Mariners vs. Athletics MLB Pick – August 14th

Brad Keller is a god, apparently. I shall never defy his name again.

I felt the Jays offered elite betting value with a +140 Run Line (-1.5), but they couldn’t get it done in Kansas City against a punchless Royals team that had gone 1-9 over their previous 10 outings.

Kansas City converted one home run that accounted for all three of their runs. One swing and the game was over, just like that.

That was disappointing to see, but I’m back at it again to try to get a win on Tuesday’s MLB betting slate.

There isn’t a ton of enticing value tonight. I like Boston as a -126 favorite, but nobody loves to see a Red Sox pick. It’s too easy. Instead, I’ll pivot to the Oakland Athletics, who look like really fun home underdogs. You can get a better price depending on where you play, but they can be had at +110 to get the win at tonight.

It’s a gamble anytime you pick against a stud southpaw like James Paxton (10-5, 36.3 ERA), but I think there’s plenty of reason to roll with the A’s right now. Let’s dive in and see why Oakland is a great play tonight:

Seattle Mariners (-120) vs. Oakland Athletics (+110) Total: 7.5 (-108/-112)

I mentioned last night that it’s always tough to go against home underdogs. I should have listened to my own advice. I know going against Pax hurts you deep down inside, but consider a few things; Oakland is quite good (34-23) at home, they’re red hot (won 3 straight, 8-2 over their last 10) and they’re just two games back out of first place in the AL West.

There is a lot of incentive for the A’s to get the job done tonight. Not only can they potentially close the gap between them and the Astros, but they can also push the Mariners further down in the standings. Considering how pesky Seattle has been all year, that’s a pretty big deal.

Seattle owns the edge on the mound tonight. You can’t argue differently. However, Paxton hasn’t been his usual sharp self lately (just 2-3 over his last five starts), while he’s allowed four homers, 14 total runs and 28 hits during that stretch.

The recent form isn’t sparkling, while Paxton sees a mild dip in overall production when he’s out on the road. Most will point to his elite talent and a flat-out drubbing of the Athletics (16 strikeouts!) when he faced them earlier this year.

I can’t deny that. However, Mike Fiers gives Oakland a stable enough arm to hit the dirt and the A’s are not an offense to be trifled with. Even if Pax dominates again, there’s a decent chance Fiers stands his ground and Oakland puts the finishing touches on a win late.

Of course, it doesn’t need to come to that.

Pax whiffed the heck out of Oakland the first time around, but this is still an extreme fly ball offense he has to manage his way through. The Athletics are a tough matchup due to their power, while Paxton has gotten hit hard (44% fly ball rate, 33% hard hit rate) from the right side of the plate. He’s even dropped in efficiency when facing lefties, which could leave him a bit vulnerable as a whole.

I don’t think Paxton has it easy here, but the big selling point is the Athletics have turned into a very good team that is on a roll and playing in the comfort of their own home. I’ll take them at +110 all day.

Pick: Oakland Athletics (+110)


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