MLB Picks: Boost Your Bankroll By Grabbing Mariners 'Over' Astros

Mark Lathrop

Saturday, May 7, 2016 12:14 PM GMT

Saturday, May. 7, 2016 12:14 PM GMT

Our MLB handicapper backs a strong trend and picks up on a pitcher's struggles as he presents a Saturday MLB pick to boost your bankroll.

2016 YTD MLB: 14-7-1, +6.56 Units

Seattle Mariners vs. Houston Astros
The Seattle Mariners hope to extend their good start, and the Houston Astros’ bad one, as the visit the Astros in the third game of their four game series on Saturday. The two teams have split the first two games of this series, as the Mariners lost starter Taijuan Walker to neck cramps early tin the game yesterday The Mariners ended up losing that game 6-3. The third game in this series has the home team favored at -146 on the moneyline at sites such as Pinnacle. The O/U total has opened at 8.5 runs across the board, with a slight lean to the over at books such as BetDSI at -115 on the MLB odds boards.

 

Dallas Keuchel
Starting for the Houston Astros is their prior ace, Dallas Keuchel. A 20 game winner last year, Keuchel has had a rough beginning to his season. Much of this can be attributed to a drop in velocity across the board and with all pitches. What I mean by slow is of utmost importance for this pitcher, as he was never really a fireballer in the first place. His fastball, which he throws over half of the time, is currently averaging 88 mph, almost two miles per hour slower than last year. Don’t know if it was the short offseason, age, or injury, but Keuchel is not the same if he pitches to this speed.

The last time that Keuchel pitched this slow was in 2012 and the stats he put up are very similar to how he has begun this season. In 2012, Keuchel posted a 5.27 ERA, 38/39 K/ BB rate, 1.55 WHIP, and gave up a bunch of dingers over 85.1 innings pitched (he started in AAA that year). This season, to go along with his 2-4 record, Keuchel has posted a 5.11 ERA, 30/18 K/BB rate, and 1.57 WHIP. Keuchel has given up 5 earned runs or more in each of his last three games, one of them an 11-1 loss against Seattle on April 26th.

Nathan Karns
Pitching for Seattle is Nathan Karns, who is racking up good strikeout numbers at the moment, but also allowing dingers at a 20.8% HR/FB rate. Now of course, Karns has always had a problem with allowing home runs, which is why he has extra value in Seattle. Still, his 3-1 start where he has posted a 3.81 ERA, 29/13 K/BB rate, 1.34 WHIP, and .236 batting average against is going much better than Keuchel’s.

These teams are displaying a heavy trend towards Overs when playing in Houston, as 16 of 19 of the games played there over the last 3 years have gone over the consensus total. That includes the last two seasons where Seattle’s offense was a black hole. The Seattle offense is better now, and Houston leads the American League in home runs with 40 (Seattle is second with 38). The total is at 8.5 because the prior Cy Young winner is on the mound, but he is not the same pitcher this year so that value continues to be on the Over. However, I also like Karns in this spot, as he was able to hold the Astros scoreless for 7 innings when he pitched against Keuchel in April – allowing only 2 hits. Karns’ confidence should be sky high here, which should help him throw his nasty curveball in hitters counts.

 

Conclusions
The Mariners are 12-4 in road games this year, and until those trends change drastically I don’t see why we can’t grab them as our MLB picks for the extra value when they are playing outside of Safeco Field.

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Free MLB Pick: Seattle Mariners and an 'Over' 9
Best Line Offered: at YouWager and Pinnacle

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