Seattle Mariners at Tampa Bay Rays MLB Pick – August 19th

After a blazing hot July, we started the month of August out slowly. But very quietly we are heating back up as last night we picked up our fourth winner in our last five bets. And last night’s win came on my favorite type of winner, an outright money line underdog! Yesterday we stayed hot when we backed the Minnesota Twins on the road, against the Texas Rangers.

In my estimation, the general betting public puts way too much emphasis on a game’s starting pitching matchup when evaluating who to bet on. That was the case last night as Lance Lynn, who is having a solid season for Texas, pushed this number towards the Rangers, despite the fact that Texas had lost nine out of its last eleven games, and were a whopping fifteen games back of the Twins entering play.

So, I did what I love to do, and that is position myself on the other side of the general betting public, and backed the far superior team, and picked up some healthy dog money along the way. And in the end, Martin Perez for Minnesota, actually outpitched Lynn in this one. Perez tossed five innings of two-run ball, while Lynn pitched five innings and allowed three earned runs.

The Twins jumped out to an early 3-0 lead only to see the Rangers battle back and tie the game up late. But when Jorge Polanco smashed a bases-loaded triple in the top the eighth inning and cleared the bases, it put the game away for good for Minnesota. It seems like common sense, to bet on the better team, but as they say, common sense ain’t all that common.

If you see more spots like this one where you can snatch up dog money on a team that is fifteen games better than their opponent, you need to jump all over it. For today’s pick, we head to Tampa Bay where the Rays host the Mariners.

The Seattle Mariners, winners of two straight series, head to Tampa Bay Monday for game one of a three-game series with the Rays. Wins have been hard to come by this season for Seattle as they have suffered several high impact injuries and traded away just about everything that wasn’t nailed down at the trade deadline. But they are doing a decent job of battling here in the dog days of summer and have found a way to win four out of their last six games.

For Tampa Bay, they are trying to hang onto the second wild card in the American League as they have a scant game and a half lead on the Oakland Athletics for the final playoff spot in the league. Tampa is suffering through several injuries of their own as their starting rotation is decimated. That hasn’t slowed them down though as they have won eleven out of their last fifteen games.

Starting for the Mariners tonight is their ace, Marco Gonzalez (12-10 4.26 ERA) and for the Rays, it is Brendan McKay (2-2 5.08 ERA). The game total over-under is set at eight and a half runs. The Rays are -179 home favorites. First pitch is scheduled for 4:10 PM PST from Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg.

The Tampa Bay Rays are trying to hang on and sneak into the playoffs without having much of a starting rotation. Last year’s Cy Young Award winner, Blake Snell, is out with an injury, but he may be heading back to the team soon. And the Rays are also playing without Tyler Glasnow, who was looking like this year’s Cy Young Award winner before going down with a season-ending injury earlier this season. The Rays have been forced to play without Charlie Morton and Yonny Chirinos at times as well.

But even with all of those injuries, the Rays have been one of the better pitching staffs in the majors this season. The Rays are top three in the game in earned run average, batting average against, and WHIP. And that is while playing in the much more hitter-friendly American League, in a division with the heavy-hitting New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox. The Rays have a seemingly endless line of flame throwers, and it is next man up every night for Tampa Bay.

One of those guys that has stepped up for Tampa Bay has been rookie Brendan McKay. McKay was the number fourth overall draft pick in the 2017 draft and has been on a fast track to the major leagues ever since. With all of the injuries, McKay was added to the rotation and immediately showed what he is capable of as he took his debut start to the sixth inning with a perfect game in tow. He finished that game with six shutout innings, allowing just one hit.

Two starts after that, he threw five shutout innings against the Baltimore Orioles. He has had some mixed results in his other five starts, but for a guy this young and inexperienced it is more about what he is capable of, rather than what he has actually done. And he is certainly capable of being a top of the rotation type of guy as he has all the makings of an All-Star at just twenty-three years old.

The Seattle Mariners don’t really have a stereotypical ace at this point, but Marco Gonzalez has done a decent job of faking it this year for Seattle. Gonzalez has stepped into the big shoes of King Felix in Seattle and was the Mariners opening day starter this season. And through April he looked every bit the part as he was 5-0 with a 2.80 ERA. But things have been downhill since then for the former first-round draft pick.

It’s not that Marco has been all that bad, he has been decent, it is just that the Mariners don’t seem to score runs when he pitches. In his three August starts, this Mariners lineup has provided him with just five runs of support total. That is just over a run and a half a game. Not even King Felix in his prime, was going to win many games with that type of run support!

This game is going to be low scoring. The Mariners are dead last in the majors in runs scored since the trade deadline, and the Rays aren’t much better as they are in 23rd. Both of these teams just don’t score a lot of runs, and they both have good starters on the mound. Yeah, McKay has been inconsistent in his short major league career, but if you are ever going to have a great outing, pitching against a Seattle team that has a triple-A lineup right now, will surely help.

And when you look at this Mariner’s bullpen, they got the night off last night, as Yusei Kikuchi threw a complete game, so they should be rested. The Rays? They have the lowest team ERA in the game in August, and their bullpen has been great. I think this one goes under tonight. If not for the solid pitching, for the lack of effective hitting. Feels like 4-1 Tampa Bay if you ask me. Give me the under eight and a half runs tonight in game one from Tampa Bay!

The Bet: Under 8.5 runs at -110

My Pick
UNDER 8.5
Jason Gray / Author

Jason is a true Las Vegas insider as he has called the sports betting capital of the world his home for sixteen years. Jason started out his career in gaming by running the biggest poker tournaments in the world and managing some of the biggest sportsbooks on the strip. Jason has transitioned out of casino operations and has been covering sports betting for the sports geek for just over two years. His main focus is on baseball, college basketball, and the NFL