M's-Yankees: Will Judge Rule?

By Charles Jay

The New York Yankees are fighting for their playoff lives, but so are the Seattle Mariners. Only one of these teams are in the running for a division title, and they will send a resurgent southpaw to the mound as these teams meet at 10:10 PM ET at Safeco Field in Seattle. If you are an America’s Bookie customer, you can take advantage of two different “Live Betting” options in you sportsbook interface to stay involved in the action.

The Yankees are the third-place team in the AL East with a 49-45 record, and they are hanging on to the second AL wild card spot. But they are also right there as far as the division race is concerned, just 3.5 games behind the Boston Red Sox. The Mariners are 48-49, and even though they are 16 games in back of the Houston Astros in the AL West, they are just 2.5 games behind the Yankees. So they have every reason to want to make a run for that wild card spot.

And they have made a deal that expresses that, acquiring reliever David Phelps, a former member of the Yankees, in exchange for prospects. That bulks up their bullpen, although we imagine that the M’s are going to be in the market for a starter, inasmuch as they have lost Drew Smyly for the season and may not be getting back Hisashi Iwakuma for a while. .

The Yanks, who already have Dellin Betances and Aroldis Chapman in the bullpen, have added David Robertson, who had previously been an All-Star in the “setup” role for them. But they have lost Michael Pineda, the former Mariner who is going to need Tommy John surgery.

CC Sabathia (8-3, 3.4 ERA) gets the assignment for the Yankees; he is coming off a great outing against the Red Sox. The Mariners go with rookie Andrew Moore (1-1, 5.25 ERA), who has had mixed results since being called up from the minors.

In the baseball betting odds that have been posted on this game, the Yankees are the favorites on the road:

New York Yankees (Sabathia) -120
Seattle Mariners (Moore) +100

Under 9 Runs -110
Over 9 Runs -110

Sabathia just spun six shutout innings against Boston, although he walked five batters. Obviously his problem is a little different than that of Moore, who was considered to be Seattle’s best pitching prospect in the minors before he was called up because of all the team’s injury problems. In 24 innings of work, he has issued only two free passes, but eight homers. Moore is said to have great location and command of at least three pitches, but not overpowering stuff, and the risk factor there is that if he makes a mistake, it could look like batting practice.

And as we know, Aaron Judge can make a lot of situations look like batting practice. You saw what happened when he won the Home Run Derby during the All-Star break. But even though he managed a hit in last night’s 4-1 victory, he has now had only four hits in his last 29 at bats. And that is a concern for this team going forward.

The Yankees have played seven straight games under the total, and one of the reasons for it is that they have scored just 20 runs in their last six contests. They have relied a lot on their offense, but on the road they have not been as effective with the bats. And if Judge doesn’t pop out of his slump in a big way, this trend could continue. The Mariners have played seven of the last nine games under. There are a couple of decent bullpens at work here, so moving under this total of nine runs may not be a bad deal, as the Charles Jay / America’s Bookie Challenge continues.

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