MLB Betting Tips: Underdog Mariners With Real Value Against Pirates

Mariners vs Pirates

Joe Gavazzi

Tuesday, July 26, 2016 5:59 PM UTC

Tuesday, Jul. 26, 2016 5:59 PM UTC

The Seattle Mariners and Pittsburgh Pirates play the first of a 2-game, early week set on Tuesday night. We analyze this game and check the angles to provide our MLB Pick.

Seattle Mariners (Hernandez) vs Pittsburgh Pirates (Liriano)
If you have read my accompanying article today entitled “Final BUY/SELL Signals for 2016” (available at this site), you will see divergent recommendations with our BUY signal on Seattle and SELL signal on the Pittsburgh Pirates.  A full reading of that article will give you the background of the reasons for the BUY and SELL recommendations.  

The reasons for the Pittsburgh SELL signal are clear.  Pittsburgh is currently at 51-47 (good for the 14th best record in the league).   That is exactly the ranking of their team batting that features a .739 OPS.  This has dropped precipitously in the recent 6 weeks after being in the top 25% of MLB.  But, the pitching with the 24th ranking OPS of .769 is what really drags them down.  The Pirates’ bullpen, which was ranked in the bottom 5 earlier in the year, has made a nice resurgence recently, allowing just 20 earned runs in 100 2/3 IP.  That is a bit rich for a relief corps which is now counting on relegated starters, Nicasio and Niese, for their middle inning work.  The starting rotation remains in flux.  No fewer than 8 starters are available for the rotation, as 4 AAA hurlers were brought to the bigs since mid-June.  This is a major conundrum for Pirate Manager, Hurdle.  While many believe the Pirates and Cards will battle with the Cubs for the division lead, my BUY/SELL ratings find Pittsburgh and St. Louis headed opposite directions.

Seattle, conversely, is an underachieving team who, at 50-48, trails a Texas team who is in a nosedive by 6 ½ games.  But, according to their OPS numbers, which has them 7th in batting at .768 and 12th in pitching at .735, this team should have the 8th best record in MLB (8 slots better than their current ranked 16 mark).  The return of today’s starter, Felix Hernandez (clearly the team’s ace), figures to do wonders for the team’s rotation that could well jumpstart a late-season surge for the Mariners and allow them to vie for division superiority.  

Hernandez allowed 3 runs in the first inning in his first start off the DL before settling into a comfortable rhythm.  He should remain comfortable against the Bucs against whom he is 2-0 with a 1.17 ERA.  Liriano has been a major underachiever for the Pirates with a record of 6-9 and 4.96 ERA.  The scary part of this selection is if he pitches the way he did in a return to form game his last outing.  In a 5-3 Pittsburgh, victory vs. Milwaukee, Liriano worked 6 2/3 IP allowing just 2 earned runs with a 13/0 K/BB.  

Taking all the above into consideration, I still feel most comfortable using Seattle with Hernandez as our MLB Dog of the Day.  I invite you to put the MLB Odds in your favor and join me in my MLB Pick on Seattle tonight.


Free MLB Pick: Mariners +116 
Best Line Offered: at Bookmaker

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