Stephen Nover Free Wednesday Play

On September 14, 2016, in Free Picks, MLB, by Stephen

Mariners minus $1.35 at Angels

What do Angels pitchers C.J. Wilson, Garrett Richards, Matt Shoemaker and Andrew Heaney all share in common? Answer: They’re all injured. To this unfortunate list we now add Tyler Skaggs, who was scheduled to start today against the Mariners. Skaggs, too, may be done for the season after experiencing forearm tightness.

So now we have journeyman Jhoulys Chacin – pitching for his fourth team in three years – on the rubber to face Seattle’s most consistent pitcher this season, Hisashi Iwakuma. Chacin last pitched on Aug. 21.

This does not bode well for the Angels, 1-6 in their last seven games and playing the string out trailing AL West Division-leading Texas by 23 games.

Chacin doesn’t figure to last long given his rust and the hot bats of the Mariners, who have scored six or more runs in all but two of their last nine games and rank in the top 10 in most offensive categories. The Angels’ bullpen carries a fatigue rating, too, having worked 16 innings during the past four days. The Angels already are on their fourth closer as injuries have taken away their two best relief pitchers.

What also doesn’t bode well for the Angels is how well Seattle is playing. The Mariners have won seven in a row having outscored their opponents, 50-14, during this span. Seattle certainly doesn’t lack for incentive out of a wild-card spot by only 2 1/2 games.

Iwakuma has the right formula to beat the Angels: Don’t walk batters and get Mike Trout out. He’s given up just 39 walks in 179 2/3 innings. Trout is 9-for-46 lifetime against Iwakuma, who has a career ERA of 2.90 in 18 appearances versus the Angels, including 17 starts.


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