Oakland Bettors Lost at Sea Against Mariners

seattle mariners

Rainman M.

Saturday, April 14, 2018 1:59 PM UTC

Saturday, Apr. 14, 2018 1:59 PM UTC

Seattle looks to extend a three-game win streak when it hosts Oakland at 9:10 ET. Can Oakland avoid losing consecutive games for the fourth time this season?

Oakland Athletics (5-9) vs Seattle Mariners (7-4)

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Free MLB Pick: Seattle Mariners -108Best Line Offered: at 5Dimes

A's starter Kendall Graveman (0-2, 9.45 ERA) is not a pitcher that bettors want to trust. Oakland is 3-14 in his last 17 road starts against a team with a record above .500. Pitching at home hasn't helped Graveman either, where he's allowed nine runs and four home runs in 10 innings pitched. His problems are continuing from last season, in the second half of which his ERA was 4.47, .63 higher than in the first half.

Graveman's favorite pitch is his sinker but, since he was injured last season, he's been throwing it less frequently. The main problem with this change in pitch frequency is that his secondary stuff isn't very good. Especially his curveball and cutter have been suffering. Batters are hitting .429 against the former and .667 against the latter. Overall, his stuff lacks the necessary quality. Batters are being more selective in their at-bats and, when they do swing, are failing to make contact less frequently. His command is down, leading to a higher walk rate, and he is striking out fewer batters.

He is also giving up homers more frequently. Against his favorite pitch, the sinker, he is achieving a slightly better opposing batting average. But the opposing slugging is currently .100 higher than it was last season. His inability to command his favorite pitch consistently speaks volumes about his current form.

Oakland's starter has been getting shelled from both sides of the plate. But he's been amazingly bad against left-handed hitters, surrendering a .500 BA and .950 slugging in 24 at-bats so far. Two of Seattle's three hitters who are averaging above .300 are lefties. Robinson Cano is batting .424 this season and .318 in his career vs Graveman with three doubles and a homer. Dee Gordon, another lefty, has yet to face Graveman but is batting .319 so far. Additionally, Kyle Seager is finding his usual self and is 5-for-7 in his past two games. He’s batting .22 higher against righties in his career.

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Marco Gonzales (1-1 7.27 ERA) counters for Seattle. Don't let his high ERA scare you. In his first game, against the Giants, he pitched well, but had his ERA inflated by a two-run home run in the seventh inning of a game that was effectively already decided. In his most recent outing, he suffered from bad luck. The Royals were fortunate in that basically every pitch they made contact with ended up as a hit. So their BABIP was an insane .727 and Gonzales' 0.89 FIP (like ERA, but factors out luck) shows that he pitched well. His 1.04 BB/9 rate evinces his strong command.

The A's haven't seen much of him. But Gonzales' history is promising. He gave up two hits, struck out five and walked none, shutting out Oakland over four innings last year. Gonzales matches up well with them as a southpaw. Oakland continues to struggle against lefty pitchers. Last season, the A's mustered an OPS (on-base plus slugging; average is .720) .68 lower against lefties than righties. This season, Oakland's OPS is .161 lower against lefties.

The M’s pen ranks five spots ahead of Oakland’s in terms of FIP and is still fresh due to a day off on Thursday. Dan Altavilla has allowed one run in 6.1 innings and threw only 12 pitches yesterday. Closer Edwin Diaz has been lights-out and has five saves already in our MLB Picks.

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