King Felix Exhibition: Minnesota Twins Take on Seattle in Game 2 of the 3 Game Series

Minnesota Twins (12-27) AT Seattle Mariners (17-23)
May 17, 2011 at 10:10 PM EST
Opening Moneyline:  SEA -180, MIN +160
Current Moneyline:  SEA -200, MIN +170
Opening Total:  6.5
Current Total:  6.5

SP:  MIN- F. Liriano, SEA- F. Hernandez

Felix Hernandez has had great success against the Twins in his career.

The last thing a struggling team wants to see is Felix Hernandez.  Hernandez just had a 3 game win streak snapped by a 4-2 loss to the Orioles, allowing 4 runs in 5 innings.  Prior to that, in his previous four starts, he was 3-0 with a 1.82 ERA.

“Felix just didn’t have the command he usually does. But he’s still a great competitor and he gave us everything he had,” Mariners manager Eric Wedge said. “It’s almost unfair because even when he is a little bit off he’s better than anyone else. He is human; sometimes people forget that. You’re not going to be perfect every time you go out there.”

Fernandez is 3-1 with a 1.73 ERA in his six home starts against the Twins.  In his last three matchups, he has only allowed one run per game.  Fernandez’  PECOTA called for a 15-7 record with a 2.64 ERA.  With a 3.36 ERA at the moment, and a 4-3 record, Fernandez is going to have to pick it up slightly, but he still has been very good.

The Twins will also be sending a stud pitcher to the mound, however.  Francisco Liriano held the Mariners to 2 hits in 7 innings in a shutout victory on August 1st.  In his last 3 against the Mariners, all Mariners’ victories, he is 1-0 with a 2.50 ERA.  He’s not pitching well on the season, however, with a 2-5 record and a disgusting 7.07 ERA.  Despite recording his first no hitter on May 3rd, the rest hasn’t been easy.  Following the no hitter, he gave up 4 runs in 10-2 loss to the Tigers, pitching only 3 innings because he was struggling to breathe.

“He got sick and was having trouble catching his breath out there,” manager Ron Gardenhire told the team’s website. “He finished the inning, but once he got in the dugout he had a hard time breathing, so we got him out there.”

Lirano’s PECOTA projection predicted a 11-8 record with a 3.75 ERA, far better than the track he is on right now.

Some betting trends:

Minnesota is 0-5 SU in their last 5 games and the total has gone OVER in 5 of their last 6 games.  The total has gone UNDER in 15 of their last 23 on the road and the Twins are 1-4 SU in their last 5 road games.  The Twins are 5-2 SU in their last 7 games against the Seattle Mariners and the total has gone UNDER in 4 of Minnesota’s last 6 games against Seattle.  Minnesota is 2-5 SU in their last 7 games on the road in Seattle.

Seattle is 1-6 SU in their last 7 games and the total has gone UNDER in 4 of their last 6 against the Twins.  The Mariners are 2-5 SU in their last 7 games against the Minnesota Twins and the Mariners are 5-2 SU in their last 7 home games against the Twins.  The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Seattle’s last 6 games at home against the Twins.

Given Felix Hernandez’ track record, especially against the Twins, it’s easy to see why the Mariners are favored tonight.  Liriano has historically been good against the Mariners, but his struggles this year are disconcerting for Twins fans and players.

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