June 8 MLB Odds: Ride Mariners' Hot Bats Against Visiting Twins

Mark Lathrop

Thursday, June 8, 2017 3:41 PM UTC

Thursday, Jun. 8, 2017 3:41 PM UTC

A streaking Mariners team looks to climb over .500 on Thursday night against the Minnesota Twins. Our MLB handicapper is close to the action and is taking both the side and the total in this game.

2017 MLB Record: 98-81-6 (+8.73 Units, 4.14% ROI)

Minnesota Twins At Seattle Mariners (-119, 9)

Mariners catcher Mike Zunino won the game against the Twins for us last night – and our 'over' selection – by hitting a walk off 2-run home run in the bottom of the 9th with 2 outs. It was the second home run of the game for Zunino and his 4th of the year; in the big leagues, that is. Zunino’s seasons over the last three years have been disappointing and also have included trips to Triple-A, where he has subsequently destroyed minor-league pitching. Since his latest recall, he has been on fire, though, batting .424 over his last 8 games, and Mariners fans hope that this Zunino is here to stay. The coincidence of the Mariners winning 9 of their last 10 games and the resurgence of offense from the catcher position is not a coincidence at all.

The Mariners have absolutely been unstoppable on offense lately, hitting .315 and slugging .502 in their last seven games. They’ll face Minnesota Twins starter Kyle Gibson (2-4, 7.23), who has bounced back and forth from Triple-A this year. He’s had two OK starts in a row but is having issues with his command. This has resulted in a 4.89 K/BB rate and 1.89 WHIP. When you are working from behind in the count, you will end up having to groove a low-90s fastball eventually, and Gibson’s .324 batting average allowed is a byproduct of that. Gibson is an equal opportunity supporter of opposing offenses, as he allows a .337 average to left-handers and a .310 average to right-handers. The typical Mariners L/R/L/R lineup should give him fits.

Starting for the hot M’s tonight is Christian Bergman (3-2, 4.36), who like the convenience store clerk in Grosse Pointe Blank “ … was not supposed to be here today, man.” Despite his 5.70 FIP, Bergman has been serviceable and has limited his walks to a 2.73 BB/9 rate, leading to a 1.36 WHIP. Unlike Gibson, he does have an advantageous split against lefties. Bergman allows just a .212 batting average against left-handers, compared to .324 against righties. And he has been nails at home, picking up a 1.59 ERA, 17/5 K/BB rate and allowing batters to slash a .161/.242/.288 line against him. The spacious confines of Safeco Field seem to agree with Bergman and his goal of pitching to weak contact.

As a fan growing up watching the M’s, I know that this team is crazy streaky. That goes both ways. It just happens that we are in the midst of a heater, and their offense will carry any deficiencies that they have in starting pitching tonight – deficiencies that still have an advantage over Gibson.

Free MLB Pick: Mariners -119 & 'Over' 9Best Lines Offered: Pinnacle

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