Mariners vs Blue Jays Odds, Pick Today | MLB Predictions

Mariners vs Blue Jays Odds, Pick Today | MLB Predictions article feature image

(Photo by Alika Jenner/Getty Images) Pictured: Luis Castillo

  • MLB betting expert Kenny Ducey digs into the Mariners vs Blue Jays odds, then provides a betting pick.

Mariners vs. Blue Jays Odds, Pick

Monday, April 8
7:07 p.m. ET
Mariners Odds
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Blue Jays Odds
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Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute MLB odds here.

The Seattle Mariners and Toronto Blue Jays are both 4-6 and searching for offense anywhere they can find it after the first two weeks of the season.

A duel between Luis Castillo and Jose Berrios doesn't exactly seem to be the friendliest spot for two struggling offenses, but given what we've seen to this point, might there be hope here for either lineup?

Let's dig further into this matchup and make a Mariners vs. Blue Jays pick.

Check out our MLB Betting Hub for more previews from today's slate.

Seattle Mariners

Castillo, just months removed from finishing fifth in AL Cy Young Award voting, has looked like a shell of himself through two starts. The right-hander has allowed the most hits (16) in the American League and has yielded exactly four runs in each of his first two outings (10 2/3 innings). When you consider that he got off to a blistering start last year and drew the Red Sox and Guardians to begin 2024, this is certainly something that will raise some eyebrows.

Yes, he has a 3.89 Expected ERA, but there's certainly much more here that's worth looking into. Castillo's struck out just 24% of the batters he's faced, which would be one of the worst years of his eight-year career in that department if it wound up holding for the whole season. His whiff rate is at just 16.8%, which puts him in the bottom 11% of the league and is worth paying attention to for a guy who has always sat around 30%. He did run into the contact-oriented Guardians in his first start of the season, but missing just 18.3% of bats against the strikeout-happy Red Sox is certainly not good news.

The issues have persisted across the board with his arsenal, but a 10-point dip in whiff rate on his slider and a huge 18-point drop in whiff rate on his fastball — which has lost one mile per hour of velocity on average — are of grave concern. He's also had the benefit of working in the pitcher-friendly T-Mobile Park over his first two games.

Anyway, this is not what you want to read when you are a team striking out at the second-highest clip in the league at the plate and batting just .213 — the sixth-worst mark in baseball. Seattle's power has gotten it through these issues in the past, but in 10 games played at a poor home run park, that just hasn't been possible.

Toronto Blue Jays

The Blue Jays have the opposite problem at the dish. They've been one of the best in baseball at limiting strikeouts (20.6%) and have even walked at an excellent 12% clip, third in the league.

The issue here has been simply picking up hits, something that could simply be bad luck given their .222 xBA and .193 real-life batting average — a -.029 delta that's the sixth-largest in the league. Sure, they aren't hitting the ball incredibly hard, but they're still putting the ball in the air, which should wind up helping over the long run.

Speaking of fly balls, Berrios has defeated the batting practice pitcher allegations to this point with a low 20.6% fly-ball rate and a stunning 50% ground-ball rate — which are roughly five points lower and eight points higher than last year, respectively. Like Castillo, his strikeouts have dissipated so far, but they seemed to abandon him years ago and he successfully found a way to navigate around the issues with a 3.65 ERA, even if it may be a slightly fortunate outcome.

Berrios has had to go to war with the Rays and Astros to this point, and while he's allowed exactly one home run in each outing, he's managed to pitch around trouble by getting outs on the ground, and we should also note that he racked up six strikeouts in six innings on Opening Day against the Rays, who are 10 spots below the Mariners in strikeout rate.

Mariners vs. Blue Jays

Betting Pick & Prediction

This is an excellent exercise in context surrounding the wonderful expected stats we have available. Sure, if you just take a quick peek at the xERAs for both men, you'd be inclined to bet on Castillo given he's seemed to have some rotten luck while Berrios has been incredibly fortunate to have a shiny 2.25 ERA through two starts. Matchups can play a key role, though, and in this case the Mariners seem to be in some trouble.

Rogers Centre isn't quite a hitter's park, but it's decidedly easier to hit home runs there than in Seattle. In theory, that should help the Mariners get back to the three true outcomes approach that made their lineup somewhat watchable a year ago, but they've been awful at earning free passes this year and now have to face a pitcher who hasn't allowed a ton of fly balls this season.

On the flip side, Castillo has had a whale of time getting swings and misses and has been done in by contact with a .260 xBA, and given the Jays' ability to put the ball in play, I think they're a brutal matchup for the righty. There's definitely something a bit off about Castillo to this point, and we can take advantage of the name value he holds and get a great discount on a short home favorite.

Pick: Blue Jays -120

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