Public Betting Indicates Contrarian Play on Home Team at Safeco

Mark Lathrop

Wednesday, July 8, 2015 2:40 PM UTC

Wednesday, Jul. 8, 2015 2:40 PM UTC

The home run derby has come to Seattle a week earlier than the All-Star Game as these two teams have had an offensive explosion the last few nights. This has skewed the betting lines and public perception. Our MLB Handicapper takes a look at the pitching matchup and makes his MLB Pick.

Hot Day in Seattle
The Detroit Tigers and Seattle Mariners finish their three game series on Wednesday afternoon, as hot weather in Seattle has led to some hot hitting over the last two days – and dingers. That weather will continue on Wednesday, which should neutralize the typical Safeco Field offensive suppression.  The Mariners need a win in this game to stay out of the bottom of the AL West. With parity being prevalent so far in this season there are more than a few teams bunched at 5 to 6 games below .500. However, a winning streak by any of those teams would vault them in wild card contention. The money line opened at Pinnacle with the home team Mariners favored at -118 – quickly moving towards Detroit at -111 in the first few hours the line was open. The O/U run total opened at 7.5 at multiple books.


Wednesday's Starting Pitchers
Anibal Sanchez takes the mound for the Tigers and has been on quite a good run lately. In his last game he took a no-hitter into the 8th inning, only to have it take a turn and have the bullpen allow every runner he had on when he retired, 4 in total. The Tigers still won the game though, and Sanchez has won four straight decisions after losing three in a row. The long ball has bitten Sanchez this season, which might not bode well for him tomorrow afternoon with the weather being so hot. His 1.44 HR/9 rate ranks him in the bottom 15 starters in the MLB, and his 18 HR given up in 112.1 innings is on pace to well exceed the 20 HR he gave up in the 2011 season in 196.1 IP in Miami. The cause of these home runs are hard to pick out on advanced statistics, so it is likely just some bad luck; however, Sanchez’ pull% rate is the highest in his career this year at 46%. A pulled ball is usually a hard hit ball and those are the types that leave the yard.

J.A. Happ had started the year well until he ran into a streak of starts where he got absolutely no run support at all. In Happ’s six starts from May 31st to June 27th, the Mariners scored a total of nine runs. In three of those starts Happ gave up 2 or less runs and still lost the game. This is how a pitcher ends up with a W-L record of 4-5 and respectable stats of a 3.93 ERA, 1.33 WHIP, and 72/22 K/BB rate. All told, Happ has the 8th lowest run support in the MLB at 2.93 runs per game. Happ has excellent career numbers against Detroit, running a 2.30 ERA, 1.09 WHIP, and .216 BAA in 15.2 IP.  


Baseball Betting Verdict
As is commonly the case when you have two days of high scoring offense, the public is all on the 'over' on this game, which has pushed the MLB Odds total up to 8 at multiple books. Not so fast. J.A. Happ would be practically undefeated if he got the run support that the Mariners have put up 5 of the last 8 games (i.e. 5 runs). Happ is also carrying a 2.08 ERA and 1.20 WHIP at home compared to Sanchez’s 4.15 ERA and 1.13 WHIP on the road. And if offense is what the public expects, the 8 HR allowed by Happ is a better indicator of success than the 18 HR by Sanchez. The public is also all over the Detroit money line, up to 95% according to my sources (and an SBR consensus pick), which perks my ears for the contrarian play. The value here is on the home team, so take the Mariners on the money line as your Wednesday afternoon MLB Pick.

The MLB Pick: Mariners -107 at YouWager

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