Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#969 Minnesota Twins 9 vs.
#970 Seattle Mariners -105
Thursday, May 16, 2019 at 10:10pm EDT
Written by Sporty Jordy

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This article covers a past game!

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When and where: May 16, 2019, T-Mobile Park, Seattle, WA, 10:00 PM ET

The potentially resurging Seattle Mariners look to silence the naysayers on Thursday when they host the Minnesota Twins at T-Mobile Park. After losing four straight games, the Mariners bounced back with two straight wins over the Oakland Athletics. Meanwhile, the Twins barely scraped by the Los Angeles Angels in a three-game series. Michael Pineda is expected to get the pitching start for the Twins, while the Mariners field righty Erik Swanson.

Mariners back on the winning track

The Mariners were only ahead by one run in the seventh inning and bases were loaded in Tuesday’s game against the A’s. Mike Leake had already pitched himself out of the game in six-plus innings, and Cory Gearrin was in a bind. Cue the unexpected heroic entry of Roenis Elias to save the game for a Mariners team clearly on the brink of defeat.

“We sat down with him early and tried to simplify some things with him,” Mariners manager Scott Servais said after the game, per ESPN.com. “And we flat out told him, ‘Hey, you’re on the team, just go pitch.’ It’s amazing when guys hear that, because he’s never had that happen before. He’s taken it and has got a lot of confidence and has continued to grow. …He really saved the game for us — literally.”

Elias stepped right into the fire and struck out Chad Pinder to save the inning for the Mariners. He then went on to close out the rest of the game by retiring five total batters, while holding the A’s without a hit or a run. It was complete dominance by a pitcher that once upon a time had to be talked into believing he belonged in the big leagues.

Mitch Haniger, Daniel Vogelbach and Tim Beckham all hit homers in the game to forcibly drive in the four runs needed to win. J.P. Crawford was the other runner that came across home plate courtesy of Haniger’s home run in the 4-3 victory.

Twins hang on to beat the Angels

The Twins led comfortably late in Wednesday’s closeout game against the Angels, but some late-game drama nearly changed the narrative for the top team in the AL Central. After pulling ahead 8-4, the Twins’ bullpen got into trouble with Trevor Hildenberger once again struggling on the mound. The 28-year-old righty gave up three hits and three earned runs in the top of the ninth inning and nearly cost the Twins the game.

His disappointing outing follows a pair of bad performances against the Detroit Tigers when he gave up two runs each in back-to-back losses. The Twins wasted no time after the game in demoting him to Class AAA Rochester. If not for the early explosion of home runs by Jason Castro and Byron Buxton, the team would have been brooding over their fourth loss in six games.

“We just have a knack for hitting them, and it’s good to have,” Twins starting pitcher Jake Odorizzi said after the game, via ESPN.com. “You’re never out of a game and can get a lead. We needed every bit of that lead. It’s going to be a good year watching these guys keep progressing through these at bats.”

Odorizzi finished on the mound with two strikeouts in five-plus innings, while allowing nine hits and three earned runs.

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After losing a three-game series at home to the Detroit Tigers, the Twins struggled once again when facing the Angels. Both wins were decided by one run, and they could have easily gone the other way. I know the cool thing to do right now is pointing the finger at Hildenberger for all of the Twins’ recent issues on defense, but some of those slip-ups go beyond one reliever. Besides, Hildenberger wasn’t even on the mound when they got beat in the series opener by the Angels.

And there will be no one to blame on Thursday when they drop the series opener on the road against the Mariners.

Well, maybe people might start throwing Michael Pineda under the bus considering how poorly he pitched in the last head-to-head meeting. The 30-year-old MLB veteran threw an 8.44 ERA and allowed seven hits and five earned runs in five-plus innings on the mound, which means he could be in a world of trouble against a Mariners team that is back to hitting the ball well.

There is also the question of what the Twins will do if the home runs don’t come. The homer-or-bust conversation will grow even more after they deliver a dud of a performance on the road at T-Mobile Park. Give me the Mariners on Thursday.

Prediction: Seattle Mariners (+107)

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The over is 6-1-1 in the Mariners’ last eight games played at home. Despite an ugly skid, the Mariners have seemingly found new life to propel them to back-to-back wins over the A’s. They’re hitting the ball much better on offense, and they’ll be able to properly feast on Pineda, who has been up-and-down all season. The home runs won’t come in this game for the Twins, but they’ll still be able to stay competitive on offense when facing struggling starter Erik Swanson on the mound. I like the over betting total in this game.

Prediction: Over (9.5)

Written By Jordy McElroy , "Sporty Jordy"

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