MLB Pick: 2nd Game of Mariners vs. Rangers Holds Massive O/U Value

Willie Bee

Wednesday, April 6, 2016 2:17 PM GMT

Texas and Seattle go to the third and deciding game of their opening series, and the Hump Day matinee is close to a pick 'em on the MLB odds for the clash between AL West foes.

A win's a win, as the old saying goes, regardless of how it happens, and the Texas Rangers did indeed pick up a win in their home opener on Monday against the Seattle Mariners. My first thought after the 3-2 Texas victory was to imagine how good the Rangers could be if they got more than one hit in a contest.

Well, Texas tallied seven hits in Tuesday's second game of the series and the outcome wasn't nearly as good, thanks in large part to four of the Mariners 11 hits sailing over the fence in Arlington where Seattle evened the set with a 10-2 decision. Three of those long balls came during a 6-run eighth that broke what had been a close game open, sending many of the 28,000+ in attendance at Rangers Ballpark home a bit early.

The clubs reconvene Wednesday afternoon (2:05 PM ET) for the rubber game of the opening series, Wade Miley chucking for the M's opposite Texas' Colby Lewis. Texas originally went out at -130 on the MLB odds, but the game has since tightened up considerably with Seattle now an ever-so-slight favorite in what amounts to a pick 'em. Pinnacle has 9½ for the total, equally priced high and low.

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Rangers 35-31 Vs. Southpaws In 2015
Miley is with his third team in as many years, coming over from Boston a trade with the Mariners last December after spending 2011-14 with the Arizona Diamondbacks. He finished 2015 with an 11-11 record (Boston 15-17 in his 32 starts) and 4.46 ERA, rough months in April and July factoring heavily into the earned run average.

The southpaw has faced Texas twice in his career, once a year ago and in a 2012 interleague contest before that.  Both assignments came in Arlington, and Miley took the loss each time totaling 11.2 IP and allowing six earned runs. The former 1st-round pick has actually fared pretty well available to Rangers manager Jeff Banister, holding them to a combined .206 batting average over the years.

Lewis is coming off a weird 2015 during which he led the AL West champs with 17 victories (Texas 17-16 in his 33 starts), but did so sporting a rather lofty 4.66 ERA. The 35-year-old veteran also struggled in the hitter-friendly confines at home, putting up a 5.07 ERA in 17 assignments with the Rangers 8-9 in those contests.

Lewis also had problems in the Cactus League this spring, the righty allowing a team-high seven home runs in under 20 innings after serving up 26 in 204+ frames last season. Two of his losses a year ago came in his only two tries against the Mariners, though it should be noted each game was in Seattle with Felix Hernandez, Monday's hard-luck loser, on the hill both times.

 

Umpire Notes, Mother Nature & A Free Pick
James Hoye is in line to handle the plate for the series finale, the Ohio native starting his 14th year umpiring at the big league level and 10th full season. Hoye has been profitable for 'under' bettors the past three seasons, fashioning a 35-53-6 O/U/P record. He had the plate in last year's ALDS Game 1 between the Rangers and Blue Jays, that 5-3 Toronto home win pushing an 8-run total. His only plate assignment in Texas last season fell short of the mark.

One reason for the large total is the weather forecast that calls for NNW winds of 20 mph (out to right-center) under mostly sunny skies. That leads me directly to a trend in Lewis' 18 home starts, including the playoffs, last year when totals ran 15-2-1 O/U/P. I can't help but follow that for my MLB pick by playing the high side of the number.

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Free MLB Pick: Over 9½ (-117)
Best Line Offered: at Pinnacle