If you read my daily picks regularly, you know that I very rarely complain about bad beats. They happen, they are part of the game and are completely unavoidable. But in a week that has seen us lose over a half of a dozen games where we had big leads late in the game, last night’s bad beat was a gut punch.
Last night, I backed the Los Angeles Dodgers as home favorites against the Houston Astros. The Dodgers have been the best home team in the game this year, by a wide margin, and the Astros have been laughable bad as road dogs, as they were 2-9 on the year when playing on the road as betting underdogs. It seemed like a low variance, easy money spot, and I backed the best team in baseball and expected them to take care of business and cash our ticket.
And when the Dodgers jumped out to an early 5-0 lead, I felt that I had nailed the pick. As I predicted, Framber Valdez got smashed, and Julio Urias was stellar. All I needed was for the Dodgers bullpen, by far the best bullpen in the game right now, to hold onto a five-run lead, to win my bet. Yeah, that didn’t happen.
— Houston Astros (@astros) September 13, 2020
The Dodgers called on closer Kenley Jansen, who leads the National League with ten saves, and had an ERA of under two runs on the year, to close the game out in the ninth. Jansen had allowed just four earned runs the entire season, in 18 appearances, before last night’s game and got hammered for five runs, and the Dodgers gave away the game.
It was just an ugly way to lose a bet and stings a little extra as we have seen so many late inning collapses lately in spots that were nearly impossible to predict. What can you do? I guess that is why they play the full nine innings before they let you cash your ticket. For today’s free daily betting pick, we will look to shake off this late inning run bad, when we break down all of the action between the Arizona Diamondbacks and Seattle Mariners.
Seattle Mariners (20-25) at Arizona Diamondbacks (17-30)
The Seattle Mariners continue their quest to a backdoor into the American League playoffs today, as they play in Arizona, against the DBacks, in game three of a three-game series. Arizona took game one of this series 4-3, but Seattle tied it up last night in game two, with a 7-3 win. While a trip to the postseason is still highly unlikely for Seattle, they are just two and a half games back of Houston for second place in the AL West Division, and with a hot finish, could make the postseason for the first time since 2001.
For Arizona, the DBacks are just playing out the stick of what has been a very disappointing season. Arizona unloaded at the trade deadline, and it’s looking like the DBacks might be at the start of what would likely end up being a multi-year rebuild. Arizona is buried in last place in the NL West Division, a whopping 15.5 games back of the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Starting today for the Mariners is youngster Justin Dunn (3-1 4.09 ERA), and for the DBacks, it is Luke Weaver (1-6 7.12 ERA). The game total over/under is set at nine runs. The DBacks are -165 home field favorites. First pitch is scheduled for 1:10 PM PST from Chase Field in Phoenix.
The Seattle Mariners have enjoyed a successful second half of the season. After being arguably the worst team in the Major Leagues in the first month of action, Seattle has played good baseball in the second half. The Mariners have turned things around by trading away a bunch of their veteran talent to open up playing time for their slew of young prospects.
A lot of those young guys are having breakthrough seasons, and Mariners fans have reason to be optimistic about the future for the first time in a long time. Kyle Lewis is the headliner of the Mariner’s recent success story, but other guys like JP Crawford, Ty France, and Dylan Moore are all looking like guys that are going to be here for the long haul in Seattle.
Justin Dunn (3-1 4.09 ERA)
Another one of those young guys that has gotten a shot at playing regularly and has taken full advantage of it, is today’s starter, Justin Dunn. Dunn had a cup of coffee with the team last year as a late-season call-up and got his first shot to pitch every fifth day this year.
Dunn struggled a bit in his first four starts of the year, but he has started to find his groove here recently for Seattle. In his last three starts, Dunn has pitched six innings each time out and has allowed just two earned runs on only six hits. He has struggled some with his command as he has walked nine hitters in those three starts, but Seattle has won all three of those games, and this kid is starting to look like a budding star on the mound.
I am not going to waste a lot of time talking about this DBacks team. They came into this season looking to compete with the Padres and Dodgers in the NL West Division and came up woefully short. They dumped several of their best players at the trade deadline including Starling Marte and Robbie Ray, and management is going to have a tough decision to make in the offseason about what to do with this team. The Dodgers and the Padres aren’t going anywhere, and I am not sure that Arizona is going to be able to compete anyway, so I think they tear it down and start over next year.
Luke Weaver (1-6 7.12 ERA)
Just like the rest of this Arizona team, Luke Weaver has been a complete and utter disappointment this year. Weaver impressed in twelve starts for the DBacks last year, when he posted a 2.94 ERA. Many looked at him as a guy that could be a top of the rotation type of guy for Arizona coming into this season. But this year, he has regressed badly and has looked a lot more like the guy he was in St. Louis, where he had a losing record and an ERA of nearly five runs in three years pitching for the Red Birds.
Weaver has yet to pitch six innings or more in any start this year, and multiple times has gotten hammered and blown out. While he has looked somewhat better here in September, as he has made two starts against the hard-hitting Los Angeles Dodgers and has allowed a respectable four earned runs in 9.1 innings worked, the DBacks still lost both games and have lost seven of his nine starts this year.
Who Do I Like?
I don’t get it. How can anybody like the Arizona Diamondbacks in this game? Arizona is awful as they have lost nineteen of their last twenty-three games. This team is in complete freefall, yet they are laying -165 against a Seattle team that has a winning record in the last month? Seattle has won thirteen of their last twenty games, and Justin Dunn is on fire in the last three weeks.
This number opened up at Arizona -145, and the public being the public, decided they wanted all they could eat of Arizona and backed the DBacks. That has shifted the line twenty points and opens up a ton of value on Seattle. The DBacks couldn’t care less if they win or lose tonight, and the Mariners are playing for a shot at the playoffs and are going to be playing hard.
The Mariners hammered Arizona starter, Zach Gallen yesterday, for five runs in the first two innings. Gallen has been one of the few bright spots for the DBacks this year, and if Seattle can light him up, they can obliterate Luke Weaver. I expect Seattle to hang some crooked numbers up on the scoreboard early on Luke Weaver and Justin Dunn should be at least serviceable, if not very good.
So, I will take advantage of the bad number and take a shot on a big underdog in his one. The DBacks haven’t won with Weaver on the mound in over a month, and I don’t see that trend changing today in this one. Give me the Seattle Mariners in an upset special today in game three from Phoenix, getting +150!