MLB Picks: Mariners vs. Angels Series Coverage

Darin Zank

Monday, March 31, 2014 5:53 PM UTC

Monday, Mar. 31, 2014 5:53 PM UTC

The LA Angels haven't made the playoffs in five years; for the Seattle Mariners it's been 13 years. So that's the goal for both teams as they begin this 2014 campaign with a three-game series in Anaheim. We follow this series and share our frre MLB picks along the way.


2nd April
Mariners vs. Angels Game 3

By: Ron Patrick


The Angles are tying to avoid another poor April, but so far they've been doing a terrible job of it, losing the first two games of this season-opening series with Seattle. After falling 10-3 Monday night LA lost Tuesday night 8-3. Starter CJ Wilson got in a little jam in the top of the fourth, walking Robinson Cano to load the bases with two outs, then grooved one to Justin Smoak, who smoked it to the RCF gap to clear the bases, giving Seattle an early 4-0 lead. 

When he was done Wilson had given up six runs and eight hits in less than six innings of work, while his counterpart for the night, the Mariner's Erasmo Ramirez, went seven innings, allowing just two runs, walking none while striking out six.

Seattle closer Fernando Rodney, pitching with a five-run lead, threw a scoreless ninth in his first outing for his new team. 

The Angels are 1-for-13 with runners in scoring position in these first two games of this season. 

The Mariners, meanwhile, are 8-for-19 with RISP, scoring 18 runs and banging out 21 hits, 12 for extra bases, in these first two games. 

Seattle will shoot for the sweep of this three-game series when the teams meet Wednesday night (10 pm ET).


Wednesday's Line
In the early betting we found LA with Hector Santiago lined at -134 at several MLB betting outlets, while Seattle with fellow lefty James Paxton could be gotten at +126 at BetOnline.

The total sat at 7.5 runs.


Wednesday's Starters
Santiago went 4-9 with a 3.56 ERA for the White Sox last year. He allowed fewer hits, 137, than innings pitched, 149, and struck out 137, but the 17 homers and 72 walks were a bit much. He also went 10-for-23 on quality starts, but the Sox went just 7-16 in those games.

This will be Santiago's first-ever start vs. the Mariners.

Paxton had a very nice showing in his first month in the Majors last September, going three-for-four on quality starts, allowing 15 hits in 24 innings, walking seven and whiffing 21. Paxton, after going 8-11/4.45 with Triple-A Tacoma last summer, picked up the win in three of those four starts last September, and is now being counted on to take over the four spot in the Mariners' rotation. 

This will be Paxton's first-ever start vs. Angels.


Free MLB Pick for Wednesday
The first two games of this series both played OVER on the totals, with very little help from the Angels. Maybe the LA bats can get into the swing of things Wednesday night? In thinking that's a possibility we'll go with the OVER 7.5 runs at Heritage Sports for our free baseball pick on Wednesday's game.


1st April
Mariners vs. Angels Game 2

By: Ron Patrick


After slow starts of the last two season the Angels were hoping to get 2014 off on a positive note. Instead, Monday night's season opener against Seattle almost couldn't have gone any worse. 

It started when beloved (retired) Angel Don Baylor suffered a broken leg during the “first pitch” ceremony. A broken leg! That can't be a good sign. It ended three hours later with a bonfire ignited by the LA bullpen, resulting in a 10-3 defeat. 

The Angels led 3-1 into the sixth inning, and Jered Weaver left with the game tied in the seventh. The  LA bullpen then proceeded to break out the gas cans, getting rocked for six runs in the ninth. 

The Angels lost as -115 favorites, and a game that was right on its total of seven runs going into the ninth inning blew OVER.

Tuesday's MLB Picks of the Day

Tuesday's Line
At one point early Tuesday morning we found the Angels with CJ Wilson priced at -159 at BetOnline, while the Mariners and Erasmo Ramirez were getting +160 at Bovada. With a few more pennies moving one way or another, and access to the right books, a guy could take a shot at some sure money. 

Also, the total on Tuesday's game sat at 7.5.


Tuesday's Twirlers
CJ Wilson went 17-7 for an Angels team that finished six games under .500 last year, going (by our tough standards) 19-for-33 in quality starts. Wilson allowed 200 hits in 212 innings, walked 85 and whiffed 188. 

Wilson started four times against Seattle last year, giving up seven ER and 23 hits in 28 2/3 innings. LA won three of those four games, and three of them played UNDER the totals. 

Ramirez went 5-3/4.98 in about half a season last year, going four-for-13 in quality starts. He gave up 79 hits in 72 innings, walked 26 and struck out 57. 

