The Seattle Mariners have been the king of a topsy-turvy season in 2016. The minute they get on a nice run and you believe the Mariners are going to pick up some steam, they lose and are back to the start. With a record of 55-53 for Seattle (last night pending), there has been a lot of give and take with them. The Angels are currently up on Saturday night, so they may very well be a game away from .500 today. The Mariners are a team on the fringe, they’ll need to play good baseball down the stretch to find the postseason.
Seattle is 7.5 games back of the Texas Rangers, and have some work to do to earn a wildcard position as well. In other words, there are backs are against the wall and don’t have much room for error now. The Mariners have improved this season thanks to Robinson Cano finally earning his paycheck. Cano was in some discomfort last season and never came around. He enters Sunday with a .298 batting average and 24 HRs, with 70 RBIs.
The Angels trail the Mariners in the American League and solidified their future in the first-half of the year. They didn’t start well out of the blocks and are too far back to contend for anything. The Angels of Anaheim have at least looked a lot of better in this portion of the season. However, when you have a payroll with Mike Trout and Albert Pujols on it, I’m not so sure playing good for one half is good enough. When the Angels have Pujols’ contract off the books they are going to be feeling a bit better. The 25 million he is making each year doesn’t exactly match his production. In any event, they are going out and not going through the motions to save themselves from some embarrassment and ridicule. Get our MLB pick of the day below.
L.A. Angels vs. Seattle Mariners
Matt Shoemaker (6-11, 4.08 ERA) vs. James Paxton (3-5, 3.93 ERA)
James Paxton has been a relatively nice spot for the Mariners this season. They have a knack for discovering and developing some really good pitchers. Still after all of that, they have nothing to show for it for over a decade. Acquiring Cano was supposed to be the bat they needed to escalate them to new heights. While they have been a better baseball team, they’re still missing some pieces on offense to get them where they want to be. For an offense which relied on Ichiro for many years, acquiring a playmaker like Cano was a huge deal. Unfortunately, in a season where the Mariners were hoping for a big jump, Felix Hernandez goes and gets injured.
They certainly can’t catch any breaks. Paxton enters today with an ERA of 3.93, including a 2.25 ERA and 0.75 WHIP in his last three games. In those three outings he allowed just 1 run twice.
Matt Shoemaker made for some good MLB trade rumor fodder, but at the end of the day the Angels held on to him. I think it’s a good move, the Angels are in desperate need of some quality pitching and Shoemaker might be an arm worth keeping. He certainly hasn’t been at his best on the road, posting a 5.00 ERA and 3-7 record away from home. Conversely though, Paxton hasn’t been spectacular in Seattle, yielding a 4.00 and 1.36 WHIP.
Note that the Angels have had no troubles hitting left-handed pitching, with a team .272 batting average against them. In their last five games, they hit lefties at a .292 clip. This meeting has been a series of runs, with the OVER going 5-1 in their last six games, including an easy win last night on the OVER. The OVER has successfully gone 9-3-1 in their past thirteen matchups in Seattle. With all that said, I was expecting a total of 8.5. Therefore, this bet at plus-money looks like solid value to me.
PICK: OVER 8 RUNS (+105)