The wins just keep coming! We nailed yet another outright underdog winner last night when we backed the Texas Rangers against the Cincinnati Reds. It was the second day in a row we made a play on Texas in Cincinnati, and for the second day in a row, they delivered. How the books saw the Reds, who are in last place, and have a losing record, as favorites against the surging Rangers is beyond me. But I made sure that I was right there to take advantage of the bad numbers, and we had a very profitable weekend, picking up dog money in both games.
Last night’s game went according to plan as the Rangers jumped out to a big 4-0 lead and held on for the 4-3 victory. Mike Minor once against was solid and picked up the win for his efforts for Texas. With the win, the Rangers maintained their one-game lead over the Boston Red Sox for the second wild-card slot in the American League. For the Reds, they are quickly falling out of contention as they are now eight games back of the first place Chicago Cubs. For today’s pick, we will head to the Bay Area where the Oakland Athletics host the Seattle Mariners.
The Seattle Mariners are in Oakland Sunday, trying to rebound after getting blown out last night in game two of this three-game series. The Mariners are hoping to pick up the win tonight and steal the series from the A’s. If they are to do it, they will have to do it without the American League’s top home run hitter, Edwin Encarnacion, as the slugger was traded to the New York Yankees yesterday. The trade was just another in a long line of moves aimed at unloading all of their veteran talent and rebuilding towards the future.
For the A’s, they badly need to pick up this series win as they can ill afford any more setbacks. With the recent surge from the Texas Rangers, the A’s have now dropped to third place in the AL West, and they trail Texas by two and a half games for the second wild-card in the AL.
Starting for the A’s is Tanner Anderson (0-1 3.18 ERA), and for the Mariners, it is Mike Leake (5-6 4.26 ERA). The game total over-under is set at nine and a half runs. The A’s are -152 home favorites. First pitch is scheduled for 1:07 PM PST from Ring Central in Oakland.
We all knew that the Mariners would be holding a fire sale this season. In the offseason, they unloaded all-star level talent with the likes of Nelson Cruz, Jean Segura, Robinson Cano, and Eddie Diaz all leaving the team. The Mariners jumped out to a hot start, which delayed the sale for a couple of weeks, but now with the team in full tank mode, the fire sale is back in full swing.
The M’s shipped off Jay Bruce, who spent much of April leading the AL in home runs to the Philadelphia Phillies in May. And last night, they traded away Edwin Encarnacion, who is the current leader in homers in the AL, to the hated New York Yankees. Rumor has it that Kyle Seager and Dee Gordon are next, and if you are on this team and over twenty-five years old, you are officially up for sale.
While Seattle hasn’t won many games this season, they have scored a ton of runs and have been in the top three in runs scored, and home runs all season long. You wonder how much this will change now that they are unloading so many heavy hitters. The Mariners have gone over their run total a lot this year, either they score ten runs, or their opponent does. In the month of June, the game total has been double-digits in eleven out of thirteen games.
Mike Leake was nearly traded last week as well, and this could very well end up being his final start in a Mariners uniform. Leake has done a serviceable job in Seattle and will likely end up being flipped to a contender in need of rotation depth any day now. In his last three starts, he has been quite good, pitching a combined twenty-three innings and allowing six earned runs. This recent uptick in performance should go a long way into ensuring that he will indeed be traded before the deadline.
Oakland will start youngster Tanner Anderson today, looking for the series win. Anderson made his first ever big league start last week in Tampa against the Rays. He did a respectable job in that one as he pitched five and two-thirds of an inning and allowed just two earned runs on three hits. Will he be able to hold back this powerful Seattle lineup tonight?
Look, at some point, the Mariners will have no lineup left, and we will have to start looking to take the under in most of their games. But right now, the combination of a hard-hitting lineup, and an absolutely dreadful rotation and bullpen has meant that nearly every Mariners game is high scoring. Mike Leake? He has allowed a whopping twenty home runs already this season. And that Seattle bullpen? They have an ERA of five and a half, third worst in all of baseball.
In a matchup like this featuring two top ten scoring offense, I expect more fireworks. Yeah, losing Edwin is going to hurt, but the Mariners still have guys like Domingo Santana, Dan Vogelbach, and Kyle Seager crushing the ball. And having them going up against a guy making his second ever big-league start seems to be a great spot. I don’t know how many overs this team has left in them this season, but I am taking it today in this one. Give me the over nine and a half runs today in the series finale from Oakland!