MLB Picks: Why Our Experts Predict A Low Scoring Mariners & Athletics Game

Tuesday, May 3, 2016 1:01 PM GMT

Will the A’s and Gray stifle the Mariners bats? Let’s look at the MLB odds from this series and provide a totals pick in a game where it looks like Runs may be scarce.

MLB PICKS RECORD LAST WEEK: 2-2 — PREVIOUS WEEK: 3-0 — SEASON: 11-7

Seattle Mariners vs. Oakland Athletics

Odds Overview
The Oakland A's (13-13, 5-7 Home) are scheduled to send RHP Sonny Gray (3-2, 3.81 ERA, 26 K's) to the Pitching Mound against RHP Hisashi Iwakuma (0-3, 4.65 ERA, 25 Ks) and the visiting Seattle Mariners (13-11, 8-4 Road) on Tuesday night at the Oakland Coliseum in Game 2 of this 3-game AL West series. Offshore MLB odds makers (on Monday) have opened the A's and Gray up as -123 Home favorites with the visiting Mariners opening at +113 as the Road Underdogs (Sportsbetting.ag).

The Total (Runs) opened at 7 Under -115 (Sportsbetting.ag) while the Run Line odds in this game see Oakland -1½ priced at +175 with Seattle +1½ lined at -205 (at BetOnline). The Mariners and a's were both priced at -105 for Game 1 on Monday night (Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook) with Nathan Karns the Seattle Probable Starting Pitcher against the Athletics Kendall Graveman (Athletics 2-10 in the L12 Starts by Graveman) with the Total set at 7½, Over -120.

Seattle Mariners
The Seattle Mariners (7-3 L10, L1) and new Manager Scott Servais have been playing really good Baseball of late and had W4 out of 5 and W5 of 7 after Sunday's series finale against Kansas City, won by the Royals, 4-1, although Seattle shut out the Royals in the first two games of the 3-games series (1-0, 6-0) in Seattle as Staff Ace Felix Hernández got the Shutout in Game 1 while Wade Miley shut down the struggling Royals in Game 2. But in Game 3 on Sunday, it was the World Series champion Royals who got the better Pitching performance from Ian Kennedy.

Seattle's Starting Lineup for Game 3 was SS Ketel Marte, LF Seth Smith, 2B Robinson Cano, RF Nelson Cruz, 1B Adam Lind, 3B Kyle Seager, C Chris Iannetta, CF Leonys Martin and 2B Luis Sardiñas with Taijuan Walker getting the Start for the Mariners (33/1 to win World Series, (at Ladbrokes) who still have an impressive 8-4 Record on the Road despite Sunday's Loss. Smith (2-3) and Cano (2-4) had half of the Mariners 8 Hits but Seattle (101 RS-80 RA) could only squeeze across 12 Run and had 10 Runners LOB. Heading into Monday, the Royals had allowed just 11 Runs in their last 6 games overall with the Under going 4-2 in those 6 games.

Oakland A's
The Oakland A's (4-6 L10, L1) and Manager Bob Melvin reeled off a nice little 6-game Win streak in mid-April before L5 of their next 6 and then Oakland (80/1 to win World Series, William Hill) before taking Games 1 and 2 against the scuffling Houston Astros in an AL West showdown before losing Game 3 on Sunday, 2-1 as the Astros Doug Fister out-dueled the A's Rich Hill. In the Loss, Manager Melvin had a Starting Lineup of: CF Billy Burns, 2B Jed Lowrie, RF Josh Reddick, LF Khris Davis, C Stephen Vogt, DH Coco Crisp. 3B Chris Coghlan, 1B Yonder Alonso and SS Marcus Semien with aforementioned southpaw Hill (1.25 WHIP) appropriately on the Hill.

Oakland could only manage a very A's-like 7 Singles and a Double (Lowrie) and no Oakland batters had a multi-hit game and the hosts had 8 LOB. The A's (91 RS-100 RA) have scored 7 or more Runs just 3 times in their L15 games and Lowrie (.311) was the only Starter on Sunday hitting over .300. Still, the Over is a surprising 7-3-1 in Oakland's L11 games with Oddsmakers setting Totals for A's games usually at 7½, 8 or 8½ lately.

