Verlander, Iwakuma Clash at Safeco Field

May 30, 2014

Baseball fans from coast-to-coast are asking about the status of Detroit right-hander Justin Verlander, who is 5-4 with a 4.04 ERA and 1.51 WHIP this season.  Verlander also owns a 4.91 ERA and 1.48 WHIP on the road and an 8.31 ERA and 2.13 WHIP over his last three outings.  The veteran hurler has yielded five or more runs in three consecutive starts for just the second time in his career (11 hits in each of his last two starts).  The latter statistic is very telling in that it was the first time in Verlander’s career that he allowed ten or more hits in consecutive outings.  “Right now, I’m not in a place where I can repeat my delivery every time, and that’s what I need to fix,” Verlander said.  “But I’ll get it straightened out.  I’m not worried about that.”

Facing Seattle may not be the solution Verlander is looking for as he is 3-7 against the Mariners in his last ten meetings, including going 1-4 with a 4.67 ERA in his last five outings at Safeco Field. Detroit’s bullpen has also imploded with a 6.27 ERA and 1.87 WHIP over the last seven games. Specifically, Detroit closer Joe Nathan owns a 13.50 ERA over his last five appearances, converting only two of four save opportunities.  In contrast, Seattle’s bullpen remains as steady as ever with a 3.11 ERA and 1.33 WHIP, including a 3.16 ERA and 1.35 WHIP at home, a 3.00 ERA and 1.41 WHIP at night and a 2.94 ERA and 1.47 WHIP over the last seven games.

Meanwhile, Seattle starter Hisashi Iwakuma is 3-1 with a 2.39 ERA and 0.82 WHIP in 2014, including garnering a 1.57 ERA and 0.73 WHIP at home, a 0.75 ERA and 0.62 WHIP at night and a 2.35 ERA and 0.87 WHIP over his last three starts.  Iwakuma is also 1-0 with a 0.00 ERA and 0.71 WHIP in two career starts against the Tigers, both of which took place last season.  From a technical standpoint, Iwakuma is 25-13 (+14.9 units) versus teams with an on base percentage of .330 or worse, 17-7 (+10.9 units) in competitively-priced games (+125 to -125) and 27-17 (+13.1 units) with a total between 7 and 8.5 runs.

Conversely, Justin Verlander is a money-burning 13-17 (-17.3 units) following a win, 10-14 (-14.3 units) at night and 20-25 (-23.3 units) in games with a total between 7 and 8.5 runs.  Let’s also note that the Tigers are 2-8 in Verlander’s last ten starts as an underdog and 2-8 in Verlander’s last ten games versus teams with a losing record.  With Seattle standing at 7-3 in Iwakuma’s last ten starts versus teams with a winning record, the experts at Pro Edge Sports like the Mariners as small favorites tonight.