Mariners vs Padres Odds & Prediction: Bet Wednesday’s Underdog
Pictured: George Kirby. (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)
Mariners vs Padres Odds
Two teams that made the playoffs last season and had expectations to return this year find themselves on the outside looking in as summer heats up. The Seattle Mariners and San Diego Padres both surprisingly sit fourth in their respective divisions and have at least three teams between them and a possible playoff spot.
With neither team on track to make the postseason, the pressure keeps mounting. This quick, two-game will conclude Wednesday afternoon. Both Seattle and San Diego desperately need to start winning some games, so here's a look at who I believe has the best chance to do so Wednesday.
Location, location, location. That is the calling card for second-year starter George Kirby. Through 71 innings this season, Kirby has issued a total of six walks. His 0.76 BB/9 rate is the lowest mark in the entire league, and he also has the best strikeout-walk ratio.
Kirby’s pitch mix combines a 95 mph fastball with a sinker, both have been highly effective. He also uses a curveball and a slider to keep hitters off balance. He doesn’t miss a ton of bats, but he effectively limits hard contact and is elite at painting the corners.
George Kirby, Painted Front Door Two Seamer. 🖌️🎨 pic.twitter.com/jqKYM4bpoj
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) June 1, 2023
After a terrific rookie season that saw him post a 3.39 ERA, Kirby has followed that up with a 3.04 ERA in 11 starts this year. He had one blow-up outing a few weeks ago, but has otherwise allowed three runs or fewer in nine of 11 starts. Throwing strikes also helps keeps Kirby keep his pitch count down. As a result, he's tossed at least six innings in nine starts.
Inconsistency on offense has plagued Seattle. This team ranks 24th in wOBA and strikeouts have been a huge issue. Only two teams strike out more often than the Mariners. When the Mariners do put the ball in play, luck hasn't been on their side.
Seattle has the third biggest difference between its .302 wOBA and .324 xwOBA. Every player on the Mariners has an xwOBA higher than their current wOBA except for Jarred Kelenic, who has been the team’s best player.
Michael Wacha, 31, was named the NL Pitcher of the Month after allowing just three runs over 32 innings (five starts) in May. He lowered his ERA to 3.48 and has held teams to two or fewer runs in six straight starts.
Wacha’s best pitch is his changeup, which is allowing just a .179 xBA and generating a 33% strikeout rate. That's helped Wacha to limit hard contact and keep the ball in the yard. He's also increased his strikeout rate a bit this year.
But can he keep that up? The veteran has posted an xERA over 4.50 in each of the past five years. He has a 4.22 xERA this season and even during his terrific May, he posted a 0.84 ERA with a 4.48 xFIP. He ranks in the bottom half of the league in xERA, xwOBA, xBA and strikeout rate.
As disappointing as Seattle’s offense has been, the Padres are right there with them. With expectations of one of the league’s best lineups, the Padres are just 22nd in wRC+. Juan Soto and Fernando Tatis are the only two players with a wRC+ above 110.
Mariners vs Padres Betting Pick
Both of these struggling offenses have nearly an identical wOBA. However, the Mariners rank 14th in xwOBA and have experienced bad luck.
Meanwhile, Wacha is a big candidate for regression. He’s never been a guy to miss bats at an elite rate and his groundball rate is way down from his normal marks.
He was able to overperform expectations in May, but we've already seen him allow at least four runs in three starts this year.
As much as the Padres’ offense has struggled, they do have the highest walk rate in the league and take advantage of free passes as well as any team in baseball. However, Kirby doesn’t walk anybody.
Eventually, this Seattle offense is going to start performing to its expected metrics. Kirby has the advantage over Wacha and the Mariners have one of the league’s best bullpens behind him.
I will happily take the Mariners here.
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