Red Sox vs. Mariners MLB Picks: Paxton Looks to Continue Season's Dominance Against Righty's on Sunday

Mark Lathrop

Sunday, May 17, 2015 2:58 PM GMT

The Seattle Mariners look to break their offensive slump on Sunday against one of the only knuckleballers in the league in Steven Wright. Our handicapper gives a pair of MLB Picks.

After accomplishing the difficult task of beating Felix Hernandez at home, the Boston Red Sox go for the series win against the Seattle Mariners in Seattle on Sunday afternoon as big underdogs in MLB betting odds. Pitching for the Red Sox is Steven Wright, the journeyman knuckleballer filling in for Justin Masterson while he is on the DL. The Mariners are countering with James Paxton, the big left-hander who couldn’t be more different – throwing 97 MPH heat. The opening odds have the home team Mariners favored on the money line at -153, with the O/U total line sitting at 7.5 runs.

Because Steven Wright doesn’t have a lot of MLB experience, I went ahead and compared the Seattle lineups performance against the other prominent knuckleballer in the league, R. A. Dickey. While there isn’t a ton of experience with the knuckleball in this particular lineup it also doesn’t look like anyone is really fooled by it either. Basically I’m finding career average lines against Dickey with a few more home run balls as you would expect. Wright has only pitched 5.2 innings in Safeco field and with that limited experience he has found success. Zero earned runs, 0.88 WHIP, and a .158 BAA. Must be part of the reason that Wright is 2-0 versus Seattle in 8.2 innings pitched lifetime.

James Paxton is coming off of a win in his last start in an 11-4 rout of the San Diego Padres. In that game Paxton pitched six scoreless innings, but was lucky to do so, as he walked five batters. Although it was Paxton’s first win of the season he had turned it around as of late on the road, pitching two games of 7 inning two-run ball against the Astros and Angels. When looking at career averages against for Paxton and the Red Sox, I didn’t find much. But one thing that sticks out is Paxton is killing right-handers this year, to the tune of a .206 BAA – versus a .370 BAA for left-handers. David Ortiz is the only left-hander of note in the Boston lineup, so this could be setting up well for Paxton Sunday afternoon.

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MLB Betting Verdict 
I’m going with a pair bet on this one, as I believe that Wright will be touched up for more than a few runs by this *new Seattle lineup. Also of note is that Seattle has not gone this long without scoring more than 2 runs all year and they should be looking forward to smacking around a knuckleball on Sunday. The knuckleball is a fickle pitch; just ask R.A. Dickey this season in Toronto. James Paxton has had quite a run of quality starts and will be tough on the heavy right-handed lineup of Boston. I’m surprised that the line is moving in Boston’s favor in this game, as you can find Seattle for as low a -139 at Pinnacle at time of writing. I’m taking Seattle for my  MLB picks on the money line, and because I think Seattle will score more than 3 runs, I’m also taking over 7.5 runs as my Sunday MLB Pick. 

MLB Pick: Over 7.5 & Mariners on Money Line at Pinnacle