Note L/R Splits in Performance When Making MLB Picks for Mariners vs. Orioles

Mark Lathrop

Tuesday, May 19, 2015 12:39 PM GMT

Is Nelson Cruz returning to Camden Yards for the first time as a Mariner a betting angle that we should pay attention too? Analyze the pitching matchup and check out our MLB Pick.

The Baltimore Orioles continue their home stand on Tuesday night as they welcome in the Seattle Mariners to Camden Yards. Both teams are three games below .500 on the season, although Baltimore is playing in a weaker division at the moment and only 4 games back of the Yankees. On the other hand, the M’s are seven games back of the hot Houston Astros. Pitching for Baltimore is Miguel Gonzalez who is coming off of a fantastic performance where he pitched into the 8th inning against Toronto while giving up zero earned runs (an unearned run did score in the 8th). Countering for the Mariners is the big right-hander Taijuan Walker who has been steadily improving after a rocky start to the season. The early odds have the Orioles favored on the money line at -113 at 5Dimes, with the  MLB odds O/U total sitting at 8.5. The weather will be perfect and near 70F at game time.

Miguel Gonzalez’s ERA this season has been affected by an abnormally low BABIP, which is currently sitting at .237. A fly-ball pitcher, opposing batters have yet to figure out how to hit him well in his four years in the league. The fantasy take on Gonzalez is that his stuff isn’t that good and eventually his luck will run out. After a certain sample size; however, you simply just have to give the pitcher some credit. Although his overall BAA is a .206, he is displaying quite a L/R split in performance this year as opposed to prior years and he is much tougher on righties. Seattle has a significant left hand presence in their lineup so this could be a slight advantage for them.

Taijuan Walker is also very tough on righties and the only left-hand batter doing well for the Orioles this year is Chris Davis. Walker started the season badly, as control problems reared their ugly head. This trend has since reversed and Walker has only walked five batters in his last 21 innings. His ERA of 7.22 does not indicate his true talent level – Walker’s fielding independent ERA is 5.01. Ok, a 5.01 ERA isn’t gangbusters but it does indicate that he has had some bad breaks this season and the difference between ERA and FIP is one of the highest in the MLB.

Pitching Matchups, MLB Picks & Predictions for the Week Ahead

MLB Betting Verdict
With the Seattle rotation on quite a roll and the Baltimore Orioles going through an offensive slump, it looks as if something has to give in this game and series. The heavy left-handed lineup that Seattle can put together should be able to get to Gonzalez at some point in this game. The wild card here is the sophomore Mariners hurler, Taijuan Walker. With not much history against the Orioles he could get a few trips through the lineup unscathed while their lineup tries to adjust. This usually means taking pitches and if Walker really has his command in check the Orioles will be behind in counts early. I think the public is overvaluing the ERA statistic here and the lineup of Seattle should be able to overcome any mistakes that Walker will make. That’s why I’ll be taking Seattle on the money line at +108 as my Tuesday MLB pick.

MLB Pick: Mariners +115 at Pinnacle Sports