The Seattle Mariners are looking to pick up their 1st series win of the season today, as they play in Minnesota, against the Twins, in game 4 of a 4 game set. The M’s took each of the 1st 2 games of this series, both in comeback dramatic fashion, with a pair of 1-run victories, but the Twins battled back yesterday to pick up a win, pounding out 10 runs in a blowout.
Both of these teams should be greatly improved over last year when neither squad made the postseason, and whichever team is able to win these head-to-head matchups during the regular season is going to have a major leg up on the other team, as they are both going to be competing for the wild card spots in the American League this year. I know it might sound crazy to already be talking about the playoffs as it is still April, but every year we see those last playoff spots be decided by just a game or 2, so as much as we don’t want to admit it, these games do matter!
Chris Flexen gets the nod in the series finale tomorrow at 4:40 p.m. pic.twitter.com/Mo9VCbwkEW
— Seattle Mariners (@Mariners) April 10, 2022
For the series finale, the Mariners will send Chris Flexen to the mound, with the home team Twins answering with starter Dylan Bundy. The Twins are (-130) favorites, the 4th straight time they have been favored over Seattle in this series, and the game total is set at 9 runs. First pitch is scheduled for 4:40 PM PST from Target Field in Minneapolis.
Seattle Mariners (2-1)
There are a lot of reasons to be optimistic right now if you are a Seattle Mariners fan. Seattle has wrapped up their multi-year rebuild, and they went out and added a bunch of talent to their already talented roster that won 90 games last season. Last year, Seattle had one of the best records of all time in 1-run games, and despite their strong win total, they actually finished the season with a negative run differential. The math geeks will tell you that Seattle got “lucky” to win all of those close games, but the eye test tells me that this is a well-coached team that knows how to win tightly contested games.
— Seattle Mariners (@Mariners) April 11, 2022
This series with the Twins has looked a lot like all of 2021 did for Seattle, as they trailed in both games, and refused to lose, coming back late to win both games by a single run. Interestingly enough, the Mariners again have a winning record and a negative run differential, as Minnesota beat them up yesterday in game 3, with a 10-4 final score.
Only time will tell, but this team clearly has an identity, and that identity is that they don’t care what anyone thinks about them, and they are never out of a game, no matter what the scoreboard might say. This team doesn’t have an ounce of quit in them, and while the roster isn’t quite to the level of a team that can contend for a World Series title, it’s not far off, and after watching Jerry Dipoto be one of the most active GM’s in the game in his time in the Jet City, you can only expect him to add more pieces if the Mariners are in contention at the trade deadline.
As unlikely as the Mariner’s 90-win season was last year, there wasn’t a success story that was any harder to see coming than Chris Flexen’s breakout season. Flexen came up through the Met’s organization, and in 3 seasons with New York, split between the bullpen and the rotation, he was awful, with a career 3-11 record and 8.07 ERA. That poor play led to his release from the Mets and like so many players today, Flexen was forced to play oversees. Flexen ended up in Korea, playing in the KBO, and after figuring things out in Korea, he earned a shot to pitch for the Mariners last year.
Flexen took full advantage of that opportunity, as he had a career year last season, making 31 starts, and producing a solid stat line of a 14-6 record and 3.61 ERA. That was good enough to get another shot at starting every 5th day this year for Seattle, and as he gets ready to make his 2022 season debut tonight on the road, there are a lot of people wondering if Flexen can reproduce the stellar stats he posted last year for the now contending Mariners.
Today’s Starting Pitching Matchup
Minnesota Twins (1-2)
The AL Central division is in a strange place right now. The Chicago White Sox are clearly the class of the division, but after that, the rest of the division is seemingly wide open. The Royals, Tigers, Indians, and Twins are all closely grouped, as all of these teams made efforts in the offseason to get better, but none of them are what I would call legit pennant contenders. But with how Major League Baseball schedules, with an unbalanced schedule where you play your division far more often than the rest of the league, whichever team can finish in 2nd place behind Chicago, will have a very good shot at making the playoffs.
Most people expected the Twins to be sellers this year, as the roster was a bit light on talent, and they didn’t seem to be a team that was going to be all-in on winning now. But that narrative went out the window the minute that the Twins went out and signed free-agent shortstop Carlos Correa, and with Correa surrounded by sluggers like Byron Buxton, Max Kepler, and Gary Sanchez, this is a team that now has significant pop.
Homers by the foot:
— Minnesota Twins (@Twins) April 11, 2022
We have seen that power play out in his series with Seattle, as the Twins have already gone deep a whopping 9 times in 3 games, giving them the most homers in the Major Leagues right now. Buxton has been particularly hot, as he homered in 3 consecutive at-bats against Seattle and he looks like he hasn’t missed a beat from last season, when he was the leading candidate for the AL MVP Award through 60 games, before a season-ending injury ended his year. The ’27 Yankees they ain’t, but there is power up and down this lineup, and this team is going to win some games this year.
