MLB Betting: After Last Night's Rout, Mariners Desperate For A Win vs. Arrieta & Cubs

Mariners vs Cubs

Mark Lathrop

Saturday, July 30, 2016 4:04 PM GMT

Arrieta hasn't nearly performed as well as Cubs fans would have hoped over the last month. Our MLB odds expert believes this is a great opportunity to look to the run line for value.

Seattle Mariners vs Chicago Cubs 
We have a late breaking line here for some reason in this game between the Seattle Mariners (51-50) and the Chicago Cubs (62-40). With Jake Arrieta on the mound for the Cubs in Saturday’s game, the Cubs are huge moneyline favorites. If you want to take the Cubs, the chalk is a steep -235 on the moneyline at Pinnacle as of Friday night. That makes the run line just -110 if you want to back Seattle and get 1.5 runs in your pocket. The O/U total has opened up at 7.5 runs, with lots of shading towards the Under across the MLB Odds board.

Like my units positive on the status right now, the Seattle Mariners are treading water as they hover around .500 baseball coming into the trade deadline on August 1st. With Texas winning their last two games and the Mariners losing their last two the deficit between the two teams has gone up to 7.5 games in the AL West, just about high enough to call it for the M’s this season. The Cubs definitely didn’t do them any favors on Friday by shelling Seattle by a score of 12-1. That win put the Cubs 22 games over .500 and 6.5 games up over St. Louis in the NL Central.

Starting for the Mariners is lefty, Wade Miley, who is 6-8 on the season. Miley had a few great seasons in 2012 and 2013 when his fastball was a few ticks higher, with ERA’s coming in at the mid-3’s. This year, Miley has posted a 5.23 ERA, 73/33 K/BB rate, 1.42 WHIP, and .283 batting average allowed. Miley has been much better lately, though, posting a 4.07 ERA in July over 24.1 innings pitched. Although Miley is a majority ground ball inducing pitcher a 45.9% this year, his HR/FB rate is at 16.4% - the highest in his career. Interestingly enough, the majority of the home runs that Miley has given up has been in “pitching friendly” Safeco Field this year.

For a team needing a win, there couldn’t be much worse of a matchup than going against Jake Arrieta. However, there are signs that the godly numbers that Arrieta have put up are going to normalize. His monthly splits tell the story pretty well, as he posted a 1.00 ERA in April, 2.08 ERA in May, 3.54 ERA in June, and 5.55 ERA in July. My friend, Jeff Sullivan, over at Fangraphs isolated a trend of Arrieta’s overall strike rate declining throughout the season. Throwing balls early in counts will lead to bad things, such as the .270 batting average allowed that Arrieta allowed in July so far. For what it’s worth, Arrieta has exactly one win recorded for him in his last 6 starts.

When you look at overall team trends Seattle may have a chance to continue Arrieta’s struggles lately. Seattle averages 5.2 runs per game against right-handed starters while batting .269. That offensive performance has them 37-29 SU in those situations. On the other hand, the Cubs average just 4.9 runs per game against left-handers like Miley but are still 23-11 SU.

I almost always play the run line with an underdog when it is near even money, and today will be no exception. Arrieta has not been invincible of late and we will have a very motivated Seattle team trying to stay away from .500 coming into the trade deadline. This series very well could decide if the Mariners are ‘buyers’ or ‘sellers’ over the next few days. I’m taking Seattle +1.5 runs at -105 at Heritage as my Saturday MLB Pick.

2016 YTD MLB: 40-24-3, +14.66 Units

Free MLB Pick: Seattle +1.5 ( +100)
Best Line Offered: at Bodog

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