Detroit Tigers at Seattle Mariners – MLB May 17

10:10 p.m. ET – Tigers at Mariners (-185 ML) O/U: 7½

The 14-26 Tigers travel out West to take on the 21-20 Mariners at T-Mobile Park in Seattle on Monday night. Detroit lost two of three games to the Cubs over the weekend, with the lone win coming on Saturday in a 9-8 walk-off win in 10 innings. Seattle took three of four against the red-hot Indians over the weekend, including a 3-2 win on Sunday against reigning American League Cy Young award winner Shane Bieber. It was the first start of the season in which Bieber was unable to get out of the fifth inning. 

About the Tigers

Detroit Tigers LogoThe Tigers have won six of their last 10 games and have climbed out of last place in the American League Central thanks to the lowly Twins. Third baseman Jeimer Candelario has been the most consistent hitter in the Detroit lineup this year, batting .302 over his past 15 games. Candelario was removed from Saturday’s contest against Chicago with a knee injury after taking a fastball off his leg. He sat out Sunday, but is expected to return to the lineup Monday evening. They need him badly, as the offense averages only 3.5 runs per game, third-fewest in MLB.

The pitching staff has not given the team a chance to win either, allowing the fifth-most runs per game among major league ball clubs. With a 6.12 ERA, the Tigers bullpen has the highest ERA among all big-league teams.      

About the Mariners

Seattle Mariners LogoThe Mariners have been one of the biggest surprises in all of baseball this season, as few people envisioned them over the .500 mark 41 games into the season. Seattle’s offense has been middle of the road to this point, averaging four runs per game.

One hopeful sign for boosting the offense is that the organization’s top prospect, Jarred Kelenic, was called up last Thursday and has joined the 2020 American League Rookie of the Year Kyle Lewis in the Mariners outfield. Kelenic is hitting .167 in his first 18 at-bats, but was able to hit his first career home run on Friday night.

Shortstop J.P. Crawford had a two-RBI single yesterday off Shane Bieber and has finally begun producing at the plate, batting .252 with 14 RBI to start his 2021 campaign. Seattle averages the fewest hits per game of any team in the big leagues, though, at 6.4. The Mariners need their young talent to step up over the summer months if they hope to remain relevant come September.

The pitching staff is allowing 4.4 runs per game, which also is middle of the road. But on many occasions, the bullpen has bailed out the starters. The bullpen has an ERA of 3.47, which is the fifth-lowest of all American League ballclubs.

Teams Spread Money Line Total Points
Tigers +1½ (-140) +155 O 7½ (-115)
Mariners -1½ (+120) -185 U 7½ (-105)

The Pitching Matchup

Detroit is turning to 2018 No. 1 overall pick Casey Mize on Monday night. Mize is 2-3 with a 4.19 ERA in 38.2 innings of work spread across seven starts. Mize picked up a win in his last start against the Royals, throwing six innings and allowing only two runs.

Toeing the rubber for Seattle is left-hander Yusei Kikuchi. Kikuchi is 1-2 with a 4.30 ERA in 44 innings pitched across seven starts this year. He went 6.1 innings in his last outing, allowing only three runs against a loaded Dodgers lineup. 

What’s the Bet?

Detroit is 5-14 away from home this season, while the Mariners are 11-8 in Seattle. Despite the Tigers’ struggles on the road, they are playing good enough baseball right now to be worth a bet in the series opener. The Tigers have begun hitting consistently over the past week and have their most talented starter on the mound in this one.

The bullpen is a major concern for Detroit, which places the most value on taking the Tigers to win the first five innings. Mize has the stuff to limit a struggling Mariners’ lineup and give them the lead entering the late innings of this game. Back Detroit at +155 to take a lead into the sixth inning.  

The Pick
Tigers First Five Innings

*Odds courtesy of MyBookie

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Joe Menzer / Author

Joe is an award-winning writer and editor who has covered the NBA, NFL, NASCAR, golf, various collegiate athletics and other sports for newspapers, Turner Sports, Fox Sports and ESPN. He has been on the beat for seven Super Bowls, six Daytona 500s and numerous NBA playoff series and All-Star Games. He once was dispatched to Rome, Italy to spend time with an NBA draft choice who opted to play overseas, after which he produced an award-winning series of stories. He also is passionate about fantasy sports and breaking down games in ways that even novice gamblers can use to make their most intelligent wagering decisions.

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