I think the odds are on our side today when the Los Angeles Angels visit the Seattle Mariners. This is a really good pitching matchup but the Angels are the better team overall and arguably have the better pitcher on the mound, so I will grab the plus money on this game and back the Angels.
It makes sense to have the Mariners as favorites in this spot, albeit slightly, because of the pitching matchup on paper. But there is not a real difference in these two starters and the Angels are the better offensive team. MLB odds makers have made the Mariners a -115 to -120 favorite, making the Angels around a +105 underdog. I will take any kind of plus money I can get on the Angels and right now the best odds for them are at Pinnacle at +106.
Hisashi Iwakuma takes the mound for the Mariners with only one start under his belt this season, so I will disregard the bad outing he just had. Career wise his numbers are really solid with a 3.23 ERA and a 1.10 WHIP. I think the main issue though has to do with the fact that he is coming back from injury and so far this season that has been a bad sign for most major league pitchers. Also, at 34 years old he is starting to get up there and he has pitched a lot of innings in his career. Last year's numbers kind of support this with a 3.52 ERA in 28 starts, not bad but a regression from his previous years. For me personally I don't like to go against Iwakuma because he is solid and I had a chance to watch him quite a bit while he was with the Hanshin Tigers in Japan, but until he shows his old form it's good to go against him.
For the Angels C.J. Wilson gets the call and comes in with a 3.82 ERA and 1.20 WHIP. His away numbers are also solid and strangely enough match Iwakuma's numbers last year with a 3.52 ERA on the road. He had a really rough outing three games ago against Houston but in his other four out of his last five starts he has been excellent allowing only five runs in 27 innings.
Without going to deep statistically the Angels are better offensively at the plate than the Mariners in every major offensive category. The Angels rank 15th in the league in runs scored per game and the Mariners 27th. The Angels rank 21st in batting average and the Mariners 29th, and the Angels rank 18th in on base plus slugging percentage and the Mariners 26th. Some interesting notes about the stats are that the Mariners are ranked lower in runs per game at home than on the road, and that the Angels rank higher in on base plus slugging percentage on the road compared to at home. So not only are the Angels the better offensive team, but there are some nice home and away differences that favor them today.
Until I see signs that Iwakuma is completely back pitching like he can I simply can't side with him and a very poor offense in the Seattle Mariners. Historically his numbers are solid and thus the reason he is favored tonight, but the value definitely sides with the Angels and you can back them with confidence.
MLB Pick: Angels +108 at 5Dimes