We picked up another win last night to continue our hot start to the month of July. We backed the Arizona Diamondbacks on the road against the Colorado Rockies. I expected a lower scoring game, and that is what we got, at least in Coors Field terms. The game came in well below the eleven-run game total as both pitchers pitched fairly well. Patrick Corbin was plagued by the same issue that has haunted him all year long, that is that he tries to strike out everyone by himself and that causes his pitch count to swell early in games.
Corbin pitched pretty well, he struck out six and gave up just two earned runs but could not make it out of the fifth inning as he had already thrown one hundred and eight pitches. Luckily for us, the Arizona bullpen was up to the task of a long night of work and held the Rockies back long enough to sneak out with a 5-3 win. The Rockies home field struggles continued last night, and their eighteen home wins are the second lowest in the National League. With the win, we go to 7-3 on the week so far. For today’s pick, I will look at the game between the Seattle Mariners and the Los Angeles Angels.
The Seattle Mariners are in Los Angeles Wednesday to play their American League West Division rivals, the Angels. The AL West has emerged as what is likely the best division in all of baseball this year. The Astros are the defending World Series Champions and have the second-best record in the majors. The Mariners are a stunning twenty-two games above .500, and even the Athletics are shocking the world as they are ten games over .500. That leaves us with the Angels, a very good ball club, in fourth place. The National League West is the only other division in baseball that has four winning teams entering play today.
Starting for the Mariners is Marco Gonzalez (9-5 3.64 ERA), and for the Angels it is rookie Jaime Barria (5-5 3.39 ERA). The Angels are -113 home favorites. The game total over-under is set at eight and a half runs. First pitch is scheduled for 7:07 PM PST from Angel Stadium in Anaheim.
The Seattle Mariners continue to impress this season. Despite several key injuries and suspensions, Seattle is very much in the race for the AL West Division title, and they hold a ten-game lead over the Angels for the second wild-card spot. The Mariners will send Mitch Haniger, Nelson Cruz, and James Paxton to the All-Star game next week and Jean Segura leads the final five vote in the American League with one day left of voting for the final spot on the AL team. The Mariners are looking to make the playoffs this year for the first time since 2001, the longest streak in North American professional sports.
Starting for the Mariners tonight is Marco Gonzalez. Gonzalez, a former first-round pick, and prized prospect, is finally healthy and pitching well. Gonzalez has pitched exceptionally well in his last two starts as he pitched fifteen innings and allowed just two runs. And more importantly for this playoff starved Mariners team, they won both games.
Winning is something these Mariners have done a lot of when Gonzalez has been on the mound. The Mariners are 12-6 in games started by Marco this season. Three of those wins? They have come against the Los Angeles Angels. All told, Gonzalez has pitched seventeen innings against the Angels and has allowed just eight runs and is 3-0 vs. the Halos this season. In his last start, he completely shut down the Angels to the tune of six innings pitched and one earned run allowed while striking out seven.
Rookie Jaime Berria has been somewhat the opposite of Gonzalez this year. Not that he hasn’t pitched well, he has. His 3.39 ERA is more than respectable, especially considering he is still just twenty-one years old. The problem for Barria, has been that despite his solid efforts, the Angels seem to lose a lot when he pitches. The Angels have lost Berria’s last five starts. Two of those recent losses have come against the Seattle Mariners.
This month the scheduled plays out a little strange for the Angels and the Mariners. This is already the second series they have played against each other in a week’s time and they have another series against each other before the month of July is over. These guys will be just about sick of each other by the time August rolls around. Whoever gets the best of this set of games is likely to have a stranglehold on the second wild card in the AL. Especially if the Mariners dominate.
At this point, the Angels just can’t afford to lose many more games as they have dug themselves into a pretty big hole. But I don’t see them digging out any tonight. I like the Mariners in this matchup. I think Marco Gonzalez is better than Jaime Barria and I think the Mariners win this game tonight. I see why the Angels are favored, they are playing at home, and the starting pitching matchup seems pretty even.
But I am going to back what I see as the more talented team, the Seattle Mariners. The Mariners are playing a fun brand of baseball and have the best record in one-run games in the major league this year. When things are close, like this one should be tonight, they just find ways to win games. So, I will take what I see as the better squad and pick up some dog money along the way. Give me the Seattle Mariners at +103 tonight in game two!