Mariners Host Athletics in Opener of Can’t-Lose Series
Both the Seattle Mariners and Oakland Athletics are alive in the American League Wild Card race as they get set to begin a three-game series against one another on Monday night in Seattle.
Of course, the race is so tight that neither team can afford to lose games right now, as both are playing catch-up with the teams from the AL East. It’s also worth noting that the Mariners swept a four-game series in Oakland last week.
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Betting Odds & Betting Lines
According to BetUS, the betting lines are tight, with Seattle’s moneyline at -107 and Oakland’s moneyline at -103. BetOnline has similar but different betting odds, with Seattle at -109 and Oakland’s moneyline set at -101. For those interested in totals betting, both sites have the over/under for the game set at 8.5 runs.
The Mariners aren’t ready to give up hopes of making the playoffs. Thanks to last week’s four-game sweep of the Athletics, the Mariners have won eight of their last ten games, bringing them within two games of the Red Sox for the second Wild Card spot in the American League. Seattle also has an outside chance of winning the AL West if the Astros continue to spiral.
The A’s are in a similar position, although they have one game behind the Mariners in the standings, making them three games behind Boston. Obviously, they have less margin for error than Seattle.
However, the A’s spent the weekend sweeping the Astros and have won their last eight games played against teams that aren’t the Mariners.
Lefty Cole Irvin will get the start for Oakland on Monday. Over 30 starts this season, Irvin is 10-14 with a 3.99 ERA, solidifying a spot in the rotation in his first season with the A’s.
However, he has a 5.75 ERA in September and took a loss when he faced the Mariners last week, yielding three runs on seven hits over five innings.
As for the Mariners, they’ve been better offensively lately but aren’t exactly setting the world on fire. They are averaging a modest 4.5 runs per game over their last ten games despite going 8-2 during that stretch.
Nobody in Seattle’s lineup is particularly hot at the moment, although the Mariners are getting steady production from most of the lineup, including key figures like Mitch Haniger and Kyle Seager.
Seattle will send surprising ace Chris Flexen to the mound on Monday with the hope of getting two more starts out of him this season. Over his first 29 starts, Flexen is 13-6 with a 3.56 ERA, giving him an outside chance of winning 15 games this year.
Despite a couple of uneven starts against the diamondbacks earlier this month, Flexen has bounced back nicely over his last two starts, yielding just two runs over 12.2 innings.
The A’s scored just one run on three hits over seven innings when they faced Flexen last week, so they can’t be thrilled about facing him again.
The A’s exploded for 14 runs in Friday’s win over the Astros but have scored just 16 total runs over their previous six games outside of that game. Outside of Starling Marte and some power from Matt Olson, the heart of Oakland’s lineup has sputtered down the stretch.
Stick with Seattle
It’s hard to believe that Seattle’s stretch of eight wins in 10 games, including a sweep of the A’s last week, is a fluke. They are playing great baseball down the stretch and have their best starting pitcher on the mound Monday night.
In a game that’s a virtual toss-up from a betting perspective, bet on the Mariners to beat the A’s on Monday.