The Seattle Mariners travel to Oakland on Friday for a three-game series with the A's. The Mariners are in the heat of the American League playoff race and currently hold one of the three Wild Card slots in the American League playoffs. The Oakland A's, on the other hand, are in another race at the moment, the race for the fist pick in the 2023 MLB Draft. Oakland is in last place in the AL West and currently holds the 2nd worst record in all of baseball. The pitching matchup for Friday night's opener will feature lefty Marco Gonzalez (7-12, 4.18) of the Mariners taking on fellow left-hander Cole Irvin (6-10, 3.13) of the A's. First pitch is scheduled for 9:40pm EST.
Mariners on the MoveThe Mariners come into this series once again playing the kind of baseball that got them right back into the playoff picture prior to the All-Star break. The Mariners are 7-3 in their last ten games and come off of a three-game sweep of the Angels, giving them their third series win in four tries. On Wednesday night in the series finale against the Angels, the Mariners out-slugged the Angels 11-7. Cal Raleigh had his first career multi-home run game and Eugenio Suárez and Jesse Winker each hit a two-run shot as the Mariners completed the sweep of the Angels. For the series, the Mariners scored 25 runs compared with just nine for the Angels. Seattle is now 65-54 on the season.
no days off for good vibes pic.twitter.com/e37USqQYlg— Seattle Mariners (@Mariners) August 18, 2022
The Mariners seem to be regaining the form that made them one of the hottest teams in baseball in July. Now 11 games over .500, the Mariners are showing the power hitting and power pitching that made them such a threat just a month ago. The Mariners scored 25 times in the three wins over the Angels and hit six home runs while batting .255. On the mound, the Mariners had a 3.67 ERA in the series and struck out 37 Angels' hitters in the three-game sweep. Taking his turn on the mound on Friday night will be left-hander Marco Gonzales. Gonzales has an ERA of 6.52 in his last five games and is 2-3 in that span giving up 39 hits in just 29 innings worth of work. Gonzales is 2-1 in three starts against Oakland this season with a 4.42 ERA including 21 hits in 18 innings worth of work.
Oakland's Offense is OffensiveThe Oakland A's continue to put up pedestrian numbers at the plate in a season that is quickly looking like one to forget for this proud franchise. Oakland comes into this series in last place in the AL West division and threatens the Washington Nationals for the worst record in baseball. After scoring just two runs per game in their last seven games heading into game two of a four-game set with Texas, the Oakland bats came alive to pound out 12 runs over the next two games; a 5-1 win and a 7-2 win. On Thursday afternoon in the series finale, the A's offense turned back into a pumpkin as they were walloped by the Rangers 10-3. Oakland was held to just five hits in the loss with one being a solo home run by second baseman Sheldon Neuse, driving in two of the three runs.
Shea Langeliers.— Oakland A's (@Athletics) August 18, 2022
That's the tweet. pic.twitter.com/D8Zhzuv330
Oakland's Sean Murphy has been one of the bright spots of an offense that has been, at best, lackluster this season. Murphy pounded out three home runs in the two-straight wins over the Rangers to push him to second on the team with 16 home runs and he leads the team in RBI with 52. One player that will not be producing any longer for the A's is SS Elvis Andrus. Andrus was released on Wednesday night as the team continues to rebuild with young players. The veteran was the third Oakland player released in recent weeks along with long-time A's stalwart Jed Lowrie and Stephen Piscotty. The A's continue to lean towards younger players as they try to sort out the team's future. One part of the A's future appears to be Friday night's starter Cole Irvin. Irvin leads the team in starts, quality starts, innings pitched and ERA as one of the only remaining holdovers from last season's stellar starting five. In his last five starts, Irvin is 2-3 with a solid 2.91 ERA. He has given up 26 hits in 34 innings pitched while striking out 23 batters. Irvin has yet to face the Mariners this season.
Best Bets for this Game
Full-Game Side Bet
The Mariners are just 12-17 against left-handed pitching this season while Irvin has a 2.93 ERA over the course of his last five games. At home this season, Irvin has an outstanding 1.66 ERA. He has shown the ability to use the spacious dimensions of the ballpark, particularly foul territory, to his advantage. The Mariners have yet to lose in Oakland this season, at 3-0, but have also not faced Irvin yet. In addition, Gonzales has not exactly been lights out this year against Oakland, allowing 21 hits in 18 innings of work. I like the A's to pull off the upset in this game with a generous money line.
Take the A's with the money line.
Full-Game Total Pick
The A's have one of the worst offenses in baseball and this game will be played in one of the most pitcher-friendly parks in baseball. Irvin's ERA is outstanding at home this season and I expect that to continue in this spot as well. Even though Gonzales has given up his share of runs to the A's this year, the releasing of several key veterans has left the Oakland lineup full of holes. Oakland is 4-5-1 to the under in their last ten games and the Mariners have a hard time with left-handed pitchers. Expect a tightly played, low scoring game.
Take the under, 7.5 runs.