MLB Odds - Fade Seattle Mariners In Final 40 Games

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TwinSpires Staff

August 14th, 2018

by Fairway Jay
The Seattle Mariners (69-51) completed a surprising 4-game sweep Sunday at Houston, handing the world champs and AL West-leading Astros their eighth straight home defeat. Edwin Diaz closed each game with a save, allowing just one run in four innings to register his league-leading 46thsave on Sunday. The Mariners furious 5-run rally in the 8thand 9thinnings Monday at Oakland came up just short in a 7-6 defeat, but Seattle has positioned themselves back in the AL West and wild card race sitting 4.5 games behind Houston and just 2.5 games behind the Oakland A’s for the second and final wild card playoff spot.

"Seattle could be one of the few that misses out on the playoffs should they win at least 87 games, as the American League has some strong teams led by record-breaking Boston..."

Seattle has 42 games remaining including two more key games with Oakland this week. The Mariners have been a profit-producer for their betting backers this season too with more than 13-units of profit to rank top-5 in major league baseball. But the numbers and record don’t add up when analyzing run differential, and their chances of success look less likely upon schedule evaluation the remainder of the season.

Should Seattle finish the season playing .500 baseball and go 21-21, the Mariners would finish 90-72. That would be a very sold season for a Seattle team that was projected by most sports books to win closer to 80 games. Seattle’s over/under season win total was 81.5. Fangraphs released its ZiPS projections for the Mariners in January, and those computer-based projections suggested 83 wins with 4.52 runs scored per game and 4.41 runs against per game.

Now with 42 games remaining, the Seattle Mariners are batting .257 to rank No. 3 in the American League, and they have scored 505 runs (4.21/game). Seattle’s pitching staff has a 4.14 ERA (bullpen 3.98) and the Mariners have allowed 528 runs (4.40/game). So the Mariners are 18-games over .500 yet have scored less runs than they have allowed for a run differential of -23. That should not correlate to a winning record or certainly one that is close to 20 games over .500.

In projecting playoff participation, 87 wins is the benchmark. Since the two wild card format was put into place for the 2012 season, there has been 63 teams win at least 87 games and 59 of those teams made the playoffs. Seattle could be one of the few that misses out on the playoffs should they win at least 87 games, as the American League has some strong teams led by record-breaking Boston (85-35) and six teams projected to win at least 90 games.

But I’m projecting a fade down the stretch by Seattle, as their schedule alone suggests regression. After completing the series with the A’s, the Seattle Mariners play six home games against the LA Dodgers and Houston Astros; both top teams again after each made the World Series last year. Three road games at NL West-leading Arizona follows, and then two games at NL West bottom team San Diego before completing the road trip at Oakland. Then Baltimore, the NY Yankees and San Diego follow at home and a tough final 10-game road trip against division foes follows at LA Angles, Houston and Texas. It’s more likely than not that Seattle is out of even the wild card chase by then, but if they have any shot, then the final seven games are at home against the A’s and Rangers.

Must give Seattle credit for a solid season and especially the 4-game sweep of Houston to get back in the AL division and wild card race. Solid seasons by Nelson Cruz, Mitch Haniger and Jean Sugura have paced the offense while All-Star pitcher James Paxson has been superb as a starter and Edwin Diaz the shutdown closer. But while Marco Gonzales has emerged as a dependable starter and now throwing by far the most innings of his 4-year career, King Felix has been bottoming out with a 14 year career-worst 5.71 ERA. Regression has been building for Hernandez in recent seasons as the innings have taken its toll on one of the games dominant pitchers for more than a decade. I don’t see the starters holding up to keep Seattle competitive, and more innings will tax the bullpen.

MLB Odds and Picks - Play against the Seattle Mariners to make money down the season’s closing stretch.