Free MLB Picks: Mariners Up Over Rays In 1st 5 Innings Tonight

Drew Martin

Wednesday, June 15, 2016 3:00 PM UTC

Wednesday, Jun. 15, 2016 3:00 PM UTC

The Tampa Bay Rays welcome the Seattle Mariners to St. Petersburg, Florida for the middle game of a three game series. Read on for an in depth look of the MLB Betting angle.

The Rays are inching their way back to the .500 mark by winning eight of their last 10 games, but have not won a season series against the Mariners since 2012.

The Mariners offense has been powerful this season, just one of two teams that have three players with 40 or more RBIs. Tonight’s game in Tropicana Field pins the second place team in the American League West and the last place team in the American League East against each other with a couple factors making a bet on case for the away team in Tropicana.

The Mariners have played very well away from their home environment at Safeco Field. The M’s are currently 19-12 on the road. In addition, Seattle has posted a 7-3 record against the AL East. Tonight’s starter Nathan Karns will make his return to Tropicana Field where he played as a member of the Rays until he was traded to Seattle in exchange for Brad Miller and Logan Morrison heading to the Rays.

He was 7-5 with a 3.67 ERA with Tampa Bay last season in 27 games (26 starts). He's 5-2 with a 4.09 ERA in his first two months in Seattle. Karns knows the Trop well and was quoted “It's a surface that I feel plays well for all the defenders, so my job is to challenge hitters," Karns said of Tropicana Field. "Make them put the ball in play and let my defenders' athletic ability take over and make plays."

Drew Smyly will take the mound for the Rays tonight, he has been a disappointment so far this season. Smyly was skipped in his last scheduled start after giving up 17 runs over his last three starts. He's allowed seven home runs over his last four starts. Smyly has a 2-7 record with a 4.94 ERA.

The Arkansas native allowed a total of 17 runs and 25 hits in 15 innings over those three outings while giving up five homeruns. Even worse, Smyly had a rough outing last time facing Seattle on May 10, when he was torched for six runs on ten hits, two home runs, in five innings to suffer the loss.

One big question mark with the Seattle Mariners is the recent performance of their bullpen. The M’s as a team are struggling in close games with three straight losses coming by a total of four runs. The bullpen allowed nine runs in those three games and was forced to work overtime on Tuesday when starter Taijuan Walker was forced out in the fourth inning with a foot injury.

Keeping in mind that the M’s bullpen has been taxed of late and the Rays bullpen has been good, led by closer Alex Colome, who has now pitched 18 consecutive scoreless appearances and secured his 19th save of the season with the Rays win last night. He has also struck out batters at a rate of 11.9 per nine innings. In order to minimize the bullpen risk, I recommend the MLB Picks on the Seattle Mariners in the 1st 5 innings at the best MLB Odds of +115.

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Free MLB Pick:  Mariners 1st 5 +115
Best Line Offered:  at Heritage

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