West Coast foes from the American League and the National League battle it out for supremacy at Safeco Field, where the Seattle Mariners will host the Los Angeles Dodgers.
We think that it is great to see the Dodgers playing well in the NL West, but we have to be worried just a bit about the man that is going to be on the bump on Saturday, Clayton Kershaw. The former Cy Young Award winner threw 16 straight scoreless innings in the middle of May, and he really looked like he was going to be in good form for the foreseeable future. However, has fallen off the boat just a bit since then. In his three starts, he allowed 11 runs in 19.2 innings of work. For some pitchers, that’s old hat. However, for Kershaw, who went 21-5 last year with five complete games and two shutouts, that just isn’t what we are used to. Even scarier in that stretch are the seven walks in two games to close out the month of May. Kershaw has had troubles with control before, but he only walked 54 batters last year. He has a 2.55 ERA and a 1.01 WHIP though, and he is going to be the man that has to carry this team in the second half of the season.
The Safeco Field faithful have to be continually frustrated with their Mariners. They just haven’t played all that well over the course of the last few seasons at home, and this is no exception this year, as the team is still searching for its 10th home victory on the campaign. The good news is that Jason Vargas is going to get the ball on Saturday. He has won back to back starts, but both were on the road. Of late at home though, this lefty has been awfully good. Yes, he was beaten by the Los Angeles Angels on May 24th at Safeco Field, but he was solid in that start, allowing three runs in seven innings of work. He has gone 2-1 with a 1.91 ERA with 24 strikeouts against just five walks thus far at home this year. Vargas has faced the Dodgers twice in his career, and he has split the decisions. The southpaw has a 3.95 ERA in 13.2 innings of work against LA.
Kershaw really has something wrong with him, but we think that he is going to be the man that gets the job done on Saturday. He’s the better pitcher, and he has the better team in front of him as well. Look for the Dodgers to get back on track on Saturday and score a ‘W’.
Los Angeles Dodgers @ Seattle Mariners Pick: Los Angeles Dodgers (-135)