MLB Odds: As The Mariners Stumble, The Cardinals Become Our Pick

Jason Lake

Friday, June 24, 2016 11:57 AM GMT

Friday, Jun. 24, 2016 11:57 AM GMT

The Seattle Mariners are falling apart at the seams. They just dipped below .500, and they're +115 home dogs versus the St. Louis Cardinals on Friday's MLB odds board.

Seattle Mariners
It was fun while it lasted. The Seattle Mariners were one of the feel-good stories of the early 2016 MLB season, but the dream has turned into a nightmare – the M's have lost six straight games and 14 of their last 19, including Thursday's 5-4 loss to the Detroit Tigers (–144 at home) in extra innings. That can happen when three of your starting pitchers go on the DL.

Make that four. Adrian Sampson didn't even get to make his scheduled start on Thursday; his elbow started bugging him during warm-ups, forcing Seattle to use reliever Vidal Nuno instead. Now the M's are getting ready to send Wade LeBlanc to the mound Friday night (10:10 p.m. ET) when they return home to face the St. Louis Cardinals. Seattle is a +115 underdog on our MLB odds board as we go to press.

 

St. Louis Cardinals
This is a tricky situation with a lot of unknowns. The Mariners (36-37, –8.22 units) picked up LeBlanc on Wednesday in a trade with the Toronto Blue Jays; the 31-year-old southpaw was pitching at AAA-Buffalo this year, after a brief and lackluster run with the Seibu Lions in 2015. LeBlanc is your classic replacement-level pitcher, but he did post a 2.50 FIP in 14 starts with the Bisons, earning International League Player of the Month honors for May.

The Cardinals (38-33, +0.45 units) will go with Carlos Martinez after taking Thursday off. Martinez has been inconsistent this year, but he's pitched well overall at 3.63 FIP, and he's on a heater right now with four straight quality starts, giving up four runs total during that stretch. Plus, the Cards as a team should be feeling pretty good after sweeping the first-place Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field.

 

Fantasy Corner
It's pretty rare the Mariners and Cardinals face each other in interleague play, so there isn't much matchup data to work with for your fantasy team. But this looks like a good MLB pick to get a right-handed St. Louis bat in your lineup, especially with the DH in play. OF Matt Holliday (.810 OPS) is owned in 63.9 percent of ESPN leagues at press time, so maybe you'll be able to snap him up.

Meanwhile, we've got to give St. Louis the benefit of the doubt here. Cardinals are winning 55 percent of the time, or –122 on our SBR Betting Odds Converter. Lord knows where LeBlanc fits in with that projection, though. Not only do the cards get to face a minor-league call-up pitching for a new team, they'll almost certainly get an extended look at Seattle's overworked and injury-riddled bullpen, too. St. Louis is available at –125 as we go to press, so if we are actually paying a premium to fade LeBlanc, it's not much.

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Free MLB Pick: Cardinals –125
Best Line Offered: at Pinnacle
Record: 13-13 ML, 4-0-1 Totals (+4.14 units)

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