MLB Picks: Lay The Juice & Cash On The Rangers vs. Mariners Game

Jason Lake

Saturday, June 11, 2016 10:00 AM GMT

Saturday, Jun. 11, 2016 10:00 AM GMT

The Seattle Mariners cooled off the red-hot Texas Rangers Friday night. The MLB odds are in Seattle's favor for Saturday's rematch with James Paxton on the mound.

The Chicago Cubs are so good, they're making all the other good teams look bad. Over in the American League, the Texas Rangers (37-24, +18.70 units) and Seattle Mariners (34-27, +0.97 units) are fighting for first place in the West, with the Mariners trailing by three games after beating Texas 7-5 as –143 home faves. They're two of the best teams on the junior circuit, and nobody's paying attention.

Nobody except for us betting types. Despite Friday's loss, the Rangers are still far and away the most profitable team in the majors, winning 15 of their last 20 games. That includes a three-game sweep of the M's in Arlington; however, Seattle has already taken the first of three at Safeco Field, and they're –135 favorites on the MLB Odds for Game 2 on Saturday (10:10 p.m. ET).


 

Mild Colby
If the baseball nerds at FiveThirtyEight are to be trusted, the value is on Texas. They've got the Mariners winning 51 percent of the time, and that's a mere –104 according to our heroic SBR Betting Odds Converter. But we're not quite digging their Elo-based projections. They're useful and all, but more sources would be lovely. Plus, they don't appear to be looking at the pitcher-versus-hitter stats.

Seems kinda important. The Rangers are sending Colby Lewis (4.38 FIP) to the hill, and he's been cannon fodder for current Seattle hitters at a combined .862 OPS. The M's respond with good Canadian kid James Paxton (4.27 FIP), who's making just his third start of the season. Paxton has allowed a .732 OPS to Texas batsmen. He also looks like he's back in fine form after giving up one earned run to Cleveland (+118 away) in the first six innings of a 3-1 victory.

 

Fantasy Corner
That's right: James Paxton. People seem to have forgotten about the third-year lefty; he's had his injury problems, but he's got a 3.73 lifetime FIP, and he's only owned in 7.7 percent of ESPN leagues at press time. Seems like a smart add. Or if you need a hitter, go get OF Franklin Gutierrez (.786 OPS) already. He's 6-for-16 lifetime versus Lewis with two dingers and a 1.188 OPS.

All those numbers say the Mariners belong in our MLB Pick this time. Here's another: Lewis has a .264 BABIP thus far. That's below his .298 career BABIP, and that makes Lewis a good candidate for some regression down the road. His strikeouts are down, his walks and home runs are up – it's not a good sign for the Rangers. Plus, Adrian Beltre (.786 OPS) is out this weekend with a bad hammy. We'll gladly recommend the Mariners at the lowest price on the board, and may the sphere be with you.

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Free MLB Pick: Mariners -130
Best Line Offered: at YouWager
Record: 10-13 ML, 3-0 Totals (+0.29 units)

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