Consider The Total When Capping Pirates vs. Mariners MLB Odds

Tuesday, June 28, 2016 11:00 AM GMT

Just when they seemed out of it, the Pittsburgh Pirates and Seattle Mariners are both coming off series victories. Who's the better baseball pick for Tuesday's matchup?

Well, here we are again with our good pal, Hisashi Iwakuma. We've had him and the Seattle Mariners in our MLB Picks twice this year, cashing in successfully against the San Diego Padres on May 31, and doing it again June 17 versus the Boston Red Sox. Now we've got a third opportunity to ride Iwakuma to the pay window. He's scheduled to start Tuesday's game (10:10 p.m. ET) against the Pittsburgh Pirates. All aboard?

Perhaps. The Pirates are going with Jonathon Niese, and he's been roughed up in each of his last three starts since denying us a payday against his former club, the New York Mets. Pittsburgh is a +125 road dog on the MLB Odds as we go to press. This seems like a good spot to follow the home team. Seattle will be rested after taking Monday off, while the Pirates (–113 at home) were making the long trip westward after losing 5-4 to the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Silver and Gold
As a rough guideline, let's turn to the free projections at FiveThirtyEight, where Nate Silver's crew have Seattle winning Tuesday's matchup 58 percent of the time. That's a healthy piece of real estate. But if you plug that percentage into our healthy SBR Betting Odds Converter, you get –138 for the Mariners. They're available between –136 and –140 at press time. Not a lot of profit margin there.

Not much difference between the Mariners (38-38, –7.38 units) and the Pirates (37-40, –5.77 units) in the standings, either. Both sides have struggled mightily the past month, although Pittsburgh did take three of four from the Dodgers, while the M's won their series against the St. Louis Cardinals two games to one. Seattle's slump has a lot to do with injuries to the starting rotation; in theory, good things should happen with Iwakuma on the mound.

 

Fantasy Corner
Then again, Iwakuma (4.76 FIP) isn't as strong this season as in years past, and he's 0.52 betting units in the black on a team record of 8-7. Current Pirates have a combined .843 OPS against him, too, although that's mostly due to one man: INF David Freese. He's 5-for-21 lifetime versus Iwakuma with a pair of homers and a .857 OPS, and he's only owned in 6.3 percent of ESPN leagues. Fantasize away.

The Mariners have a collective .808 OPS against Niese, so Tuesday's contest could easily turn into a slugfest, even if they're playing at Safeco Field. Let's ignore the moneyline once again and give the total another go. The over/under is eight runs, and the Over is available at +100. Given the way both pitchers have played lately, we're happy to recommend this pick, and as always, may the sphere be with you.

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Free MLB Pick: Over 8 +100
Best Line Offered: at Pinnacle
Record: 14-13 ML, 5-0-1 Totals (+6.14 units)