Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#917 Cleveland Indians -125 vs.
#918 Seattle Mariners 8.5
Wednesday, April 17, 2019 at 6:40pm EDT
Written by Chris Altruda

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Cleveland Indians at Seattle Mariners

When and Where: Wednesday, April 17, Safeco Field, Seattle, Wash., 6:40 p.m. EDT.

Carlos Carrasco has been hit-or-miss in his first three starts for the Indians, with the emphasis on “hit” by opponents. The 17-game winner looks to regroup Wednesday night when Cleveland tries to wrap up its nine-game road swing on a positive note as it concludes a three-game series with the Seattle Mariners.

Opponents teeing off on Carrasco

Carrasco (1-2, 12.60 ERA) has posted 36 victories since the start of the 2017 season, which trails only teammate Corey Kluber among all major league pitchers in that span. But the right-hander has gotten off to a rocky start as opposing hitters are raking him to the tune of a .440 batting average with 22 hits in his 10 innings.

Carrasco failed to make it out of the first inning Friday at Kansas City, giving up six runs and six hits while retiring just two batters in Cleveland’s 8-1 loss. Indians manager Terry Francona yanked him after just 28 pitches, and there is concern about the mental part of his game as much as the physical.

“I mean [catcher] Roberto [Perez] even mentioned, ‘I couldn’t get him to throw with conviction,’” Francona told MLB.com. “Because when he does, the break on his slider’s great and it’s good. He’s got one of the better fastballs. Again, it’s not Carlos-like and it put us behind the eight ball.”

“To be honest, in the bullpen I thought he was going to have a great day,” Perez added. “But once he got on the bump in the game it was a different Carlos. Like I said, he just didn’t look like Carlos. He lost it. … He’ll be back. We’re going to figure it out.”

For those who are optimistic, pitching in the Pacific Northwest may help Carrasco, who is 3-1 with a 4.13 ERA in four lifetime starts at Safeco Field. He has won back-to-back starts there, laboring to a win last year after giving up five runs in 5 2-3 innings of a 6-5 victory. The righty is 4-3 with a 4.10 ERA in eight career starts against the Mariners.

Jay Bruce has made the most of his hits versus Carrasco with two solo homers and a double while going 3 for 9. Ex-Indian Edwin Encarnacion has a double in seven at-bats in their matchups from his time with Cincinnati and Toronto.

Swanson set for first major league start

Erik Swanson (0-0, 9.00) will make his first major league start and second overall appearance as he takes Wade LeBlanc‘s spot in the rotation. LeBlanc was put on the injured list with a strained oblique that could sideline him at least one month, making him the third pitcher on the injured list with closer Hunter Strickland and reliever Chasen Bradford.

“Knowing that I’m coming back up here, obviously I wish it was under different circumstances,” Swanson told the Tacoma News Tribune. “But, I’m excited to be up here and help out the team for sure.”

The 25-year-old right-hander made his major league debut Thursday at Kansas City with mixed results, giving up two runs and three hits with two walks and four strikeouts in two innings of Seattle’s 7-6 victory.

“He’s got a good fastball, with some riding action on it,” manager Scott Servais told MLB.com. “He got a lot of swings and misses on it. He’s a young pitcher and has things to work on, but he had a really good outing in Spring Training against the Dodgers that stood out and I thought he threw the ball well in Kansas City the other day.”

Best Bets for this Game

Full-Game Side Bet

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Though there is a point where Carrasco will get himself together, this start does not feel like where it will take place. Between everyone — including himself — lamenting over what he lacked in his last start and a Mariners team — albeit mired in a five-game losing streak — continuing to hit the ball, the hedge is Seattle turns this into a high-scoring affair to help Swanson pick up his first win.

Prediction: Mariners +118

Full-Game Total Pick

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This line has actually come down one full run since opening at 8.5 runs, which is surprising given Carrasco’s struggles and no notable track record of dominance versus the Mariners. There has been nine or more runs in all of Carrasco’s starts, and with Swanson making his first big league start, this has the feel of a game that could go back and forth with plenty of runs.

Prediction: OVER 7.5 runs (-115)

Full-Game Prop Bet

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The hedge here is Seattle breaks its losing streak in this game, and the team did set the major league record for most consecutive games with a homer at the start of the season in Tuesday night’s loss. The Mariners did have four extra-base hits in Tuesday night’s defeat, and Carrasco’s struggles offer enough to believe they can get to him early and often.

Prediction: Mariners OVER 3.5 runs (-120)

First Five Innings Side Pick

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Carrasco’s struggles make the Mariners’ money line worth a flyer compared to taking the half-run at -135. Opponents are hitting .435 in their first go-round against the right-hander, and if Carrasco again fails to have velocity on his fastball, Seattle could quickly tee off on him.

Prediction: Mariners (+120)

First Five Innings Total Bet

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While Carrasco’s early struggles have been documented extensively, the Indians should be able to scratch out a run or two against Swanson, though he is an unknown entity. Adrenaline might get him through the first inning or two, but he has yet to face a lineup for a second time, and that is where Cleveland could take advantage.

Prediction: OVER 4 runs (-120)

First Five Innings Prop Prediction

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It is worth a flyer to pick “yes” to a first-inning run given Carrasco’s last start and Swanson making his first major league start. Mariners starters have gotten through the first inning unscathed in five of the last six games, but with a rookie starter, you never really know what you’re going to get until he’s actually throwing.

Prediction: YES to 1st-inning run (Even)

Written By Chris Altruda

A 1994 graduate of Marquette University when they were known as the Warriors and Brooklyn native, Chris Altruda is a freelance sportswriter based in Chicago. He has worked at three major U.S. wire services and also has prior experience in sports handicapping and daily fantasy roster building. Now that the Cubs have won a World Series, he holds out hope the Jets will win a Super Bowl before he dies. Can be followed on Twitter at @AlTruda73.