Hiroki Kuroda (9-7, 3.46 ERA) vs Kevin Millwood (3-7, 4.15 ERA)
Millwood has had some bad luck this season with the offense not giving him enough run support. If Millwood had played for the visiting Yankees, it’s likely he could have double-digit wins. Yankee hitters are familiar with Millwood and guys like Raul Ibanez, Alex Rodriguez and Robinson Cano all have success against the veteran.
Kuroda doesn’t have much of a history against the Mariners, however, Miguel Olivo is hitting .417 (12 AB) against the righty. Kuroda is 1-1 with a 4.05 ERA in his career vs the Mariners. In his last three starts, Kuroda’s ERA has risen, allowing 4.95 runs per 9 innings.
Winner: This one is close but I have to go with the Yankees thanks to their familiarity with Millwood and the Mariners’ struggles to score runs at Safeco.
Freddy Garcia (4-3 , 5.37 ERA) vs Felix Hernandez (8-5, 2.82 ERA)
King Felix has come on as of late and has joined the AL Cy Young race. Felix’s last three starts have produced a 2-0 record with a 0.73 ERA. Over Hernandez’s career against the Yankees he’s managed to go 6-5 with a 3.45 ERA. Mark Texiera has had the most luck facing the King, batting .400 , 4 HR and 7 RBI in 30 AB’s.
The former Seattle Mariner and reason why Felix Hernandez signed with Seattle, Freddy Garcia, will be pitching against his former biggest fan. Garcia has had a rough year with a 5.37 ERA, though he has managed to improve over his last three starts, 2-1, 4.15 ERA, 15 K’s.
The odds are in the Mariners’ favor with their ace on the mound and Freddy Garcia sporting a 5.23 ERA against his former team.
Winner: Mariners win! Happy Felix day!
Ivan Nova (10-4, 4.10 ERA) vs Hisashi Iwakuma (1-2, 4.86 ERA)
Hisashi Iwakuma has only been starting for a few weeks and hasn’t shown too much to be excited about. With the Yankees we can at least hope that the fact that none of their hitters have had a plate appearance against Iwakuma, they may be slow to get any offense going. It is the Yankees however and you shouldn’t be surprised if Iwakuma doesn’t last long with a 5.06 ERA his past three starts. He has had some success in his two starts at Safeco, lowering his ERA to 3.76.
Ivan Nova went 16-4 (3.70 ERA) last season with the Yankees and is on a roll in 2012, 10 wins so far, as well. Ichiro has the most at-bats against Nova, six, and is hitless. In two career starts against Seattle, Nova hasn’t gotten a victory yet. The Mariners can take advantage of Nova’s tendency to allow extra-base hits and maybe catch him off-guard, underestimating the Mariner hitters, which is very tough to do.