Athletics vs Mariners MLB Pick – April 14th

We took another underdog last night, and we cashed another ticket! We backed the Arizona Diamondbacks against the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Diamondbacks were heavy underdogs against the Dodgers, even though they just swept L.A. in a three-game series a little over a week ago.

The D-Backs have now played the Dodgers four times this season and were underdogs in each game. Their record in those games? 4-0. The D-Backs jumped out to a big lead early and hung on late for the 8-7 win. Arizona is second in the National League in wins, trailing only the Mets, who are having a historic start to their season. Yet Arizona manages to be an underdog most nights. They are once again heavy underdogs today in game two against the Dodgers. When will the books and public figure out his team is a good one?

Until they do, you are going to see me looking for as many spots to back them as possible. Today I will switch gears over to the American League as I look at the game between the Seattle Mariners and the Oakland Athletics.

The Oakland Athletics are in Seattle Saturday night for game two of a three-game series with the Mariners. Oakland has gotten off to a slow start and find themselves near the basement in the American League West Division.

The A’s nine losses are third-most in the American League this year. Seattle is battling injuries as they have seen several key players hit the disabled list already this season but have managed to stay competitive.

Tonight’s starting pitching matchup features two guys that are both struggling out of the gate in Seattle’s Marco Gonzalez (1-1 7.27 ERA) and Oakland’s Kendall Graveman (0-2 9.45 ERA). This game is currently an even pick ‘em at -110 for both teams. The game total over-under is set at eight and a half runs. First pitch is scheduled for 6:10 PM PST from Safeco Field.

Kendall Graveman has made three starts this season. His best outing was against the L.A. Angels, where he gave up five runs in five innings of work. That’s not great if your one winning outing involves you giving up a run every inning.

Graveman has yet to make it to the sixth inning in any of his starts and has struggled with command in his last two games as he has four walks in eight and a third innings. He also has not shown any ability to get guys out by himself as he has just five strikeouts in his three starts. He will need to be better tonight when he faces a Mariners team that is sixth in majors in batting average.

Marco Gonzalez was a big-time prospect early in his career with the St. Louis Cardinals. He was taken in the first round with the nineteenth overall pick.  Then he got hurt and had to have Tommy John surgery, and his future was up in the air. The Mariners took a shot on the former local boy, who attended Gonzaga University in Washington State, when they traded for him last season. Gonzalez was not great in his short time with the Mariners last year, but hopes were high coming into this season that he would be fully recovered and live up to the hype that once made him a prized prospect.

Gonzalez has not shown much yet this year as he has two starts and hasn’t pitched well. He did pick up a win against the Giants in his first start of the season, but he got hammered in his next go around to the tune of four runs in just two and a third innings. Marco is still just twenty-six years old, so he has time to improve, but if he doesn’t get his act together soon, he may find himself pulled from the Mariner’s starting rotation.

As bad as the Athletics have been this year, they surprisingly have been very good at the plate. Oakland is top ten in the majors in runs scored and on-base percentage, and they are top five in batting average, home runs, and slugging percentage. So, while their pitching staff has been atrocious, they are 29th in batting average against, they have been serviceable at the dish.

They are facing a Seattle team tonight that has had its fair share of struggles on the mound with their earned run average coming in at 27th overall.

Here we have two really bad starting pitchers facing off against two teams that can really hit the ball. In just the last week Oakland exploded for sixteen runs against the Dodgers and nine runs against the Angels. Seattle has scored five runs or more six times already this year. This is a game that has high scoring written all over it.

While I like the Mariners at home at even money in this one, I just can’t trust Marco Gonzalez. It is somewhat shocking that the A’s are favorites against anybody right now with Graveman on the mound, so I will likely make a small play on the Mariners, but I really like the over today. I don’t get too wrapped up in totals bets as they are high variance, but when I have two bad starters and two strong hitting offenses going, I can’t pass it up. And the total is actually very reasonable at just eight and a half runs.

We are paying a little extra juice on the over at -115, so that means that is where the action is coming in, and understandably so. So, if you like the over in this game jump on it before it shifts to nine or even nine and a half. Give me the over eight and a half runs tonight from Safeco Field!

The Bet: Over 8.5 runs at -115

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