MLB Picks: Mariners Will Bounce Back Against Unsuspecting Athletics

Drew Martin

Tuesday, May 24, 2016 5:23 PM GMT

Let's lay the small moderate-favorite price of -120 on the Seattle Mariners 1st 5 innings (-0.5 -120) as the MLB pick in their game against Athletics.

Oakland Athletics vs. Seattle Mariners
The first-place Seattle Mariners will look to get back on track tonight when they face a right-handed pitcher that they fared well against earlier this year in the middle game of a three game set against the Oakland Athletics. The Mariners contributed to A’s starter Kendal Graveman's slide on May 2, tagging him with four runs and 10 hits over 6 1/3 innings in a 4-3 win at Oakland, shifting the MLB odds.

Graveman (1-6, 5.48 ERA) is trying to avoid becoming the first Oakland pitcher to lose six consecutive outings since 2009, but it certainly appears that he will have his work cut out for him as he goes up against a Mariners’ lineup that looks to go with their strongest lineup by platooning left-handers Seth Smith (RF) and Adam Lind (1B) in the lineup after they got Monday off against lefty Rich Hill.


Analysis
Pitching against Graveman, Mariners’ starter Nate Karns has enjoyed sizeable success this year, but has flown mostly under the radar as he pitches in the sports media vacuum that is the Pacific Northwest. The young righty is 4-1 with a 3.33 ERA, and hasn't lost since allowing four runs over five innings in a 6-1 home loss to Oakland on April 9. Since that outing, the Mariners have won six of his last seven starts. The Texas Tech product has gone 3-0 with a 2.35 ERA over his past five starts, and he got back at the A's on May 2 when he gave up only three runs over six innings in a 4-3 road win.

The former Red Raider has enjoyed increased velocity and has thrown both his curve and changeup significantly more, all of which has led to more strikeouts. Karns should also be able to overpower a diminished Athletics’ lineup that has already lost Mark Canha and Sam Fuld for the season, and is currently missing Josh Reddick. To quantify Oakland’s struggles, the A’s have totaled just 14 runs while batting .185 with two homers over the last five games.

 

Conclusions
The starting pitching matchup strongly favors the home Mariners, but both bullpens have been shaky of late, especially Seattle’s. If you use YTD WHIP for relievers, the Mariners have the best bullpen in baseball, but over the last two weeks the Seattle bullpen has been touched up a bit and is drifting back to the middle of the pack. Laying the runline on the full game, and trusting the Mariners bullpen to close it down, is too risky in my opinion. Instead, I recommend betting the Seattle Mariners on the 1st 5-inning runline (-0.5 -120).

Seattle is the stronger team at this point in the season, and when comparing the Mariners to the Athletics who have lost 13 players to the disabled list, the disparity in talent is noticeable. We are fading the A’s and backing the M’s while using just the first 5 innings to do so, so let’s lay the small moderate-favorite price of -120 on the Seattle Mariners 1st 5 innings (-0.5 -120) as the MLB pick.

[/]{"component":"oddswidget", "eventId":2992201, "sportsbooksIds":[93,1096,169,999996,180,139], "LineTypeId":2, "PeriodTypeId":1}[/]
Free MLB Pick: Seattle Mariners 1st 5 innings -120
Best Line Offered: at BetOnline