The 'Over' Is The Best MLB Pick In Indians vs. Mariners

Mark Lathrop

Thursday, June 9, 2016 11:35 AM GMT

Thursday, Jun. 9, 2016 11:35 AM GMT

Our MLB handicapping expert inspects the totals listed for the finale of the Cleveland and Seattle series and finds excellent value versus the side. Read on and profit with his Thursday MLB Pick!

2016 YTD MLB: 22-11-1, +10.69 Units

Cleveland Indians vs. Seattle Mariners
The Cleveland Indians and Seattle Mariners wrap up their 4-game series on Thursday night, as each team looks to keep up with the pace in competitive divisional races. With listed starters Josh Tomlin for the Indians and Nathan Karns for the Mariners, initial MLB odds are already out at multiple books. In this game the Seattle Mariners are favored slightly at home at -116 on the money line at Bookmaker, while the Over/Under total has opened at 8 at Heritage and 8.5 at all other books so far.

 

Seattle Mariners
The Mariners have had a tough stretch so far to start June, but that is mostly related to them losing their starting shortstop, Ketel Marte, starting center fielder, Leonys Martin, and Felix Hernandez in the span of a weekend two weeks ago. Marte already rejoined the lineup at the beginning of the Cleveland series, while Martin is scheduled to return on Friday. The lineup and defense is vastly improved with Marte and Martin in the mix, so when looking at trends I would take the recent slide by the M’s with a grain of salt.

Seattle’s offense has been especially good this year against right-handed starters, where they are scoring 5.7 runs per game and have a batting average of .271. They are 24-15 against righties this year coming into Wednesday night’s game, and have a losing record against left-handed starters so far.

Cleveland Indians
Unfortunately for Cleveland starter, Josh Tomlin, the only appendage he has that is good at throwing a baseball is his right arm. And he gives up dingers, which is bad since he is a fly ball pitcher. But we are playing in Safeco Field you might add? Doesn’t matter this year, as Safeco Field has yielded the most dingers in all of the major leagues this season. This is Safeco Field on El Nino we are talking about here – marine layer be damned.

Last year, Tomlin completed what could go down as the ‘luckiest season’ ever, as his ERA of 3.02 was far better than his FIP of 4.30 which is an indication of his true ability. He also ran a BABIP of .199 in 2015, just a tad lower than his career average of .274 (That’s sarcasm by the way). His 90.2% left-on-base average was insane. Those lucky trends continue in 2016, and every once in a while Tomlin will get lit up like he did at home versus Texas on May 30th, giving up 8 runs. No matter which way you cut it the Seattle lineup in Seattle is a bad matchup for Josh Tomlin.

 

Conclusions
Speaking of getting shelled by the Rangers, Nathan Karns gave up 7 earned runs to Texas in his last start on June 4th. That outing alone ballooned his ERA from 3.43 to 4.23. And unfortunately for Karns he also uses his right hand to pitch baseballs, as the Indians score 5.0 runs per game against righties and have compiled a 23-14 O-U record against them as well. Unlike Tomlin though, his statistics show he is pitching better than his results. Karns is carrying an ERA of 4.23 against a FIP of just 3.64, with that FIP almost identical to the ERA he put up in 2015.

 

Even though I like the matchup for Seattle against Tomlin, with each of these teams batting well against right-handers there isn’t much value in backing Seattle on the moneyline in this game. The statistics are just too close to have value above and beyond a coin flip. The value scenario is that one of these pitchers struggles on schedule and the score goes above 8 runs. I would also look at the Over for the first 5 innings when that line comes out. For now, I am taking Over 8 runs -115 at Heritage as my Thursday night MLB pick.

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Free MLB Pick: Over 8 (-110)
Best Line Offered: at BetOnline

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