Even on a cold night if you hit the ball 440 ft. it will leave the yard. Our handicapper looks at the second game of this series after the M's put on a long ball show last night to find the betting value and give his MLB picks!
The Seattle Mariners and their interleague ‘rival’ San Diego finish the second game of their short two game series Wednesday night with the Mariners youngster, Taijuan Walker, getting the nod and the Padres countering with veteran James Shields. The weather is going to be dreary in Seattle, in the low 50’s by the 7:10 PST game time. Good thing they have a roof at Safeco Field. The cold temps and park factor could explain why the O/U total with two pitchers totaling an aggregate ERA of over 12 is sitting at just 7.5. The M’s had their first 6 HR game at Safeco since before June 2006. Wow.). The line in this matchup is basically pick’em on the money line, so shop around for the best juice regardless of your lean for who wins the game straight up.
Walker is coming off an average start, giving up 3 earned runs to the Athletics the last time out with 5 IP and six strikeouts. With the extra day off, the M’s moved his start up a day to bump back spot starter Roenis Elias, who is filling in for Hisashi Iwakuma. Even with the move Walker is pitching on normal rest. For most of the San Diego lineup, this will be the first time they see the live fastball of Walker – at least in the regular season (San Diego and Seattle play quite a bit in spring training). With a fastball averaging 94.4 MPH this year, and chilly temperatures, expect some stinging-hand at bats by the Padres on Wednesday night.
In James Shields' last game he gave up 4 home runs to the Arizona Diamondbacks. In the game before that he gave up 3 home runs to the Colorado Rockies. Inexplicably, Shields won both of those games as he was bailed out by decent run support. The long ball has become a trend for Shields, as he has given up at least one dinger in all but one of his seven starts this year. Unfortunately for Shields, he also has given up his fair share of long balls to this particular Mariners lineup:
Robinson Cano: .405 AVG, 4 HR, .702 SLG
Kyle Seager: .455 AVG, 2 HR, 1.000 SLG
Mike Zunino: .333 AVG, 1 HR, 1.333 SLG
Logan Morrison: .294 AVG, 1 HR, .588 SLG
I mean, Shields HR/FB ratio is 25%! That’s over double his career rate, so something is going on with the veteran 33 year old. The other thing that is odd is his K/9 rate, which is currently 11.69. This is 4 K’s per 9 innings more than his career average. Not all of this can be attributed to the switch to the NL and striking out pitchers. You back out K’s to pitchers and his K/9 rate is still above his career average. In conclusion, Shields stats are just plain confusing at this point in the season – but giving up the long ball at that rate is cause for alarm.
MLB Betting Verdict
This setup screams that the Mariners will keep going yard after last night, with a strong indication on the over of 7.5 runs. The juice on the early 7.5 total; however, is trending lower with MLB odds found at +100 at Bovada at time of writing. Early bettors are looking at a fly ball pitcher in Shields on a cold night in Safeco and looking no further. I’ve been covering the M’s for most of the year and know that they are notoriously streaky, both good and bad. I like the idea of them being able to put up 4 or more runs after getting 15 hits the night before. If they put up four runs both the over and the money line have value and that is how I am playing the game for my MLB picks.
MLB Picks: A pair bet taking Over 7.5 runs and the Mariners Pick’em.