Ramirez started twice against LA last year, allowing just two ER and 13 hits through 12 2/3 innings; Seattle lost those games by scores of 5-1 and 3-2.

The Angels went 19-14 in Wilson's starts last year, while the Mariners went 6-7 in games Ramirez started.


Tuesday's Free Pick
This is a tough one; Wilson posted a 2.55 ERA at home last year, and was tough on Seattle, but Ramirez had two of his better outings last year against the Angels. And while we might lean toward LA, we're a bit gun-shy after its bullpen's performance Monday night. So instead we'll look toward the total for our free baseball pick, and for a match-up between two of last year's worst bullpens we'll go with the OVER 7.5 runs offered at Pinnacle.


31st March
Mariners vs. Angels Game 1

By: Ron Patrick


This season opener features a pretty good pitching match-up; here's our take on how to bet this series. 

The Line
As of early Monday morning most books were chalking the Angels and Jered Weaver at right around -130 over Seattle and Felix Hernandez, with a total of 6.5 runs. LA could also be gotten at around +180 giving the run and a half on the run line. 

The Greek is listing the Angels at -180 to win this series, with the Mariners getting +160.


The Situation
LA manager Mike Scioscia begins his 15th season at the helm on the hot seat. The Angels have spent some big money in recent years, but gotten nothing to show for it. Last year they dipped below .500 for the first time since 2003, finishing at 78-84.

LA is also trying to overcome a troubling recent trend of slow starts; the Angels are just 17-32 over their last two Aprils. 

Nonetheless, the oddsmakers seem to think LA has a chance this year; the Angels are listed at around 2/1 to win the AL West this season, with a wins OVER/UNDER of 87. 

After going 71-91 last year Seattle broke out its wallet and signed 2B Robinson Cano and 1B Corey Hart. The Mariners also brought in Lloyd McClendon as the new manager. 

Seattle is getting right around 7/1 to win the West this season, with a wins total of 81.

Read our MLB Picks of the Day article for more free plays.

Monday's Pitching Match-Up
Weaver started twice against the Mariners last year, allowing five ER and 12 hits in 13 2/3 innings, walking none while striking out 11. LA split those two games, as did the totals.

For the season the Angels went 14-10 in Weaver's starts.

Felix Hernandez went 12-10/3.04 last season, 22-for-31 on quality starts, although he finished somewhat poorly. We know Felix is a horse, but after throwing at least 190 innings in each of his last eight  seasons one has to wonder when he'll start showing some mileage.  

The King started five times against the Angels last year, giving up 10 ER and 28 hits through 31 innings, walking six while whiffing 33. Seattle won three of those five games, with the totals going 1-4.

But on the whole last year the Mariners only went 14-17 in Hernandez' starts.


The Sticks
Seattle ranked 22nd in scoring last year at 3.9 runs per game, 26th in team OBP at .306 but second in homers with 188, although some of that can be attributed to the shorter fences at Safeco Field. 

LA ranked seventh in the Majors in scoring last year at 4.5 RPG, fifth in OBP at .329 and 12th in homers with 162. And that was with lousy seasons from Albert Pujols and Josh Hamilton. But the Angels did sacrifice some production over the off-season when they traded Mark Trumbo, who had hit 95 dingers over the previous three seasons.


Battle of the Bullpens
This series matches two of last year's less-effective bullpens. 

LA's pen ranked 26th last season with a 4.12 ERA, while going 41-for-58 on save opportunities. 

Seattle's pen ranked 29th with a 4.58 ERA while going 43-for-66 on save opps. 

It's been our belief for quite some time that bad bullpens lead to lots of OVERS, and these teams helped reinforce that line of thinking last year, going a combined 170-140 on the totals. 

Both teams tried to address the situation this winter, Seattle adding Fernando Rodney, the Angels adding Joe Smith. But both these bullpens remain question marks heading into this season.


M's-Angels Betting Trends
LA took the season series from Seattle last year 11 games to eight, with the totals going 9-10, as the games averaged 7.5 runs per. 

The Angels finished six games under .500 overall last season, but went 60-58 against right-handed starters. 

The Mariners went just 49-62 vs. righties last year, but obviously they're hoping lefty-swinging Cano will help on that front.

Free Pick for Monday
It's always difficult to go against the King, but we're thinking LA will get off to a little better start to this season than the last couple. So we'll go with the Angels at the -123 offered at Pinnacle for our free baseball pick for Monday. 

Tune in tomorrow for updates on this series and a pick on Tuesday night's game.

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