We picked up an easy win last night when we backed the Washington Nationals against the San Diego Padres. I loved backing Steven Strasburg against his former hometown team, and he did not disappoint. Strasburg put in seven innings of work and allowed only three earned runs. It wasn’t the best start of the season for Strasburg, but he left with an 8-3 lead and did more than enough to lead his team to the win. We laid a little more wood than normal in this game due to a limited schedule but picked up the win nonetheless. For today’s pick, I am going to look at eth game between the Seattle Mariners and the Toronto Blue Jays.
The Seattle Mariners are in Toronto Tuesday for game one of a three-game series with the Blue Jays. The Mariners have been playing well as of late and have run their record up to five games over .500. The Blue Jays have enjoyed a similar level of success and are just one game behind Seattle in the standings. This is a great matchup of two teams fighting for the wild card in the AL.
Starting tonight for the Mariners is Canadian lefty, James “Big Maple” Paxton (1-1 4.19 ERA) and for the Blue Jays, it will be Marcus Stroman (0-4 7.52 ERA). The Mariners are -119 road favorites. The game total over-under is set at eight runs. First pitch is scheduled for 4:07 PM PST from the Rogers Centre in Toronto.
What James Paxton did in his last start against the Oakland A’s had a chance at being historic. Paxton had sixteen strikeouts through just seven innings. The all-time major league record for punchouts in a game is twenty. With six outs left in the game, he had a shot at history. Instead, Mariners skipper, Scott Servais decided to pull the plug on Paxton as he was at 106 pitches. I hated the decision at the time as I felt that if you have a shot at baseball immortality, you have to take it, and Paxton was untouchable that night.
Instead, they pulled him from the game, and the Mariners bullpen came in and immediately threw the game away, and Paxton came away with a no-decision. Servais’ bad decision looked even worse as the Mariners walked away a loser on what should have been a record-breaking night. Paxton will look to continue his dominance tonight against the Toronto Blue Jays.
Paxton has had a couple rough outings but by and large, this season has been a success. In five of his last six starts, Paxton has given up two earned runs or less. The big left-hander has amassed sixty strikeouts in just thirty-eight innings of work. His strikeout to innings pitched ratio of nearly fourteen is the best in the American league. It will be interesting to see how Paxton bounces back from the heartbreak of his last start.
Starting for Toronto tonight is Marcus Stroman. Each time Stroman has started a game this year, I keep thinking to myself, this guy is too good for this, he has to get better. But he just hasn’t. Stroman is making his seventh start of the season tonight and is still looking for his first win. His ERA of 7.52 is amongst the worst of any regular starter in the league.
He did look somewhat better in his last starts against Minnesota. He pitched seven strong innings, but even then, his team got shut out, and he lost. It will be a tough spot for Stroman today as he is matched up with a Mariners lineup that is finally healthy and starting to hit the ball hard.
This feels like a mismatch to me. James Paxton has been known to go on hot streaks that last a month or more in his career. When he is on his game, he is a legit ace and one of the best left-handers in the game. Right now, it feels like we are at the start of one of those Paxton hot streaks. In his last two starts, Paxton has pitched thirteen innings and allowed just two earned runs while striking out twenty-six. This kid is on his game right now, and I expect him to completely shut down this boom or bust Toronto offense.
As my daily readers know I am very leery of taking a team on the run line. Unless I have reason to believe that a game will be a blowout, I don’t fall for that run line trap. That extra juice entices people to take it when they probably shouldn’t. For tonight’s game, this feels like the per4fect time to take the run line and enjoy a bigger payout.
You have a team in Seattle that is playing good ball this year, with a pitcher that is red-hot on the mound. Playing against a starter in Marcus Stroman that is really struggling right now. I think Stroman is better than his current stats show, but the fact that I can run line this game and get the Mariners at +135 feels like a steal to me.
Paxton could easily shut this team down, and the Mariners should be able to touch up Stroman early and often. Give me the Seattle Mariners today laying a run and a half on the run line at +135!