Major League Baseball has canceled nearly a dozen games in the last two days in response to social unrest in the country. In a season that has already been much different than anything we have ever seen before, canceling more games seems like second nature at this point. While the canceled games put a major damper on this week’s betting action, we are seeing a bunch of scheduled doubleheaders to make up for the postponed games, so this weekend is going to be packed with action!
Statement from Major League Baseball: pic.twitter.com/jyDdZJ7fN7
— MLB (@MLB) August 27, 2020
With all of the makeup games on the slate, we have seventeen games scheduled today. We have a subway series in New York between the Mets and the Yankees and a matchup with huge playoff implications out west, with the Astros and the Athletics squaring off.
Other marquee games scheduled for today include games between the Padres and the Rockies, Indians and the Cardinals, and the Rays and the Marlins. For our free daily betting pick, we will head to Los Angeles, where the Angels host the Seattle Mariners.
Seattle Mariners (13-20) at Los Angeles Angels (10-22)
The Los Angeles Angels host the Seattle Mariners tonight in game one of a four-game series. The Halos are struggling badly as they have lost eleven out of their last fourteen games, and their 22 losses are the most in the Major Leagues. LA did manage to win their last game against the Houston Astros and will look to win back to back games for just the second time this season.
For Seattle, the Mariners are playing some good baseball right now, as they have won six out of their last eight games and are all of the sudden right in the thick of the wild card race in the American League after a slow start. The Mariners schedule lays out nicely for a run to contention, as they play eight of their next eleven games against the Angels and Rangers, teams with a combined record of just 21-41.
Starting tonight for the Mariners tonight is Nick Margevicius (1-1 4.12 ERA), and for the Angels, it is Andrew Heaney (1-2 5.52 ERA). The game total over/under is set at nine runs. The Angels are big -205 home field favorites. First pitch is scheduled for 6:40 PM PST from Angel Stadium in Anaheim.
Can this recent run be trusted for the Seattle Mariners? It would appear Seattle GM Jerry Dipoto doesn’t think so, as yesterday he traded away starting pitcher Tajuan Walker to the Toronto Blue Jays for a player to be named later. Walker was having a solid season in his return to Seattle, where he started his Major League career before being traded to the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2017.
But when you look at how the Mariners are winning games right now, it’s by having a bunch of their young prospects all maturing at the same time and playing well, so Mariners fans have to have at least a little bit of hope for a backdoor into the postseason. One of those young guys that is playing well right now is center fielder Kyle Lewis.
Lewis has been the next big thing for the Mariners since he was drafted in the first round back in 2016, and after having a cup of coffee with the team last year, he got his first shot at being a regular everyday player this year for Seattle. And he is absolutely hammering the baseball as he leads the American League in batting average at a sizzling .350. Lewis is leading the team in basically every offensive category, and his 1.7 WAR is second in the AL, trailing only Jose Abreu of the Chicago White Sox.
Nick Margevicius (1-1 4.12 ERA)
Nick Margevicius is another young guy that is trying to make a name for himself in the big leagues, and after a rookie season with the San Diego Padres last year, was picked up on waiver by Seattle this year. Margevicius started his season pitching out of the Seattle bullpen, but was quickly added to the starting rotation, and has had serviceable results.
In three starts this year for the Mariners, Margevicius is 1-1 with a 3.80 ERA. In his last start, against the Texas Rangers, he picked up his first win as a Mariner, when he pitched 5.1 innings and allowed four earned runs. He has one appearance against the Angels this year, in relief, and gave up one earned run in two innings pitched.
Los Angeles Angels
At this point, the real question in LA, is will they try and hold onto their veteran talent for a shot at more success next year? Or will they admit that their decision to go with all offense and no pitching was a bad decision, and hold a fire sale this weekend ahead of the September 1st MLB trade deadline? The Angels have never been afraid of spending money, so I doubt they will kick things into rebuild mode at this point, but this team has been an absolute disaster this year.
The Angels have the worst record in the Major Leagues, and despite coming into the season as a team that was expected to compete for the AL West Division title, they are a whopping twelve games back of the Oakland Athletics for first place. Even the wild card is out of reach for LA, as they trail the Toronto Blue Jays by six and a half games for the final playoff spot in the American League.
Andrew Heaney (1-2 5.52 ERA)
Just like most of his teammates, Andrew Heaney isn’t having much success this season. Heaney has always been an intriguing player as he is a former first-round draft pick, that has always seemed to be on the cusp of greatness, but has never quite figured things out at the Major League level. In his seven-year career, Heaney has a lifetime record of 21-28 with an ERA just above four and a half runs.
This year, things have been even worse for Heaney as he is just 1-2 with a 5.52 ERA, and the Angels have lost five out of his six starts. It hasn’t all been bad for Heaney, as he has been serviceable at times, but he is averaging less than five innings per start, and his strikeouts are down significantly from last season, and his walks are way up. That isn’t a great recipe for success, and the Angels have a -12-run differential in his six outings this year.
Who Do I Like?
How are the Los Angeles Angels laying -200 against anyone right now? I just don’t get it. This team is playing awful, and they have been all season long. To see them as major favorites against anybody is laughable. Let alone against this young Seattle Mariners team that is starting to look respectable in the last week and come into this game playing by far their best baseball of the year.
I don’t have much confidence in Nick Margevicius, but I don’t really need any, as the Angels are one of the worst hitting teams in the American League this season. I can’t imagine that Margevicius shuts the Angels down tonight, but he shouldn’t have to be all that good to give the M’s a chance to win this game as Andrew Heaney has gotten blasted for fourteen earned runs in his last three starts, spanning just fourteen innings pitched.
Fading a -205 favorite is always a bit of a risky proposition. But the Angels are outrageously overpriced in this game. The Angels have ten losses this year as betting favorites, that is the most in the Major Leagues, and I think that number goes to eleven in this game. We talked about how bad Heaney has been this year, particularly recently, but the Angels bullpen has been even worse, as they have one the worst relief staffs in the game.
Heaney almost never gets deep into a game, and I can’t imagine that is going to change tonight. That means we are going to see a heavy dose of this putrid Angels bullpen, and that is a good thing for the Mariners, that are finally finding their stride at the plate.
Seattle is scoring nearly seven runs a game during this recent eight-game span, and I could see double-digit runs hitting the board for Seattle. Give me the Seattle Mariners as huge underdogs tonight on the road as I get to fade the WORST team in the American League with all kinds of dog money! This is a high variance, high risk, high reward play, but it has a lot of long term value and we are absolutely on the right side of the action.