Who’ll cash on the MLB betting lines when the Mariners and Rays meet for a series opener? Seattle's surprisingly far down the ladder in the AL West standings & TB surprisingly high in the AL East.
The Seattle Mariners Can Win Because…
They have a solid starting pitcher and have a better team than the Rays, only they haven’t shown as much this season. First, let’s look at Seattle starter Roenis Elias. He has a 2.76 ERA in five starts and has been very effective for Seattle. Moreover, since injuries slowed him down in April, he’s not as worn down as other pitchers might be at this point. He’s comparatively fresh, and his live arm is a real asset for the Mariners as they move through their season. Elias has not gotten results this season, but that’s not his fault. The team’s offense has not supported him. Elias has fulfilled his part of the bargain. He has not yet given up four or more runs in a start. He’s given up under three runs in three of his five starts. In each of his last two starts, he’s gone at least 6 1/3 innings and allowed only one run. His most recent start, on May 20 against Baltimore, was his best of the season. He went 7 2/3 innings, surrendering only one run on six hits while giving away no walks. If this version of Elias can perform like this against the Rays, the Mariners should be in very good shape. Seattle won its weekend series in Toronto against the Blue Jays, so the slow process of working toward a playoff spot – climbing past the Los Angeles Angels and Texas Rangers in the American League West – might be getting off the ground for the Mariners.
What they can also say is that they’re playing a Tampa Bay team which had to cut ties with the likes of David Price and Wil Myers last season, and lost pitcher Drew Smyly to injury a short while ago. The Rays have a no-name outfield of Brandon Guyer, Kevin Kiermaier, and Steven Souza, Jr. They lead a very weak American League East right now, but how long will the fun last? Tampa Bay lost consecutive games on Saturday and Sunday at home to a bad Oakland team by a composite score of 12-2. Seattle, with Nelson Cruz and Robinson Cano and Kyle Seager, has better hitters than Tampa Bay does. Elias should make run support hold up if he gets it.
Check out Dave's MLB picks for Padres vs. Angels, too
The Tampa Bay Rays Can Win Because…
The starting pitchers for this team have pleasantly surprised this season. Part of the MLB odds favored team in this matchup, Jake Odorizzi is the starter in this game, and he’s been really good for the team in 2015. Odorizzi has a 2.43 ERA. He has given up more than three runs only once in eight starts this season, and that was a four-run outing in 6 1/3 innings against the Yankees on April 28. In three of his last four starts, Odorizzi has given up no more than two runs. He’s also pitched at least six innings in every start this season, eating up innings and removing pressure from the Tampa Bay bullpen. He’s a pitcher worth trusting.
Baseball Betting Outlook
Both pitchers are fairly steady in this matchup. Elias has yet to allow more than three earned runs in any of his starts and on the season, he’s pitching an average of over six innings per start. He’s gotten terrible run support as the Mariners have averaged 2.6 runs during his five starts. Beyond that, he hasn’t started a game that has seen more than seven runs. With Odorizzi pitching well too this month (2.45 ERA), take the under with your MLB picks in this one.
MLB Pick: Under at The Greek