Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#917 Seattle Mariners 9 vs.
#918 Oakland A's -120
Saturday, May 25, 2019 at 4:07pm EDT
Written by Nick Raffoul

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The Seattle Mariners will travel to the Coliseum on Saturday afternoon as they prepare for the second game of their American League West series showdown versus the Oakland Athletics.

This has been an odd season in many respects for the Mariners. It started with general manager proclaiming that this would be a step-back season as the organization would use the year to retool in hopes of becoming a realistic contender in years to come. Then, the “Step-Back Mariners hit a home run in 15 straight games and opened the year 13-2, but have gone 10-27 since their hot start. Can Seattle get back on the winning track at the Coliseum on Oakland on Saturday?

Kikuchi getting sharper with time at MLB level

The 2019 Mariners might end up as one of the worst teams in franchise history. They rank near the bottom of the MLB in run differential and they are even worse in the field — on pace to set records for the most errors and worst fielding percentage in franchise history.

The Mariners will turn to left-hander Yusei Kikuchi for his 12th career MLB start on Saturday. The 27-year-old is 3-1 with a 3.43 ERA so far this season. He’s been particularly sharp as of late, winning three consecutive decisions and tossing quality starts in each of his last four outings. Kikuchi limited the AL-leading Minnesota Twins to just three runs (one earned) on five hits in six innings of work during his last start and opponents are now batting just .226 off of him.

Fiers turning season around in Oakland

The Athletics are expected to counter with veteran right-hander Mike Fiers for Game 2 against the Mariners on Saturday.  At 33 years old, Fiers is showing he still has plenty left in the tank, allowing three earned runs or less in each of his last five starts. Fiers is three starts removed from tossing his second career no-hitter and he’s racked up three quality starts over his last five outings, but he still sports an unsightly 5.05 ERA through 11 appearances.

Fiers is just one start removed from an outing against Seattle. He gave up just one earned run on two hits in five innings of work in a no-decision at Safeco Field on May 13. Fiers has had his struggles against the Mariners in the past. He made seven starts against Seattle between 2016 and 2018, finishing 2-1 with a 6.55 ERA.

According to Baseball Savant, Fiers has limited the current Mariners’ roster to a slim .202 batting average in 101 plate appearances. StatCast projects Mariners hitters for an expected batting average of .247 and an expected slugging percentage of .458 off of Fiers heading into Saturday’s matchup.

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The Mariners have dominated this series as of late, winning four straight in this series and 35 of their last 52 matchups in Oakland. However, the 2019 Mariners are a different beast and you won’t find me backing them here. Despite Fiers’ recent numbers versus the M’s, the current Mariners’ roster is hitting just .202 off of the A’s right-hander. He shut them down two starts ago and should fare well against them again in this spot. Take the A’s to come out on top in this AL West clash on Saturday.

Prediction: Oakland Athletics -130

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These two teams have gone over the projected total in eight of their last 10 meetings and four of their last five meetings in Oakland. Seattle has gone over in four of Kikuchi’s last five road starts and the over is 8-1-1 in his last 10 starts overall. Meanwhile, Oakland has gone over in seven of their last 10 AL West contests and eight of Fiers’ last nine starts following a team loss in their previous game. Take this AL West matchup go over the projected total on Saturday afternoon.

Prediction: Over 9

Written By Nick Raffoul

Shortly after graduating with an Honors in Business Administration, Nick turned his attention from traditional stocks and bonds to investing in the performance of sports teams. He uses a combination of advanced stats and historical data to create sports investment models to identify value and generate consistent profits.