Mariners vs. Blue Jays Matinee's Pitching Duel Adds Value To Under MLB Pick

Mariners vs Blue Jays

Saturday, July 23, 2016 1:58 PM GMT

R.A. Dickey and Hisashi Iwakuma duke it out this afternoon as the Mariners and Blue Jays face off in a Saturday afternoon tilt in Toronto. Check out our free MLB pick here. 

Mariners vs Blue Jays

Seattle Mariners (49-47) – Hisashi Iwakuma (10-6, 4.01 ERA)
The Mariners are 6-2 in their last eight meetings versus Toronto after James Paxton baffled the reigning AL East champions in a 2-1 win at Rogers Centre last night. Seattle has taken three of the last four series in Toronto and look to Hisashi Iwakuma to lead the charge in the second of a three-game stand this afternoon.

Following an erratic first half of the season, Iwakuma is showing signs of consistency lately, picking up a win in each of his last four efforts. In his last two starts against the red-hot Houston Astros and Kansas City Royals, the one-time All-Star has allowed one earned run on seven hits in 13.2 innings of work.

Iwakuma is 3-1 with a 2.40 ERA in five lifetime appearances (four starts) against Toronto. His last outing occurred in 2014, and the Jays roster is much different today. Only six hitters have faced the Japanese national for a total of 40 at-bats. Former A’s third baseman Josh Donaldson owns half of those, going 3-for-20 with five strikeouts and a double.

The Mariners’ 4.72 runs per game rank ninth in MLB. Since the All-Star break, however, they are crossing the plate a paltry 2.6 times on 6.9 hits per game. The mini run-scoring slump is partly due to the absence of the long ball. Slugging the second-most homers per game (1.44), skipper Scott Servais’ roster has failed to hit one in four of seven games since returning. Seattle has gone homerless just 20 other times this season, where they are 9-15 overall. 

The Mariners are 5-16 away from Safeco Field in their last 21 games. High-leverage situations doom the relief, dropping nine of these contests after being tied or owning the lead following the fifth inning.

 

Toronto Blue Jays (54-46) – R.A. Dickey (7-10, 4.11 ERA)
In the last 60 days, only the Cleveland Indians (63.0) and Astros (68.6) own a higher winning percentage than Toronto (62.7). Going 32-19, the Jays bats are carrying the load, pushing across 5.7 runs per game. Prior to this, they averaged 4.0 per contest.

R.A. Dickey takes the pill for manager John Gibbons today. Going 7-13 overall, the veteran knuckleballer is the only starter this season in which Toronto owns a losing record. Most of the defeats occurred prior to June 1, where the team went 2-9 through Dickey’s first 11 starts.

Dickey is 5-3 with a 4.22 ERA in 13 career outings (5 starts) against the Mariners.The current roster has struggled to hit the knuckleballer, going 17-for-91 overall for a .187 batting average. In 98 overall plate appearances, Nelson Cruz has the only home run with Robinson Cano (2) and Seth Smith (1) picking up the only other extra-base hits (doubles).

The Jays are just 7-9 at home when their starter owns a higher ERA than his opponent on the bump. Averaging +121 MLB odds, backing the visitors return a little more than 20 percent profit to bettors in this spot. 

 

Final Analysis
The dome is scheduled to be open with a stiff 11 mph wind blowing in from the left-center field, which should help Dickey’s knuckle dance. Coupled with Iwakuma’s blazing form, there might be a run or two worth of value in the UNDER 9.5. Fading the home team could be a good MLB pick, but in this case, it best to play it safe and stick to a Totals wager.

 

Free MLB Pick: UNDER 9.5 -113
Best Line Offered: at Pinnacle

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