Tuesday's Probable Starting Pitchers and Who Has Hit Well Against Them
Much is expected from both Starters in this game, Mariners RHP Hisashi Iwakuma and A's RHP Sonny Gray, and both have sort of struggled to start the 20115 MLB Regular Season so this will be important outings for both. Vanderbilt product Gray went the shortest he ever went in a start in his last outing (2 IP), giving up 4 Runs to the Tigers and allowing 4 Walks in that short stint. The 36-year-old Gray (3-2, 3.81 ERA, 26 K's, 1.38 WHIP) has allowed an embarrassing 15 Walks in 28 2/3rds IP this season.

The 35-year-old Iwakuma (0-3, 4.65 ERA, 25 K's, 1.42) is winless in 5 starts so far this season and allowed 5 Runs and 7 Hits in his last Start against the Astros. Lifetime, the native of Japan is 5-5 against the Athletics with a 4.09 ERA. Expect him to have a good start here and those numbers are no reflection of how good Iwakuma really is. Oakland's Billy Butler (.313, HR) and Josh Reddick (.333) have fare well against Iwakuma, while Cano (.250), Cruz (.250) and Seager (.240) have all done below average against Gray with Seth Smith hitting .500 in 6 ABs against the young Righty.

Series Trends, Overall Trends and Streaks, Weather Forecast, Thoughts, Picks
Seattle was 13-7 (+8.2 Units) at Oakland the L3 seasons—23-18 overall the L3 seasons—so, for some strange reason, the Mariners play pretty good Baseball at the Oakland Coliseum and have W4 in a row here in an AL West series which has seen the Home team win just twice in the L10 meetings (Heading into Monday) with Oakland sweeping a 3-game series in the Emerald City earlier this season (3-2, 6-1, 2-1). Entering Game 1, the Under had W4 straight in this AL West series and was 6-4 in the L10 and just once in those 10 games did one of these two teams score double-digit Runs, Seattle, 11. So, “Small Ball” is what seems to happen when these two meet and there have been three 1-Run games played in the L4 for you Run Line bettors.

Trend-wise heading into Monday's Game 1, Seattle was 4-0 in its L4 Road games against a RHP Starter, 7-1 in its L8 against a Right-Handed Starter, 5-1 the L6 on Grass and 4-1 in the L5 Road games. But the A's were 4-0 in their L4 and 7-1 their L8 against a RHP Starter, 5-0 in their L5 vs. a team with a Winning Record and 5-3 in their L7 against the AL West. So these teams are really even lately but seem to only be able to win in the other's Ballpark. It makes absolutely no sense and maybe the Mariners have a little of the NHL's San José Sharks in them.

Some Totals Trends: The Under was 10-4-1 in the Mariners L15 games overall as well as their L15 played on Grass and 8-3-1 the L12 games against a Right-handed Starter. The Under was also 7-3 the L10 A's games overall, and again, heading into Monday's series opener, the L4 in this series went Under. Recent relevant Trends with many of the same players on a professional sports teams' Roster seem to be better than longer-term Trends. And in this series, with the Under 23-17 over the L40 and the Road teams winning in each others' Ballparks lately, this is definitely noteworthy.

The Weather Forecast from The Weather Channel for Tuesday night in Oakland also seems good for Under players with Cloudy conditions in the Forecast, a Low of 51°, SW Winds of 10-15 mph and 84% Humidity. So, a little Chilly and a little Windy for MLB in the merry, merry month of May in a big Ballpark with a lot of Foul Territory space which often translates to a couple extra easy Outs over a given series. And with these two Starting Pitchers going in a spot early in the Regular Season where the statistics of both are worse than over both of their respective Careers, a semi-Pitching Duel could break out between Iwakuma and Gray and a 1-1 or 2-2 scoreline could hang on the scoreboard at the Oakland Coliseum for some time on Tuesday.

This seems like a one-run game, won either by a mistake or that theoretical winning Run ground out by Small Ball. And when looking at the potential Batting Lineups, with guys like Cano and Cruz, Seattle should have the definite Offensive edge here and, as what seems to be the norm for Oakland for the last decade now, one wonders how on Earth they're going to score Runs with that lineup and Oakland has sort of evolved into an NL-type team playing in the AL. My predicted final score for this MLB pick is Mariners 3 Athletics 2.

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Free MLB Pick: Mariners +1.5 & Under 7
Best Line Offered: at Heritage & Pinnacle respectively