batting .525 (21-for-40) with five doubles, two homers, 10 runs and 10 RBI over a current 10-game hitting streak.

Felix Hernandez (9-9, 3.38 ERA) isn’t having the Cy Young season he did a year ago (2.27 ERA), but has had great success against Oakland. He is 11-4 with a 2.53 ERA in 20 lifetime starts against the A’s, including going 2-0 with a 1.09 ERA and .159 opponents’ BA in three starts this year. Not many can blame Hernandez for his .500 record, considering the offensively-challenged Mariners are last in the majors in runs (3.3 per game), batting average (.227), on-base percentage (.290) and slugging percentage (.334). Hernandez has done a decent job considering when he steps on that mound he knows he most likely won’t get more than three runs of support. One bright spot for Seattle’s offense has been the 23-year-old rookie Dustin Ackley from UNC. Ackley is batting .311 and has 19 extra-base hits through only 37 games. Sports scores.


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