Our MLB handicapper spots some trends that could make you believe Scott Feldman's recent run of success will come to an end tonight as he faces the Seattle Mariners.
Mariners vs. Astros
I haven’t had a chance to cover the Seattle Mariners since they fired their general manager, Jack Z, but I hope they tell the new guy that the goal of a baseball organization is not just to play the games, but also to be competitive and maybe win more than you lose. I mean he wasn’t as bad as Bill Bavasi, who infamously traded outfielder Adam Jones to the Orioles for oft-injured pitcher, Erik Bedard, but he didn’t have much luck with prospects. Jack Z often held onto those underperforming players much longer than he should have, forcing managers to play them. This year’s version of that playing out includes Dustin Ackley (now a Yankee) and catcher, Mike Zunino, the latter who was putting up one of the worst offensive seasons in baseball history before being put down to AAA the day Jack Z was fired. Now it’s about the youngsters for Seattle the rest of the season and another group of them should be called up today, as it is September 1st.
So here we are, playing a game that will certainly feature some AAA call-ups in a lost season for Seattle against the Houston Astros who are desperately trying to hold off the Texas Rangers for the AL West Division crown. The Astros have to be the surprise of the season this year and as of Monday were 72-59 and five games ahead of the Rangers. The Astros are only behind Toronto and St. Louis in run differential this year, so their winning percentage is not a gimmick. Opening odds in this game certainly slant their way as the money line opened at -150 at Pinnacle. The run line giving the Mariners an extra 1.5 can be had for -149 at the same book. The O/U run total opened at 8.5, but has since dropped to 8 at multiple books.
Pitching for the Astros tonight is Scott Feldman, who is coming off of a masterful performance against the New York Yankees on the road. Feldman twirled 8 innings of shutout ball, scattering six hits, punching out six, and walking no one. Feldman has been quite good on the road this year, posting a 2.36 ERA, 1.03 WHIP, 30/11 K/BB rate, and .228 BAA over 53.1 innings. Those numbers are perplexing when compared to his stats at home, which are awful. In Minute Maid Park this year Feldman has accrued a 5.16 ERA, 1.51 WHIP, 29/11 K/BB rate, and .318 BAA over 52.1 innings. One of the reasons for the home/away split is his approach to right-handed batters. At home this year opposing right hand batters are hitting .374 off of Feldman, as compared to his .211 BAA against right-handers on the road. Nelson Cruz likes this.
Roenis Elias takes the mound for the Mariners tonight after being called back from AAA last week. The Mariners must be hoping that he can pitch better in the majors as Elias posted a 7.34 ERA in Tacoma over 61.1 IP over the summer. Some of the reason for this is luck because Elias was giving up a .350 BABIP in AAA, which is way over his career BABIP of .290. Elias might just be average, but isn’t as bad as a 7.34 ERA.
Baseball Betting Verdict
I like a few trends here that favor the over as a MLB pick. One is of course Scott Feldman’s record at home against right-handed batters. There just isn’t a good chance that he shuts down the Mariner lineup for an entire game. The other is the result of Elias’s last game in Houston this year. In that game Elias gave up seven earned runs en route to a 13-0 Houston win. I expect the early public action favoring the under to reverse itself by game time, so take Over 8 runs in this game early at Pinnacle for your Tuesday MLB Pick.
MLB Picks: Over 8 at Bet365