By: Jack O’Keefe
You want to know how to get a team charged up offensively? Talk about how atrocious their offense is multiple times in a preview. The Seattle Mariners are sticking it to me by throwing up runs galore on my beloved A’s. That is okay, I will go to my grave with the mindset that the 2021 Seattle Mariners are horrendous on offense. The Mariners will turn to Robert Dugger to close it out and scoop up their first series sweep of an opponent since the Texas Rangers last September. James Kaprielian will get the ball for Oakland, as they try to salvage one at home against Seattle. What can we expect in this afternoon affair? Read below to find out!
Money Line: SEA +148, OAK -175
Run Line: SEA +1.5 (-148), OAK -1.5 (+115)
Total: 8.5 (O -120, U -103)
First Pitch: 2:37 PM CST, Oakland Coliseum, Oakland, CA
Seattle Mariners (23-26)
The Mariners chalked up four runs on the board for a second consecutive day, which was just enough runs for another win. I said yesterday that it was going to be a low scoring game, which proved to be true, I just was not expecting the Mariners to come out on top. The Mariners started the scoring early, as they tagged Cole Irvin for two runs in the first inning, thanks to an RBI single off the bats of Ty France and JP Crawford. Tom Murphy pushed the Mariners back on top with an RBI double in the fourth inning, and Jarred Kelenic picked up an RBI later on that same half-inning. The Mariners had a great opportunity to really open the flood gates in the fifth inning, but Tom Murphy flew out to right field with bases loaded to end the rally. From the sixth inning on, the Mariners only mustered one hit.
The Mariners bullpen did quite a job holding things down after Logan Gilbert departed from the game. Gilbert only lasted four innings, where he allowed four hits and two runs to Oakland. It was, for all intents and purposes, his best start in his young professional career. Well done! You would have liked to see him go just one more inning if you are a Mariners fan, just so he can be eligible for a win. An overall win though is more important, which I am sure Gilbert is more concerned with than his own individual accolades at this point in his career. Paul Sewald was first out of the bullpen for Scott Servais’ club, where he pitched two innings and allowed just one hit. Rafael Montero closed it out down the stretch, notching his sixth save of the season.
The Mariners will turn to another youngster this afternoon, Robert Dugger. The Arizona native has primarily been used out of the bullpen this season for Seattle, so look for him to only pitch two or three innings this afternoon. In his previous start this season, Dugger and the Mariners were able to pull out a 3-2 win over Shane Bieber and the Cleveland Indians. Dugger went three innings that day, holding the Indians hitless and picking up four punchouts along the way. Dugger was roughed up in his previous outing in a mop-up-role against the San Diego Padres last Sunday. The young right-hander was tagged for three runs on two hits in the lone inning he pitched.
Oakland Athletics (28-22)
The offense showed sparks of promise early on last night, as the A’s were able to pull even against the Mariners in the bottom of the second inning. From the second inning on though, the A’s were held in check. Jed Lowrie opened the scoring with an RBI double in the second inning. Later on that inning, Tony Kemp picked up an RBI single with two outs, which even the score at 2-2. Ramon Laureano came around to score on a wild pitch in the eight inning. The A’s had a golden opportunity to tie the game in the bottom of the ninth, but a sharp ground out to the pitcher off the bat of Seth Brown squandered ducks on the pond. Oakland was a less than stellar 2-for-10 with runners in scoring position last night. The A’s losing streak has hit three games now, as a result of the 4-3 loss on Tuesday night. No reason to fear though, every team hits a rough patch at some point in the season. For the A’s, they really have not had a rough patch since the first week of April, after opening the season 0-6. This team is a playoff caliber team, even if the results have been a little lousy as of late.
Perhaps teams are starting to catch on to Mr. Cole Irvin these days. For a second consecutive outing, the southpaw was touched up by the opposition. The Mariners were able to knock an eye-popping 10 hits off Irvin, while scoring four runs on those 10 hits. In his last four starts for Oakland, Irvin has pitched 23.1 innings, allowing 13 earned runs in that span (5.01 ERA). He could be tipping pitches, or just simply put, he has been “figured out” by opposing hitters. In either case, adjustments need to be made accordingly, otherwise Irvin will be out of the rotation once again.
As Irvin’s stock has been dropping, Kaprielian’s stock has been rising. In his last outing against the Angels, James Kaprielian went 5.2 innings, holding the Halos to four hits and two earned runs. He picked up nine punchies along the way as well. I am still not totally sold on Kaprielian being “the real deal” yet, I need to see a few more quality starts from him before I drink the juice on him. If he can go another five innings this afternoon allowing the Mariners to just one or two runs, I think Bob Melvin will gladly take that.
Analysis and Prediction:
I think it is four in a row I have lost here, so I am going to take a gander at the prop bets to see if that can get me back on the winning ways. Both games have seen offensive attacks early on, only to have there be a stand still of runs through the middle parts of the ball game. I think we can expect to see something similar today, especially with two pitchers who are by no means what I would call dominant. On the season, both teams have not been “fast out of the gate” (OAK 1.96 runs in first four innings; SEA 1.61 runs in first four innings), but I have to side with what has been happening as of late. There is not a ton of value with this pick, but I think it is one that should be locked in for the best bet today. I am going to roll with the O2.5 runs for the first three innings of the contest this afternoon as my best bet.
Jack’s 2021 MLB picks: (10-13)