MLB odds: Mariners vs. Rays prediction, odds, pick, and more – 8/2/2021
The Mariners are on a bit of a cold streak, dropping both of their last two series’. Things won’t get any easier for them here, as they have to face the streaking Rays in Tampa Bay. The Rays just pulled off a sweep of the Boston Red Sox, which pushed the Rays into first place in the AL East. Tampa Bay has a great chance to start building that division lead in this series, but Seattle would love to play spoiler to their plans.
Here’s how the bookmakers have set the lines for Monday night’s game.
MLB Odds: Mariners-Rays Odds
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Seattle Mariners +1 1/2 (-108)
Tampa Bay Rays -1 1/2 -(112)
Over 9 runs (-113)
Under 9 runs (-107)
Why The Mariners Could Cover The Spread
Seattle’s offense hasn’t been anything to write home about this year, but they should be able to find some success against opposing pitcher Michael Wacha. Wacha owns a 4.79 ERA and a 1.30 WHIP on the season, with both of those numbers getting worse over his last seven starts.
However, Wacha’s advanced stats are much more concerning than his ERA and WHIP. The righty allows a 9.9% barrel percentage and a 42.9% hard hit percentage. Both are extremely high numbers, and when paired with Wacha’s low whiff rate, he suddenly seems very hittable for any team. The Mariners aren’t the best power-hitting team, but they have five hitters with a barrel percentage over 9.4%. This offense should cause some trouble for Wacha before the Tampa Bay bullpen gets involved.
Seattle’s pitching situation is much better than Tampa Bay’s in this matchup. The Mariners will send Chris Flexen to the mound to open the series. Flexen has been good all year, with his numbers getting even better in his last seven starts. He’s posted a 3.29 ERA and a 1.20 WHIP in that span. Helping Flexen is the fact the Rays are a slightly worse offense when they play at home. Tampa Bay sees a drop in their batting average, slugging percentage, and OPS whenever they play at Tropicana Field.
Why The Rays Could Cover The Spread
Tampa Bay’s offense isn’t among the MLB’s best, but they’ve been on a bit of a hot streak lately. The Rays have scored more than five runs in three of their last four games, all of which ended in wins. Continuing the hot streak at the plate is certainly possible against Flexen.
The Rays hit right-handed pitching better than they do left-handed pitching. Tampa sees a boost to their batting average, OBP, OPS, and slugging percentage against righties. Flexen has also had his fair share of struggles when pitching on the road. Flexen’s ERA at home is 2.67, but that skyrockets to 5.92 whenever he pitches on the road. This streaking Rays offense should be able to put up plenty of runs on Flexen.
The Rays are also a very patient offense, drawing the seventh-most walks in the MLB. This could be trouble for Flexen, as he only produces a whiff rate of 18.1%. If Flexen can’t get these Tampa Bay hitters to chase, he’ll be forced to come inside the zone far more than he’s comfortable with. That’s where the Rays can exploit Flexen’s weakness and get plenty of pitches to hit.
Final Mariners-Rays Prediction & Pick
This is a tough pick, but the Mariners should cover. They have a pretty good matchup against Wacha and one of their best pitchers on the mound. The Rays will probably win this game, but it should be close enough for Seattle to pull off a cover.
FINAL PICK: Seattle Mariners +1 1/2 (-108)