The New York Yankees look to build off of Friday’s 4-0 win when they continue their series with the Seattle Mariners on Saturday night. The Yankees are -123 favorites to take the second game of the three-game set on Saturday.
At this point, New York is simply trying to sort some things out and start playing their best baseball by the time October rolls around. The Yankees are 8.5 games back of the Red Sox, giving them little hope of a comeback in the AL East. They also have a 3.5-game lead for the top wild-card spot and have a 10-game cushion with regard to locking down one of the two spots.
The Mariners, meanwhile, are holding out slim hopes that they can claim the second wild-card spot. However, they trail Oakland by 6.5 games and are quickly running out of time. It doesn’t have that Seattle is 4-7 in their last 11 games and had a clubhouse scuffle between Dee Gordon and Jean Segura earlier this week, so things are looking a little bleak.
The Ace of Old?
The Mariners will send longtime ace Felix Hernandez to the mound on Saturday. Of course, Hernandez has been far from an ace this season, going 8-12 with a 5.64 ERA in 26 starts. He was even moved to the bullpen briefly due to his poor performance. There have been few signs of the old King Felix lately, but the Mariners could sure use that guy right about now.
If it helps Hernandez, most of the New York lineup is in the midst of a slump right now. One of the few exceptions to that is first baseman Luke Voit, who has come out of nowhere to become one of the team’s most important offensive players down the stretch. The Yankees are averaging just 3.5 runs during the month of September, so perhaps there’s a chance for Hernandez to put together a decent outing.
Honeymoon is Over
The Yankees will start Lance Lynn on Saturday. He’s 1-2 with a 5.09 in six starts and one relief appearance since being traded to New York in late July. His first three outings with the Yankees were outstanding, but he’s fallen on hard times since then, so his honeymoon with Yankees fans is definitely over. In his last start against the Tigers, Lynn gave up six runs over just 3.2 innings, so he needs to be much better this time around.
On Saturday, Lynn will face a Seattle lineup that he has little experience facing and that’s loaded with power. Former Yankee Robinson Cano has heated up lately while Nelson Cruz, Mitch Haniger, Kyle Seager, and Ryon Healy are always threats to go deep, so this could be a tricky lineup for Lynn to navigate.
Who Wants It More?
There are definitely some questions with Lynn coming off his last start. However, the Yankees managed to scratch out four runs on Friday against Seattle’s best starter James Paxton, so they should fare well against Hernandez. New York’s bullpen is also quite deep despite the absence of Aroldis Chapman, so they should be able to manage if Lynn can give them four or five decent innings. Bet on the Yankees -123 to beat the Mariners on Saturday.