The Angels and Mariners meet on Tuesday night at Safeco Field. The Mariners won the opening game thanks to King Felix. Will they repeat tonight? Follow our capper's opinion & final MLB pick.
LA Angels (Wilson) vs. Seattle Mariners (Paxton) (-125) 10:10 ET
The Angels and Mariners meet in the 2nd of a 3-game set at 10:10 ET, Tuesday night at Safeco Field. The Mariners won the opening game of the set (4-1), when King Felix took care of business. Last year, Seattle had a banner season with 87 victories, an improvement of 16 wins over 2013. Nonetheless, that was only good for 3rd place in the AL West, eleven games back of a 98 win Angels team. A look inside last year’s series finds the Mariners to have logged a 12-7 series mark. That was not unusual, as when we dissect the Angels’ season of last, we find they made their money by playing nearly .700 ball against the sub .500 bottom feeders. Last night’s victory by Seattle indicates that the Mariners will be, once again, more than capable of playing toe-to-toe with the Division Champs, and they're also short favorites tonight on the MLB betting odds.
Without Josh Hamilton (15 day DL, shoulder) and Garrett Richards (15 day DL, knee) available, the Angels will not find it easy to have a positive start, especially knowing that they host playoff contender, KC, in the next 3-game set. Must admit that superstar, Mike Trout (the AL MVP), is capable of carrying this team for stretches. But, the presence of veteran CJ Wilson in the rotation is not deemed as a positive. Since becoming a regular 200 IP starter, Wilson had his worst season on the mound last year. He worked just 175 2/3 IP with a modest 151/85 KBB, an inferior 1.45 WHIP and a 4.51 ERA. There is certainly no guarantee this will be a bounce back season.
Could this be the year that the Seattle Mariners at last make it to the World Series? Seattle begins the season in excellent health. They also added power-hitter, Nelson Cruz, to the lineup to compliment other power-hitters, Cano and Seager. This is clearly a component the Mariners had missed in recent seasons. Certainly nothing wrong with the rotation that is headlined by King Felix and Iwakuma. If Rodney can match his 48 saves of last year, this team could have a look of a division winner. That leaves the question marks in the back-end of the rotation, which is headlined by today’s starter, James Paxton. Paxton is off a solid 2nd half of the season in which he worked 74 IP with a 3.04 ERA, 1.20 WHIP and .223 BAA. In addition, 4 lifetime starts vs. the Angels have produced very solid numbers. Those starts have spanned 24 1/3 IP with a 25/6 KBB, 2.59 ERA, 0.82 WHIP and .163 BAA.
Last season, the Angels profited from the weakness of the bottom-feeders in the league. This year, they will be hard-pressed to outdistance both these Seattle Mariners, as well as an Oakland team, who has become a perennial contender. With Seattle the hungrier team, and the better of it on the mound with Paxton over Wilson, there is solid value play at this price. Run-line players may note that Seattle has won 59 of their 77 home wins by 2 or more runs last season, including 32 of 41 home victories last year. Both these numbers are the best in the AL over that timeframe. With the ability to take back .75 cents at a run-line price, this is an MLB picks to consider.
MLB Pick: Seattle Mariners at Pinnacle