The Seattle Mariners find themselves in the AL playoff picture following six straight wins, and will seek to keep their momentum going in Tuesday's showdown with the San Francisco Giants.
Instead of fading into obscurity, Seattle has roared back and now trails Houston by only two games for second in the AL West. The top two finishers in each division earn postseason berths, so the Mariners are within striking distance thanks, too, in part to the Astros' five-game slide.
Below is the remainder of abe Insights' betting preview for this interleague showcase, with the best odds available upon publication, analysis of the key betting lines, advanced stats to incorporate to your wagering strategy and further information.
Date: Tuesday, September 8
Time: 9:45 p.m. ET
TV: MLB Network
Implied Probabilities: Mariners 41%; Giants 60%
Spread: SEA +1.5 (-150); SF -1.5 (+130)
Moneyline: SEA +142; SF -152
Tonight's pitching matchup features two talented young arms. Logan Webb is set to trot out to the mound first for the hosts. He's only making his 17th big-league start amid his second season, and it's an ongoing adjustment for the 23-year-old. He's logged a 4.71 ERA and 2-3 record in eight 2020 starts.
Ljay Newsome will take the hill for the M's, and in two prior MLB appearances versus elite batting orders, he's held his own. Against the Dodgers and Padres respectively, Newsome managed to yield only two runs in seven innings.
43.2 vs. 37.9: Speaking of the Dodgers and Padres, San Francisco ranks third only to those lineups in hard hit percentage, whereas Tuesday's visitors check in at 22nd in MLB.
.338 vs. .304: In another telling offensive category, weighted on-base average, the Giants have a big edge over Seattle, ranking sixth in all of baseball. The Mariners place just 24th out of 30 teams, as even during their hot streak, defense and clutch hitting have comprised the winning formula.
5.68 vs. 5.49: Here's where this meeting gets really interesting. Seattle and San Francisco relievers have the two worst Expected Fielding Independent Pitching ratings in the league. To overcome their road woes (8-14 away record) and win, the Mariners will likely need a strong start from Newsome, timely hitting against the Giants' pen, or both.
Newsome strictly relies on a three-pitch arsenal of a fastball, changeup and slider. There's a decent seven mph drop-off from his heater to the change, but what makes Newsome especially tough is that his slider travels at only a 77.7 mph average on the radar gun, per FanGraphs.
As opposing teams continue to flesh out scouting reports on Newsome, it'll be a point of emphasis to get a bead on his situational splits for those pitches. For the time being, the sheer dynamic contrast in velocity should help the promising right-hander keep fooling hitters.
The question is, will Newsome gain confidence from his solid work versus the Dodgers and San Diego? Or will the Giants have studied up to see how he attacked their NL West nemeses, and pounce on the inexperienced youngster? After all, they're not far removed from plating 23 runs against Colorado.
That's essentially what bettors are going to chiefly factor in. It appears Seattle has the edge at least on paper, making a first five inning prop appealing in the Mariners' favor. Once the bullpen reinforcements hit for both clubs, though, look out! There could be a flurry of runs late.
To be fair to Webb, he hasn't had an easy road in 2020. He faced the Rockies in Denver twice. Another couple of his starts came against the Dodgers. Webb also ran into a buzzsaw when he faced the A's, who were finishing a stretch of 13 wins in 15 games. It's possible the Giants pitcher fares better in a more favorable matchup this evening.
Oddsmakers seem to think the Mariners will continue to not travel well, and that their inferior hitting won't get the job done against the more productive Giants lineup. Those factors and sentiment bias should drive more action on San Francisco's spread and moneyline.
Tuesday's run total is a tricky one, as it's hovering around MLB standard as of this writing. Between how bad these bullpens are and the starting pitchers' collective inexperience, however, wagers are more likely to skew toward the Over.
Note: Odds current as of 1:50 p.m. ET on Tuesday, September 8.
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