Underrated Pitching Make Under The MLB Pick For Indians vs. Mariners

LT Profits Sports Group

Monday, June 6, 2016 5:00 PM UTC

Monday, Jun. 6, 2016 5:00 PM UTC

We think Trevor Bauer of the Indians may be a hurler worth following the rest of the year and that James Paxton is better than his poor season debut, so make ‘under’ your MLB pick.  


The ‘under’ could have some hidden value in a matchup of two starting pitchers whose mainstream stats do not tell the entire story Monday night when right-hander Trevor Bauer and the Cleveland Indians (31-24, 14-12 away) pay a visit to southpaw James Paxton and the Seattle Mariners (31-25, 12-14 home) in the opening game of a four-game series from Safeco Field in Seattle, WA at 10:10 ET in a game available on ROOT.

The posted total at Bovada is 8½ for this contest with the current MLB Odds on the ‘under’ set at +100.


New Leaders of AL Central
Do not look now but the Indians are coming off of a four-game sweep of the Royals back home in Cleveland giving them five straight wins overall, and they have now overtaken Kansas City for first place in the American League Central by 1½ games, validating the predictions of many experts before the season that pegged Cleveland to win the division due to its strong starting pitching.

The Mariners were in first place themselves in the American League West for a nice part of this season, but they have now fallen to second place and three games behind the Texas Rangers, no thanks to being the losing MLB Picks in all three games to those Rangers in Arlington over the weekend. Texas pitching also quieted the Seattle bats, which had produced 47 runs in their previous four games vs. San Diego, limiting the Mariners to nine total runs in the three games.


Bauer Poised to Break Out?
Bauer does not have eye-popping numbers as of yet as he is 3-2 with a 4.27 ERA and 1.35 WHIP, but we did say prior to his last start that he is a pitcher to watch the rest of the year and he responded with a Quality Start in an unfortunate no-decision vs. Cole Hamels and the Rangers, allowing three runs and only four hits in seven innings with six strikeouts.

That marked the fifth time in six starts this year that Bauer allowed three runs or less, and the one exception was when he allowed four runs to the dangerous Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park, which is almost as good. Bauer also has 47 strikeouts in 52.2 innings, and his strikeout rate has been even better on the road where he has 20 punch-outs in 22 innings.

Perhaps most importantly, Bauer seems more mature this season after crumbling when faced with just a bit of adversity since joining the Major Leagues after being the third player taken overall in the first round of the 2011 MLB Draft out of UCLA, and that newfound maturity could very well propel him to career best numbers the rest of this season.


Paxton Throwing Gas
Now, to say that Paxton was roughed up in his first start of the year last Wednesday when pressed into service after Seattle ace Felix Hernandez was placed on the disabled list earlier in the day would be an understatement, as he allowed eight runs on 10 hits in just 3.2 innings vs. the Padres, although to be fair, only three of the runs he allowed were earned.

Believe it or not though, there were actually some encouraging signs during that effort, not the least of which was Paxton averaging an excellent 96.6 MPH on his fastball. Yes that was his first start of the year, but if Paxton could maintain that velocity, it would rank third in the majors this season behind only Noah Syndergaard (98.1) and Nathan Eovaldi (97.0), making Paxton the hardest throwing southpaw in the league!

Also, probably the one thing that has slowed the ascent of Paxton in the past has been his control, but he improved on that at Triple-A this year where he was walking a professional career-low of 2.64 batters per nine innings when he was called up Wednesday, and he promptly displayed improved control in his first Major League start of 2016 throwing 67 strikes over 103 pitches.

So while the results were certainly not there in his seasonal debut, there was enough to like to expect improvement from Paxton going forward.


Mostly an ‘under’ Series
Finally, this head-to-head series has been dominated by the ‘under’ as it has gone 11-5 in the last 16 meetings overall and 9-3 in the last 12 meetings here in Seattle. The ‘under’ is also 18-7-2 in Bauer’s last 27 road starts, as well as 8-3-1 in Paxton’s last 12 starts pitching with four days of rest.

So while it may not seem obvious with just a quick glance at the frontline stats of these starting pitchers, the ‘under’ gets our call when Cleveland opens up a four-game series in Seattle on Monday.

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Free MLB Pick: Mariners Under 8½ +100
Best Line Offered:  at Bovada
MLB Record: 33-31-1, +5.40

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