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MLB odds: Mariners vs. Athletics prediction, odds, pick, and more – 8/23/2021

Mariners, Athletics, MLB, odds, pick, betting, prediction

The Oakland Athletics and Seattle Mariners meet on Monday night to start a series that has serious playoff implications. It’s time to continue our MLB odds series and make a Mariners-Athletics prediction and pick.

Oakland currently stands at 70-55 and is 35-27 at home. If you put $100 on every single Athletics game so far this season, you’d be up $304 on the money line.

Seattle currently stands at 67-58 and is 30-33 away from T-Mobile Park. If you put $100 on every single Mariners game so far this season, you’d be up $2,402 on the money line.

Here’s how sportsbooks have set the Mariners-Athletics odds.

MLB Odds: Mariners-Athletics Odds

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Oakland Athletics ML (-130)

Seattle Mariners ML (+120)

Over 8.5 Runs (-120)

Under 8.5 Runs (+100)

Why The Mariners Could Win This Game

The Mariners have been a hot team of late, winning eight of their last eleven. They’re coming off an electric victory over the Houston Astros in extra innings that cut into Houston’s AL West lead.

Seattle has been surprisingly carried by their bats of late. In their last five wins, they’ve scored 30 runs, a rare sight for this offense. Tonight, they get a shot at Paul Blackburn, who has been hittable his entire career.

Blackburn has only started one game this year and pitched 5.1 innings while giving up three earned. In 2020, he only pitched one game and gave up seven earned in 2.1 innings. In 2019, he gave up three home runs in just 11.0 innings of work.

The endpoint is, Blackburn has struggled to pitch clean innings over the last three years. Now he runs into a Mariners offense that has hit eight homers in their last five games. Seattle has a shot of chasing him early.

On the mound, the Mariner have their hottest arm facing the A’s in Marco Gonzales. The lefty has been absolutely lights out in the month of August, pitching to a minuscule 0.67 ERA in four starts.

Gonzales has essentially been perfect of late. He hasn’t walked guys (four free passes in 27.0 innings) he hasn’t allowed the long ball (one homer over the same span) and his strikeout pitch has been working (21 K’s).

Considering the A’s are averaging under three runs per game in their last seven matchups, we could see Oakland’s bats quieted again.

Why The Athletics Could Win This Game

While they are coming off two brutal losses to the Giants, there is some silver lining in the Athletics’ recent play.

Oakland is 5-0 on the run line in their last five games, playing the best team in the league down to the wire twice and getting a win in the first matchup. With a little better bullpen execution, the Athletics could’ve actually swept the Giants.

Now, the A’s will rely on Paul Blackburn to help them bounce back at home. Blackburn’s numbers aren’t pretty, but he probably did more than the A’s expected in his last outing, a spot start against the Chicago White Sox.

Blackburn just needs to give Oakland a non-catastrophic outing, and they have a shot at winning this. Another five-inning, three earned outing means the A’s ‘pen, with the eighth-lowest ERA and fifth-lowest WHIP, only has to handle a Mariners offense that has been poor all year for a few innings.

It’s doubtful Blackburn gets through this outing untouched, but Oakland’s bats should be able to at least keep up against Marco Gonzales.

Gonzales has been great of late, but we’ve seen what type of pitcher he really is throughout the first half of the season. In the first three months of the year, Gonzales gave up 17 homers over 67 innings, walked 26 batters, and held an ERA just south of 5.50. All of this occurred while pitching in a stadium known for being flyball friendly in Seattle.

In 9.2 innings against Gonzales this year, the A’s have hit two homers and scratched across three runs. It’s doubtful the lefty escapes damage-free.

Final Mariners-Athletics Prediction & Pick

Marco Gonzales is a fly ball pitcher who gets the chance to pitch in RingCentral Coliseum, which is notoriously helpful for pitchers of Gonzales ability. The Mariners have a dominant pitching upper hand tonight, are coming off the high of a massive comeback win, and face a team that was crushed in back-to-back games with heartbreaking losses. I’ll back the Mariners tonight to continue their roll.