MLB Betting: Invading Athletics Hold An Edge Over Mariners

Jay Pryce

Wednesday, May 25, 2016 2:40 PM GMT

Wednesday, May. 25, 2016 2:40 PM GMT

The Athletics have won four of five against the Mariners at Safeco this season. Can they steal another against the AL West leaders on Wednesday night? Free MLB pick inside!

Oakland Athletics (20-27) – Zach Neal (0-0, 9.00 ERA)
Zach Neal gets his first start in the bigs, replacing ace Sonny Gray who recently went on the disabled list with a shoulder ailment. The 27-year-old made his MLB debut and only appearance against the Red Sox two weeks ago in relief, slammed for three earned runs on four hits in three frames.

Neal pitched well at Triple-A Nashville this year, going 5-1 with a 2.53 ERA. The 6’ 3” right-hander showed masterful control, walking just four batters in 42.2 innings. Overall, Neal is 19-18 with a 3.90 ERA and 1.24 WHIP in three seasons of work in Class AAA ball.

Offensively, it has been a quiet season for Oakland. The team’s 3.89 runs per game rank 24th in the majors. For an organization once revered for its endorsement of getting on base at any cost, it is surprising to see the A’s with MLB’s third lowest OPS (.294). Their 2.32 walks per game are fewest behind the free-swinging Royals (2.20).

Manger Bob Melvin’s men have played their best ball away from Oakland Coliseum this year, particularly against better pitching. Versus teams allowing fewer than 3.81 runs per game, they are 7-1 SU. Seattle enters the matchup giving up 3.62 per game, second best in the AL behind the White Sox (3.55).

 

Seattle Mariners (27-18) – Hisashi Iwakuma (2-4, 4.39 ERA)
Loenys Martin blasted a walkoff  two-run home run in the ninth last night to give Seattle their first win over Oakland at Safeco Field this season in five attempts. The longball is vital for the Mariners this year. Led by the power resurgence of Robinson Cano, whose 13 bombs are tied for third most in the bigs, Seattle’s 1.36 home runs per game rank fourth best in the majors. Including last night, the lineup has slugged two or more homers in 16 games this season, where the M’s are 13-3, averaging 6.4 runs per game. 

Hisashi Iwakuma, who gets the nod from skipper Scott Servais for this matchup, may benefit form some deep shots. The former All Star is off to his worst start in Seattle, going 2-4 with a 4.39 ERA. There are mixed signals as to if Iwakuma can get his act together tonight. He’s accrued a 5.19 ERA in his last three outings, and the staff has allowed 7.7 runs on 12.0 hits in the right-handers three starts at pitching-friendly Safeco. But, Iwakuma’s best outing this year was in an 8-2 win over Oakland on May 3, where he allowed just four hits and one earned run in 7.0 innings.

Oakland’s current roster holds a .233 batting average against Iwakuma, historically. The Billy’s, Butler and Burns, have hit him best, going 10 for 29 combined. When one of these two go hitless in a game, the A’s are 4-15, crossing the plate just 2.9 times per contest. Overall, it's looking a bit grim for our AL West leaders.

 

Final Analysis
The A’s staff allows 5.7 runs per game on the road this season. In their last 18 away games, it has given up fewer than four runs in just three, and seen only four quality starts from the rotation. Although Neal is a fill-in and lacking high-quality stuff, he may hold an edge over Seattle’s hitters in his first outing against the home team. Iwakuma’s inconsistency is a concern, and it would not shock to see Oakland win here. The OVER is 9-2 when Iwakuma squares off against the A’s lifetime, but we are reluctant to play the total at 8 runs at Safeco. Since 2010, the UNDER is 20-12-1 with an over-under of 8 runs or more at the fly ball-eating park. The M's are only 6-11 as home chalk this season. A’s +170 is the MLB pick. Want more games to cash in on? Take a look at our top 2 profitable selections for tonight!

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Free MLB Pick: Oakland Athletics +154
Best Line Offered: at Heritage
Record YTD: 72-47-1 (-106); MLB 13-6 (-104)

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