Aaron Nola finally looked human last night. Nola suffered through one of his worst starts of the year as he got touched up for four runs in the games first four innings. Including getting popped for three runs in the first. Nola settled down and actually pitched decently the rest of the way out, but the damage had already been done., and we lost our bet. Steven Strasburg for the Nationals looked like his old self in this one as he pitched seven innings of one-run ball and struck out nine.
Nola has been a consistent winner for me all season long, but he let us down last night. This Phillies team is officially in freefall at this point as they are just 2-9 in the month of September and have essentially fallen completely out of contention as they are six and a half games back of even the second wild-card in the National League. It looks like a disappointing end to a once very promising season in Philly. For today’s pick, I will look at two other teams that had disappointing ends to promising seasons as the Los Angeles Angels host the Seattle Mariners.
The Seattle Mariners are in Los Angeles Thursday for game one of a four-game series with the Angels. When the season started, many thought this series would be one with huge playoff implications. Instead, both of these teams are finishing up disappointing seasons that won’t include a trip to the playoffs.
Starting tonight for the Mariners is Mike Leake (9-9 4.11 ERA), and for the Angels it is Odrisamer Despaigne (2-2 6.40 ERA). This game is exactly an even pick ‘em right now as both teams are -105. The game total over-under is set at nine runs. First pitch is scheduled for 7:07 PM PST from Angel Stadium in Anaheim.
The Seattle Mariners looked like locks to break their MLB worst seventeen season playoff drought earlier this season. Then the Oakland Athletics forgot how to lose and quickly surpassed Seattle in the second half of the year, and despite a solid season, the Mariners are looking like the odd team out in the AL. Seattle is on pace to win more games than they have in any season since 2003, but that is likely not much of a consolation prize for a fanbase that had high hopes of returning to the post season this year.
Mike Leake has been a solid addition to this rotation for Seattle and has more than held his own in the bottom half of the rotation for the Mariners. Although like the rest of this Seattle team, he has cooled off recently after a solid start. Leake is very familiar with the Angels this season and has had mixed results. This will be the fifth start of the season for Leake against L.A., and he has a 1-3 record against the Halos this year. Leake was fantastic in his last start as he pitched six innings against the Baltimore Orioles without giving up an earned run and the Mariners won the game.
Odrisamer Despaigne was brought over from the Miami Marlins at the trade deadline and has been used sparingly since being acquired by the Angels. While Despaigne was mostly a bullpen arm for the Marlins, he has been converted to a starter to help the Angels as their rotation is in shambles, decimated by injuries. In his three starts with the Angels, he is 0-2 with an ERA of 7.50. He was then sent to the Angels bullpen and made one appearance where he allowed one run to the Houston Astros without recording an out.
To say that Odrisamer Despaigne has struggled in his time in the American League would be an understatement. He has been absolutely terrible and is not capable of going more than four or five innings, max. He was used in mostly mop-up duty for Miami, and has seen his fair share of losing this season. His teams are 3-12 in games where he has appeared this season. Ouch.
Normally I won’t touch a game between two teams way out of contention, late in the season. But the one exception I will make is in a situation like this one where we have two hated rivals that love to beat each other regardless if it really “matters” or not. And when you see a pitcher like Odrisamer Despaigne on the mound you just can’t help yourself for betting against him.
There is no way that this guy should be starting games right now in the American League or any league for that matter. And to be able to look to fade him at even money is value I just won’t pass up on. And surprisingly this number has been moving towards the Angels all morning long. After seeing the Mariners open as favorites, the overnight and early morning action has turned this game to even, and it wouldn’t shock me to see it move even further and make the Angels as favorites.
So, I will make a small play on the Mariners now and monitor this line and hope it moves even further towards L.A. Give me the Seattle Mariners at even money tonight in game one in Los Angeles at -105!