MLB Odds, Picks, Predictions | Mariners vs Guardians Betting Preview
Steph Chambers/Getty Images. Pictured: Ty France
- The Mariners host the Guardians in the second game of what's shaping up to be an exciting opening series.
- Seattle won a low-scoring game on Opening Day, but our expert expects more runs tonight.
- Kenny Ducey digs into the matchup and offers up his best bet below.
Guardians vs. Mariners Odds
-122 / +100
-122 / +100
After a highly-dramatic Opening Day battle, the Cleveland Guardians and Seattle Mariners will do it again in Seattle on Friday night. While the first game of the series was dominated by pitching, this matchup doesn’t really promise the same kind of level which we saw out of Shane Bieber and Luis Castillo on Thursday.
Let’s dive into the best way to bet on this fun contest between two postseason hopefuls in our Guardians vs. Mariners preview and prediction.
Who is the Guardians’ starting pitcher on Friday? Well, that’s a great question. His name is Hunter Gaddis, and before you repeat that question, I’ll give you a quick snapshot of who the Mariners are going to be dealing with here.
I’m not exaggerating when I say you could probably pick out 10 to 15 pitchers in the Guardians’ organization who you would rather have on the bump Friday than Gaddis.
The 24-year-old right-hander tried his hand in the big leagues last season, allowing an impossible 15 earned runs over just 7 1/3 innings. While that may seem like a very small sample size, he had a 4.01 ERA across Double-A and Triple-A in 2022 prior to starting his career off with a bang.
Gaddis wasn’t a particularly great pitcher at Georgia State, and while he dominated rookie ball for a brief time, he’s struggled ever since making it to A-ball. He’s really struggled with homers in his professional career, allowing 1.4 per nine in the minors prior to serving up seven in the big leagues. Yes, seven homers in 7 1/3 innings.
That seems impossible, but another concerning number is the three walks he issued in the same time. He also didn’t induce many ground balls in the minors, checking in under 30%, so there’s a good chance the home run problems persist.
Robbie Ray is a much more well-known commodity, so we don’t have to spend as much time talking about Seattle’s starter. Still, I’d like to lay out what I don’t like about him.
Ray won the Cy Young Award in 2021 behind an incredible 32.1% strikeout rate, which was his highest since he set a career-high in 2017. His season was a throwback to those Diamondbacks campaigns, but the biggest difference was that he was able to limit free passes, posting a career-best 6.7% walk rate.
As fate would have it, Ray’s strikeout rate dropped nearly five points in 2022 and, as a result, he wasn’t quite as dominant as he was in 2021. He posted a palatable 3.71 ERA and an encouraging 3.59 xERA, but his walk rate went back up to 8%. Ray once again allowed hard-hit balls at nearly a 40% clip with a 7.9% barrel rate which is also comfortably above league average.
He did induce slightly more ground balls, which is likely why his xERA wasn’t quite so high, but he’s still well short of the MLB average in that category and surely won’t have the same run of success on ground balls without the shift this year.
So, we’ve covered why I don’t really love Ray. How about the offense? Kolten Wong didn’t have a great first game for Seattle, but together with Teoscar Hernandez he should help this lineup should pack a bit heavier of a punch this season.
Ty France was the hero on Thursday night, and he is one of a few established hitters on this team to help out Julio Rodriguez with the heavy lifting. I do like the Mariners’ offense this season.
Guardians vs. Mariners Betting Pick
The Mariners should be able to attack Gaddis with five pretty solid left-handed bats on Friday night, which makes me love the offense even more. We’ve documented Gaddis’ struggles with fly balls, and Seattle has plenty of power.
On the flip side, I am lower than most on Ray. I think this is a particularly bad spot for him when you consider the backbone of the Guardians is contact hitting. They were among the best in baseball in not striking out a season ago and have returned their core, but they have the potential to be even better in 2023 with Josh Bell’s big bat in the middle of the lineup.
I’m not really sure about the bottom of this order making a ton of contact, but there are potential landmines when it comes to home runs up and down the lineup. I expect Cleveland to hit back at the plate, and on the other hand have no confidence whatsoever in Gaddis. He might not allow seven home runs on Friday, but I think he’s a safe bet to allow at least one to this strengthened Mariners offense and he should have to work his way out of trouble all night.
Pick: Over 7.5 (-122)
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