Free MLB Picks: Mariners vs. Angels Series Opener

Joe Catalano

Monday, September 15, 2014 2:24 PM UTC

Monday, Sep. 15, 2014 2:24 PM UTC

On Monday, you have two teams that have played well beyond expectations as Robinson Cano and the Seattle Mariners (80-68) take on Mike Trout and the Los Angeles Angels (93-56) in Anaheim, California. See who we like as our MLB pick in this spot.

First pitch is set for Monday at 10:05 p.m. ET in Angel Stadium of Anaheim in Anaheim, California. This game can be seen on MLB TV.


Betting Odds
The MLB odds are sort of tight as the Angels are a -108 betting favorite as they take on one of the better pitchers in the majors in Hishashi Iwakuma (14-7, 3.11).

The numbers for Iwakuma are good not great, but when this right-hander has his best stuff working for him, he can be unstoppable and a matchup against the highest run producing team in Los Angeles could make for an interesting matchup.


A Phantom Record?
The total for this game is 7.5 runs. Although there are two really formidable offenses, starter Matt Shoemaker of the Halos is no slouch by any means. Shoemaker is sporting one of the best win percentages in the majors at 15-4 with a 3.16 ERA. Although I think that Shoemaker is a good pitcher, it’s a bit easier to win games when your team is scoring 6 runs or more almost every game.

Numbers don’t lie, but in my opinion, Iwakuma is the better pitcher; a pitcher that you would want in the playoffs over Shoemaker.


His Twitter handle is something similar to the name “Trouty” and this is the type of attitude that the face of baseball possesses.

Mike Trout is a care-free, “fan-friendly”, and very talented baseball player. The state of New Jersey sure knows how to create great baseball players. Derek Jeter and Mike Trout are very different players, but their leadership and “anything for the team” type of attitudes create winning baseball teams.

The Angels are the most improved team in the majors as this was a team that wasn’t even at .500 last season and now they can’t lose a baseball game. They had a 9 game winning streak snapped yesterday by the Houston Astros, 6-1.


Kole Calhoun
Aside from having Mike Trout on their team, a huge reason for Los Angeles’ success this season has been the placement of Kole Calhoun at the leadoff position. It seems like every other game, Calhoun is hitting a home run or making a major impact in a different way. He’s getting better as the season progresses and it helps to have Mike Trout hitting behind him in the number 2 hole.

The numbers  don’t do Calhoun justice. In 449 at-bats this season, he has 16 HR, 56 RBI, and a .283 BA. In the last 7 games, Calhoun has 3 HR, 7 RBI, and a .345 BA. If Calhoun can maintain the high level of play, Los Angeles has a chance to win it all.


Is He Worth the Money?
I think that Robinson Cano’s strong 2nd half of the season after a power outage in the 1st half has put this question to rest.

Cano is the primary reason why the Mariners are contending for a playoff spot. This game is definitely more important to Seattle than L.A. and the M’s will need Cano to step up in a huge spot against the best team in baseball.

On the season, Cano is hitting .321 with 14 HR and 77 RBI. The power numbers are down after playing in Yankee Stadium, but like I said, Cano was stuck on 2 home runs for a long time early in the season.

When all is said and done, Cano always puts up great numbers and has an impact on his respective squad. In his last 3 games, he has 2 home runs. I wouldn’t be surprised if Cano had a big game against the inexperienced Matt Shoemaker.


The Angels are the better team, but this game is more important to Seattle. I look for veterans like Robinson Cano to step up in a situation like this with Iwakuma pitching. Take the Mariners in a tight game for your MLB picks.

MLB Pick: Seattle -102 at 5Dimes

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