The Seattle Mariners take on the Oakland Athletics. Check out our MLB odds series for our Mariners Athletics prediction and pick.
Luis Castillo takes the bump for the Mariners, while J.P. Sears gets the call for the Athletics.
Luis Castillo was dominant in his most recent start on Sept. 14 against the San Diego Padres, Juan Soto, Josh Bell, and Brandon Drury. He blanked the Padres in six strong innings, striking out nine hitters with electric stuff. Castillo throws hard, but what sets him apart from a lot of other pitchers is that he gets a lot of late movement on his fastball. He gets the ball to run away from the hitter, particularly against lefties with the ball running to the outside corner or just a few inches away from it. Castillo does something any elite pitcher is able to do on a consistent basis: He gets hitters to chase pitches out of the strike zone, often with the side-to-side run but sometimes with a rising fastball which is just above the top of the strike zone. When Castillo is on, his fastball becomes very hard to touch, and it sets up everything else he wants to do when he is on the mound.
J.P. Sears pitched well as a New York Yankee, pressed into service as a spot starter. He is not an overpowering pitcher, but when he is doing well, he gets great location and changes speeds to put hitters off balance. Through his first 12 appearances of the season, Sears had a 2.37 ERA. After being traded from the Yankees to the A’s in the deal which sent Frankie Montas to New York, Sears posted a 2.53 ERA in the month of August. He delivered another very strong start on Sept. 2 against the Orioles, going six innings and allowing just two runs. However, in his last two starts, he has been tagged for 11 runs in six innings. Did hitters see something in their study of him? Has Sears simply lost command? It will be fascinating to see how he responds here.
One very interesting note: Sears defeated Castillo and the Mariners on Aug. 21 in Oakland, 5-3. Sears gave up just one run in five innings versus the M’s.
Courtesy of FanDuel, here are the Mariners-Athletics MLB odds.
MLB Odds: Mariners-Athletics Odds
Seattle Mariners: -1.5 (-125)
Oakland Athletics: +1.5 (+104)
Over: 7 (+100)
Under: 7 (-122)
Why The Mariners Could Cover the Spread
The Mariners lost three straight games against the Angels over the weekend in Anaheim, and then bounced back on Monday with a strong 9-1 win in which the bats woke up. Carlos Santana hit a grand slam and Ty France smashed a three-run homer to give the M’s the offense and the big swats they count on. When the Mariners are hitting multi-run homers, they get their ideal offensive game plan. They don’t manufacture tons of runs. They need the long ball to supplement their pitching. Eugenio Suarez is injured, but with Santana and France hitting bombs, this is still a good team which can make noise in the playoffs.
Oh, and Luis Castillo is pitching. That’s the best reason to take the M’s over the A’s.
Why The Athletics Could Cover the Spread
After two bad outings, J.P. Sears — who is a smart and resourceful pitcher, as shown by his first 12 appearances this season — has the ability to bounce back, reset, and correct his flaws. He has already beaten Luis Castillo once in Oakland this season. He can do so again, enabling the A’s to get a good start in this series versus Seattle. Oakland won the series the last time it hosted the Mariners. The A’s are not a good team, but they have shown they can be feisty. Their series win over the Mariners is one example. Their four-game split with the Yankees earlier in the season is another example.
Final Mariners-Athletics Prediction & Pick
If J.P. Sears beats Luis Castillo twice in the span of one month, it will be a very improbable occurrence. The smart money should go to the Mariners.
Final Mariners-Athletics Prediction & Pick: Mariners -1.5