If you haven’t taken a minute to glance at the Major League Baseball standing recently, now would be a great time to take a look, and you just might not believe what you see. The top of each division looks a lot like we thought it would as the Braves, Cubs, and Dodgers were all preseason favorites in their respective divisions, and the Athletics, Rays, White Sox, and Indians were all priced aggressively as well.
But when you look a little further down the standings, you see some surprising things. The Blue Jays are three games up on the New York Yankees, and the Yankees are just a half of a game ahead of the Baltimore Orioles!
The Detroit Tigers are just a half of a game back of Baltimore, and both the Seattle Mariners and Los Angeles Angels are heating up as well. The final two playoff spots in the American League are completely up for grabs at this point, as five teams are within a handful of games of the postseason.
In the National League, things are even crazier as both the Marlins and the Giants, two teams that nobody expected to be in contention this season, would be in the playoffs if the season were to end today, and seven teams are within reach of finding their way into the playoffs before the end of the year. For our free daily betting pick, we will take a look at a game between two of those teams that have surprised a lot of people lately, as the San Francisco Giants host the Seattle Mariners.
Seattle Mariners (19-23) at San Francisco Giants (22-21)
The San Francisco Giants host the Seattle Mariners tonight, looking to make it two straight wins over the M’s. The Giants took the win in game one last night, coming back from an early 5-1 deficit to steal the game, 6-5. With the win, the Giants got back to the right side of .500 on the year and are 4-1 on their current homestand.
For Seattle, the Mariner’s loss last night was a gut punch as they badly needed the win to stay in contention in the American League. The loss snapped a six-game winning streak for Seattle, and Mariners fans are hoping that their team can get right back on track tonight and stay hot to finish out the season and make the postseason for the first time since 2001.
Starting tonight for the Mariners is Nick Margevicius (1-2 3.86 ERA), and for the Giants, it is Tyler Anderson (1-3 5.18 ERA). The game total over/under is set at nine runs. The Giants are -145 home field favorites. First pitch is scheduled for 6:45 PM PST from Oracle Park in San Francisco.
When you look at what the Seattle Mariners have been able to do in the last three weeks, it really has been impressive. Before last night’s loss, they had won twelve out of their last sixteen games. In two of those four losses, they led in the sixth inning or later. This recent win streak was hard to see coming as Seattle had one of the worst records in the American League before it started, but with just about three weeks left in the regular season, the M’s have a viable path to the postseason.
Rookie Kyle Lewis is leading the way for Seattle, as he is hitting .310, with a .402 on-base percentage, and is slugging .534. Lewis has played just a total of 59 Major League level games in his career, and his stats project out to be MVP caliber at the plate, and his glove is sure to be golden at some point in his career. Lewis had two hits last night, and he needs to have a strong finish to the season if Seattle wants any shot at making the playoffs.
Nick Margevicius (1-2 3.86 ERA)
It has been all about a youth movement in Seattle this season, and with so many of these young guys all maturing at the same time and playing well, this Mariners team looks better every time they take the field. Nick Margevicius was drafted in 2017 and was fast-tracked to the big leagues, making his debut last season for the San Diego Padres. He didn’t have a lot of success last season for San Diego, and the Mariners were able to snatch him up off the waiver wire this year, and he has looked good for Seattle.
Margevicius started his season pitching out of the bullpen for Seattle, but was transition to the starting rotation last month and has made four starts. In those four starts, he has pitched a combined 20.2 innings and has allowed eight earned runs. That is good for a more than respectable 3.48 ERA. In his last start, he worked six quality innings against the Los Angeles Angels, giving up just two earned runs.
San Francisco Giants
When the Giants lost Buster Posey and Madison Bumgarner in the offseason, two staples of this storied franchise, it appeared to signal the start of a long rebuilding process in the bay area. The Giants were expected to bottom out this year and start the multi-year process of rebuilding the team from the ground up. So, to see them currently above .500, and in the postseason picture, is quite surprising.
The Giants are scoring a ton of runs, currently the fourth most in the majors, and are getting career years from journeyman Donavan Solano, Brandon Belt, Austin Slater, and Darin Ruff. None of those guys are a major part of the Giant’s rebuilding plans, but they are playing well, and this Giants team is fun to watch right now.
Tyler Anderson (1-3 5.18 ERA)
Tyler Anderson is another guy that probably won’t be around for the duration of the Giant’s rebuild, as he already 30-years old. Anderson was brought in as a guy that could eat up innings for a team that wasn’t expected to contend, and for the most part, that is all he has been good for this year for San Francisco.
Anderson had one really great start against the Arizona DBacks, where he pitched a complete game without allowing an earned run, but besides that one stellar outing, he just hasn’t been very good this season. When you look at his last five starts, he has that outing against Arizona that was good, but in his other four starts, he has allowed at least four earned run in each outing and has allowed a total of twenty earned runs in that stretch. Despite overachieving most of the year, the Giants are 3-7 when Anderson starts a game.
Who Do I Like?
Something special is happening in Seattle right now. Most young teams would take a tough loss like last night’s hard and come out flat the next day. But this young team is playing carefree, and they come ready to play every day. The last time they took a guy punch loss like last night’s, was in San Diego, when they blew a 7-1 lead in the eighth inning against the Padres a couple of weeks back.
That game was the first half of a scheduled doubleheader, and the M’s looked fired up in the second game, hammering the Padres for six runs in the first inning, and took game two in a blowout. While I don’t think there is enough season left for Seattle to sneak into the postseason, they are playing good baseball right now, and I think they find a way to win this game tonight.
Tyler Anderson just isn’t very good. He has never been very good, as his ERA was close to five runs for his career entering this season, and he has continued with the mediocrity this year. When you look at the Mariners season as a whole, they aren’t an intimidating team at all, but if you just look at how they have been playing in the last couple of weeks, this is a good team.
The Giants have been playing good baseball as well, but in my opinion, this game is a straight coin flip. If I can get a coin flip of a game that can go either way and pick up a bunch of dog money while I do it, I am going to take it every time. This is one of those higher variance plays that pays off nicely when it comes in.
I expect Nick Margevicius to build on his recent run of success and give the Mariners a solid outing. He won’t be spectacular, but he should be good enough to give his team a chance to win the game. Tyler Anderson has had small spurts of being decent, but I think the Mariners rough him up a bit.
This one should be highly competitive and tightly contested, but when all the smoke clears, I see the Mariners sneaking out of the bay with a victory. Give me the Seattle Mariners and a bunch of dog money in this one, at +135!