Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#971 Seattle Mariners 9 vs.
#972 Oakland A's -155
Friday, May 24, 2019 at 10:07pm EDT
Written by Sporty Jordy

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When and where: May 24, 2019, Oakland Coliseum, Oakland, CA, 10:00 PM ET

After being swept in a three-game meeting with the Texas Rangers, the Seattle Mariners will face another tough divisional road series against the Oakland Athletics on Friday. Unfortunately for the Mariners, the A’s are one of the hottest teams in the American League coming off back-to-back sweeps over the Cleveland Indians and Detroit Tigers. The pitching spotlight for this AL showdown will feature Seattle’s Wade LeBlanc against Oakland’s Daniel Mengden.

Mariners get swept on the road

The speedy descent of the Mariners continued on Wednesday after they were swept on the road by the Rangers. It marked their sixth loss in seven games, and they now sit at the bottom of the AL West rankings. I’d be more inclined to acknowledge the light at the end of the tunnel—a brief point of optimism for a team slogging through a long season.

Yet, that’s impossible to do with a three-game series against the A’s on deck, followed by a rematch with the same Rangers team that swept them. There’s also the four-game series against the Houston Astros that’s not too far off. It’s safe to say that light may not be coming any time soon for the Mariners.

LeBlanc will throw on the red cape and attempt to save the day when he starts against the A’s on Friday. He is pitching with a 7.36 ERA in 18.1 innings on the mound so far this season. The hope for the Mariners is his pitching can’t get any worse than it was against the Twins last Saturday, when he gave up seven hits and seven earned runs, including four homers, in an 18-4 loss. That game alone has crippled his throwing statistics. He’ll have an opportunity to get back on track when taking on the A’s lineup on Friday.

A’s close out another perfect series

The A’s finished off a 6-0 road trip against the Indians and Tigers on Wednesday. The team’s scheduled closeout game against the Tigers was suspended due to rain. However, it has been an impressive run for the A’s after struggling through most of the early part of the season. They are finally playing with a sense of purpose and back in the contender’s category of the AL West.

A solid series showing against the Mariners, along with a couple of losses for the Texas Rangers, would propel them to second place in the division behind the Houston Astros. One has to believe the bats of Stephen Piscotty, Matt Chapman, Khris Davis and Marcus Semien will have something to say about it before the weekend is over.

On the other end, it will be the throwing arm of Mengden doing the talking. The 26-year-old righty will enter the game on Friday with a 3.65 ERA and 1.14 WHIP, which isn’t much to go on considering he’s only appeared in two games so far this season. He gave up five hits and four earned runs over the course of five-plus innings against the Indians before posting a strong outing against a vulnerable Tigers offense—three allowed hits and one earned run in seven innings on the mound.

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Both teams are heading in two completely different directions. The A’s have started their upward swing with their offense coming together more consistently, while the Mariners continue their losing freefall after a surprise start to the season. They are 13-15 on the road and coming off a disappointing series sweep against the Rangers. If not for a defensive meltdown from the Twins, they would have been swept in back-to-back meetings.

The A’s have been a scary team to deal with at the plate in recent outings. They are averaging 10.33 hits per outing in their last three games and six runs. LeBlanc has pitched well historically against the A’s, but he also hasn’t looked great this season since returning from his oblique injury. Not to mention he lacks the defense to back him up. The Mariners are entering this meeting with the most average errors per game than any team in the league.

The bats will continue to come up strong for the A’s as they add a seventh straight win to their resume. Give me the A’s to get the win and add to the Mariners’ misery.

Prediction: Oakland Athletics (-156)

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The over is 8-2 in the last 10 head-to-head meetings between the Mariners and A’s. These games tend to be high-scoring, and Friday’s meeting will be no different with LeBlanc and Mengden on the mound. LeBlanc has been shaky since returning from his abdominal injury, and Mengden is pitching a 5.89 ERA when matched with the Mariners. This is the perfect opportunity for the Mariners to put up more of an offensive fight. I like the over betting total on Friday.

Prediction: Over (9)
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Written By Jordy McElroy , "Sporty Jordy"

Born in Germany and raised in the beautiful state of Tennessee, Jordy McElroy is a storyteller of sports, a sports betting enthusiast and a semi-deep thinker. Being a New England Patriots fan means he's a six-time Super Bowl winner as well, which means you'd have to be a fool to ignore his advice. Prior to joining our team here at Winners & Whiners, Jordy’s work appeared on CNN.com, FOX Sports, Bleacher Report, USA TODAY and BJPenn.com. There are no beaches where he comes from -- just rolling hills, green valleys and all the Sun Drop you can drink.