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Trio Of Aces Headline Friday's MLB Action

Posted by Dale “Skip” Lalonde on 6/12/2014 11:04:07 PM

There are a few interesting pitching match-ups taking place Friday evening, but three ace pitchers will be taking the mound throughout the night and as a result headline Friday's baseball action. One ace is more intriguing than the others, however, because he's come back from injury and looked like a different pitcher at times but is facing a fellow National League club in a must-win game.

New York Yankees @ Oakland Athletics

Friday June 13, 2014 – 10:05 PM ET

Both the New York Yankees and Oakland Athletics are having surprisingly good years, but one player few thought would emerge as the ace of the Oakland staff is Sonny Gray, who will take the mound Friday with a 6-2 record and 2.83 ERA. Gray held a 2.67 ERA through 12 games last season, but now this year he's proven it wasn't a fluke and he is indeed an ace quality pitcher. His opponent on the mound David Phelps is far from polished however as he's 1-4 with a 4.88 ERA this year, the second straight season his ERA has been above 4.50. This game won't be much of a pitchers duel, and considering the A's have scored the most runs in the majors this season they are the early favorite to pick-up an easy win.

Pick: Athletics

Arizona Diamondbacks @ Los Angeles Dodgers

Friday June 13, 2014 – 10:10 PM ET

The Arizona Diamondbacks have had their fair share of struggles this season, and as a result they are 29-39 this year and seemingly out of the playoff race already. The Los Angeles Dodgers, however, are above .500 and 7.5 games back of the best team in baseball, the San Francisco Giants. The Dodgers must begin making up ground on the Giants now, and Friday they have a shot with Clayton Kershaw taking the mound opposite Chase Anderson. Kershaw missed extended time due to an injury, and since his return his performance has been rather sporadic but he's coming off a five inning outing against the Colorado Rockies in which he allowed just one run and struck out nine. Anderson, however, is one of the better kept secrets of major league baseball as the rookie is 5-0 with a 3.14 ERA through five starts this season. While he's been hot to start the year Anderson is going up against one of the best offenses in all of baseball, as well as the best pitcher in Kershaw, and as a result will probably suffer his first loss of the season.

Pick: Dodgers

Texas Rangers @ Seattle Mariners

Friday June 13, 2014 – 10:10 PM ET

Just five days after striking out a career-high 15 batters Felix Hernandez will take the mound against Nick Tepesch and the Texas Rangers. The Rangers have had a rough start to the season, and now that they're without Prince Fielder for the remainder of the year their offense is no longer strong enough to carry them. That will be a factor Friday as the Rangers will take on the Seattle Mariners and one of the best pitchers in the game today. Hernandez has given up a total of four runs in his past 30.2 innings pitched, and in that time he's also struck out 41 batters and walked just four. He's been one of the most dominant pitchers in the game for the past eight seasons and may be putting in the best year of his career right now, which is reason enough to make the Mariners the pre-game favorites.

Pick: Mariners

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