Even when you are on fire, you are going to lose once in a while. That is what happened to us last night as we came up short backing the Colorado Rockies as underdogs on the road against the Arizona Diamondbacks. I liked our side of the starting pitching matchup as the DBacks Robbie Ray had been awful for several weeks, and Jon Gray was actually pitching really well recently.
The rest seemed like a coinflip type of game that was going to be tightly contested and could go either way. So, I jumped on the value side and picked up some juice and hoped the variance would break my way. And this time it didn’t. The game was quite competitive and was knotted up at one run apiece heading into the sixth inning.
In the sixth, the DBacks finally got to Gray who was pitching quite well before allowing the three-run sixth inning. The Rockies put a run on the board in the eighth to tighten it up and had the tying run at the plate in the ninth but could not score, and we lost our bet.
Losing games like these ones never bother me too awful much. Of course, you would like to win every night, but variance is always tough to stay ahead of. That is why it is key that you are consistently on the value side of the bet. That way, when you go 3-3 on the week, you can still show a profit as you are getting dog money. If you are always laying wood and forced to win 60% or more of your bets to break even, you are going to struggle to make money. For today’s pick, we head to the Pacific Northwest where the Seattle Mariners host the Oakland Athletics.
The Oakland Athletics are in Seattle Sunday for the final game of baseball’s unofficial first half as both teams will hit the All-Star break following tonight’s game. This series is tied up at one game apiece as the A’s took game one, and the Mariners battled back last night to tie the series up in game two.
For the Athletics, they started out the season slow but picked up a lot of momentum in June, and they hit the All-Star break very much in contention to make the playoffs for the second consecutive season. The A’s are in second place in the crowded American League West Division and are just a game and a half back of the Cleveland Indians for the second wild-card spot in the AL.
For Seattle, the M’s are suffering through year one of what will likely end up being a multi-year rebuilding process. The Mariners have sold off several key pieces already this season, and more are expected to come soon as the July 31st trade deadline looms just weeks away.
Starting for the Mariners is opener Matt Carasiti (0-0 1.80 ERA), and for the Athletics, it is Daniel Mengden (3-1 4.67 ERA). The M’s are expected to turn things over to Wade Leblanc (5-2 5.02 ERA) after an inning or two. The game total over-under is set at nine and a half runs. The A’s are -130 road favorites. First pitch is scheduled for 1:10 PM PST from T-Mobile Park in Seattle.
Daniel Mengden has spent much of his season in the minors this year. He started the season out with the big club coming out of spring training but was then sent to triple-A Las Vegas. He was called back up when the A’s lost Frankie Montas to a PED suspension in mid-May and has had limited success. In seven starts this season, Mengden has an ERA on nearly five runs and has allowed four runs or more in three of his seven starts.
In his last three starts, he has been very hot and cold. Against the St. Louis Cardinals he pitched six shutout innings and picked up the win. In his other two starts, he last pitched just a combined eight innings and has allowed eleven runs. The A’s are hoping to get Sean Manaea back in early August, and he will likely bump Mengden back down to the minors. But until then, Oakland is hoping to get some production out of him as they can ill afford to lose any ground in the playoff race.
Wade Leblanc has made it pretty clear he doesn’t love coming in after an opener. But you can’t deny that it is working for both him and the Mariners. Leblanc is 3-0 with a 3.31 ERA in six starting relief appearances. That is much better than he was doing early in the season when he was pitching the first inning. The only time that this opener experiment didn’t work out well for Leblanc was against these very same Athletics.
But that game was a bit different as the opener that night had given up three runs, and Leblanc came in with runners on base in a jam and got lit up. As much as Leblanc may not like it, using the opener on his starts has been a good strategy.
This is another one of those close coin flip type games. The A’s are certainly the better overall team, but they are on the road and will be eager to get out of town after the game ends and start their much-needed break. And when you look at the starting pitching matchup, Leblanc has been great in the relief role, and Mengden is just biding his time until he gets sent back down to the bus leagues.
To me, that makes this game even money. And when I look at the betting line, I can get the Mariners at +120. If you give me a coin flip and lay me +120, I am going to take it each and every time. So, that is what I will do tonight. I’ll back the Mariners in what should be a fairly high scoring game and hope that the M’s still powerful lineup can get to Mengden early and often and Leblanc does just enough to find himself in the win column at the end of the day. Give me the Seattle Mariners +120 tonight at home in game three!