Robbie Ray takes the bump for the Mariners, while James Kaprielian gets the call for the Athletics.
Robbie Ray has a 3.72 ERA, which is about one run higher than what the Mariners were expecting and hoping for this year. It hasn't been a great year for the 2021 Cy Young Award winner, who dominated with the Toronto Blue Jays last season and was viewed as a potential shutdown ace for Seattle. However, as modest as his overall numbers have been, Ray — like the Mariners themselves — picked himself off the deck in June and began pitching at an elite level through August with few exceptions. Those three months gave the Mariners the rocket ship-level boost they needed to turn their season around. From June 12 through Sept. 3, Ray did pitch like an ace. His only two bad starts in that span of time came against the same opponent, the Houston Astros, just after the All-Star break. In all of his non-Houston starts over that period of nearly three whole months, Ray pitched 85 1/3 innings and allowed 13 earned runs. That's close to one run allowed every 12 innings pitched, which is truly dominant stuff.
However, Ray's ERA was almost 5.00 through June 11, before he got hot. He did get shredded twice by Houston in late July. In his last two starts, Ray has allowed nine runs in 10 innings pitched. He has shown what he can be at his best, but the Mariners need him to get back into a good rhythm before the playoffs … and of course, the Mariners still need to win a few games in these next two weeks to seal that playoff spot.
James Kaprielian has had a weird season. His ERA is 4.70. He didn't pitch for the A's in April. He joined the rotation on May 1. In three of his first four months this year — May, June, and August — his monthly ERA was over 5.50. In July, though, he caught fire and posted a 1.93 ERA for that month. He has pitched one time in September, and he pitched well against the Houston Astros — six innings, two runs allowed. It is not easy to know what to expect from a pitcher who has generally been mediocre but has had some stretches in which he has been really good.
Courtesy of FanDuel, here are the Mariners-Athletics MLB odds.
MLB Odds: Mariners-Athletics Odds
Seattle Mariners: -1.5 (-128)
Oakland Athletics: +1.5 (+106)
Over: 7.5 (+100)
Under: 7.5 (-122)
Why The Mariners Could Cover the Spread
The Mariners played a horrible baseball game on Tuesday against the A's. They crushed the Angels on Monday to snap a three-game losing streak, so it was easy to think they had righted the ship. Then they fell apart on Tuesday, as Luis Castillo lost to Oakland starter J.P. Sears for the second time in a month. The Mariners are not playing good baseball, but this team has been resilient, and one would think they will bounce back from a bad game. They're still in great position for a playoff spot and should not have trouble regrouping. Ray versus Kaprielian is a matchup solidly in their favor.
Why The Athletics Could Cover the Spread
After seeing James Kaprielian pitch well against the Astros last week, the A's have to be confident that they will get the best version of Kaprielian against the Mariners. They have seen Kaprielian pitch well, and his outing against the Astros should serve as confirmation that he is ready to regain his July form.
Also, the Mariners clearly miss injured third baseman Eugenio Suarez. He was a central engine of their offense along with Julio Rodriguez, who also recently suffered an injury but is expected to play in this game. The A's are catching the M's at the right time.
Final Mariners-Athletics Prediction & Pick
If the Mariners play consecutive terrible games against an Oakland team they have generally outplayed in recent weeks, it will be a surprise. Take the M's, but you could just sit back and stay away from this game as well.
Final Mariners-Athletics Prediction & Pick: Mariners -1.5