James Kaprielian goes to the mound for the Athletics, while Robbie Ray takes the rubber for the Mariners.
James Kaprielian has a 4.43 ERA, but in September, he was a very good pitcher, posting a 2.37 ERA. Has Kaprielian figured something out after a season marked by a lot of struggles? The reality surrounding the A's is that while their hitting and their bullpen have been atrocious, most of their starting pitchers have shown promise and potential at various stages of the 2022 season. As Kaprielian ends his 2022 journey in this game — this will be his last appearance of the season — he has ample reason to want to end his year on a high note and set the stage for 2023.
Robbie Ray stumbled in the early third of the season, encompassing April and May. The former Toronto Blue Jay was laboring and scuffling at the same time the Mariners tumbled well under the .500 mark in the spring. After the first week of June, Ray carried a 4.97 ERA. It was easy to question if his Cy Young season was a fluke. In mid-June, Ray was able to figure out his problems. He roared through his next four starts, giving up just two runs in 27 innings pitched. Ray's ERA is now 3.58. The full season wasn't great, and Ray did have a couple of mediocre starts in early September, but his last two outings have been solid. He has, on balance, given the Mariners most of what they needed in a historic playoff season for the franchise, which has snapped its 21-year postseason drought.
Courtesy of FanDuel, here are the Athletics-Mariners MLB odds.
MLB Odds: Athletics-Mariners Odds
Oakland Athletics: +1.5 (+108)
Seattle Mariners: -1.5 (-130)
Over: 7 (-112)
Under: 7 (-108)
Why The Athletics Could Cover the Spread
The A's are still getting decent pitching, and the Mariners' bats have not exploded in this weekend series. Oakland has beaten Jacob deGrom of the Mets and split a four-game series with the Yankees over the past month and a half. This team isn't good, but it has never quit. The A's are going to play a tough ballgame. If they can get a big hit in the early innings, they'll cover the spread.
Why The Mariners Could Cover the Spread
After the first two months of the season, Robbie Ray looked like a complete bust. In the past four months of the season, Ray looked like a Cy Young Award winner. This is the guy the M's always hoped they would have on the mound. Ray was unable to strand runners in tight situations in April and May, but in early June, he began to pitch out of jams and also reduce the frequency of difficult situations. He got on top of hitters and got ahead a lot more in counts. He was fundamentally able to get hitters off balance and mix his pitches the way he wanted to. A previously elusive rhythm returned. Against the A's, Ray should be able to go at least six innings and give up no more than two runs, which — against James Kaprielian — should be more than enough to win. Keep in mind that Ray is pitching in his final tune-up before the American League Wild Card Series this coming weekend. Ray is likely to pitch on Saturday in Game 2 of that series, so he has a lot of incentive to pitch well here, even though the Mariners have already clinched a playoff spot. Seattle is also trying to catch the Toronto Blue Jays, Ray's former team, for home-field advantage in the wild card series.
Final Athletics-Mariners Prediction & Pick
The Mariners still have incentive to win and play well, while the tired A's seem to have lost juice at the plate and are playing out the string.
Final Athletics-Mariners Prediction & Pick: Mariners -1.5