We talked about the hard-hitting lineup for Minnesota, but what we haven’t talked about, is their starting rotation. The rotation is the weak spot for the Twins, as it is composed mostly of washed-up veterans. Sonny Gray, Chris Archer, and Dylan Bundy all seem to be on the downside of their careers and while Baily Ober and Joe Ryan give the Twins some upside, this isn’t a playoff-caliber rotation as of right this minute.
Dylan Bundy has been the next big thing for over a decade now after being taken in the 1st round of the 2011 draft, but he just hasn’t been able to break through and live up to that hype. After getting fast-tracked to the show and making his Big League debut in 2012, for the Baltimore Orioles, Bundy was slowed by inconsistency and injuries and didn’t get back on a Major League roster until 2016. Bundy occasionally showed flashes of greatness with Baltimore and when the Angels brought him in for the 2020 season, they hoped that a change of venue would be enough to get Bundy’s once-promising career back on track.
Initially, it looked like Bundy escaping from Baltimore was just what he needed, as he was strong in 2020, with a 6-3 record and 3.29 ERA in 11 starts during the COVID-19 shortened season. But all of those positive thoughts were dashed last year, as Bundy bottomed out again for LA, racking up a 2-9 record and 6.06 ERA that made him one of the worst regular starting pitchers in the American League. Bundy still hasn’t turned 30 yet, so there is still a glimmer of hope that he can be the guy that everyone thought he was going to be a decade ago, and Twins fans are hoping that the change of location will help get his career revitalized.
Seattle Mariners vs Minnesota Twins Betting Odds And Team Statistics
The following odds are courtesy of BetOnline:
|Teams||Money line||Total||Run Line|
|Seattle Mariners||(+110)||Over 9 (-110)||+1.5 (-175)|
|Minnesota Twins||(-130)||Under 9 (-110)||-1.5 (+145)|
|Team Data||Seattle Mariners||Minnesota Twins|
|Runs Per Game||3.33||4.66|
|Runs Against Per Game||4.66||3.33|
|Hits Per Game||7.00||6.00|
|K’s Per Game||8.67||9.67|
Seattle Mariners vs Minnesota Twins Prediction:
The Minnesota Twins have been favored in each of these 4 games against Seattle and I am honestly not sure why. I guess it is because they are the home team? While I can certainly appreciate that home teams win more games than road teams, to see the Twins favored in 4 straight games in this series doesn’t make a ton of sense.
I have Seattle penciled in as a 95+ win team this year, that should contend for a division title. The Twins are going to be a team that should hover right around .500, and they would need a lot to go right to see themselves in the postseason. If you have been following my picks this year, you will know that I was on Seattle in games 1 and 2, and cashed both bets, and after laying off on game 3 yesterday, I will again take the Mariners in game 4, as this line is hard to understand.
Seattle Mariners vs Minnesota Twins Betting Trends:
- Seattle is 13-4 SU in their last 17 games
- Seattle is 6-2 SU in their last 8 games against Minnesota
- Seattle is 9-2 SU in their last 11 games on the road
- Seattle is 4-1 SU in their last 5 games when playing on the road against Minnesota
- The total has gone UNDER in 6 of Seattle’s last 9 games played in April
- The total has gone UNDER in 9 of Minnesota’s last 13 games
- The total has gone OVER in 10 of Minnesota’s last 14 games against Seattle
- The total has gone UNDER in 8 of Minnesota’s last 10 games at home
- Minnesota is 1-4 SU in their last 5 games when playing at home against Seattle
- Minnesota is 5-15 SU in their last 20 games played in April
Dylan Bundy stinks and while the Mariners haven’t hit the cover off of the ball just yet in this series, they have dudes that can swing the bat. Jarred Kelenic and Julio Rodriguez have yet to get going and both Adam Frazier and Jesse Winker, guys that were All-Stars last year, are struggling at the dish as well. There is no better time for them all to break out than facing Dyland Bundy tonight.
Let's do this ?
— Seattle Mariners (@Mariners) April 10, 2022
Chris Flexen did not pitch well in spring training and as much as I would like to see him pitch as well this year as he did last year, he is a clear regression candidate. But even when you look at this starting pitching matchup, knowing that Flexen won’t be as good this year as he was last year, he is still clearly the better side of it when compared to Dylan Bundy.
The Mariners rarely run up the score, and they almost always make us sweat it out, but they are the side to be on in this game, and I almost can’t believe that somebody somewhere out there thinks that Dylan Bundy should be favored against a team that projects out as a playoff team this year. I am 2-0 on this series already, nailing dogs in both games, and I will look to run that record to 3-0 tonight with a play on the Seattle Mariners!