Mariners vs. Twins Odds, Picks, Predictions: Robbie Ray vs. Joe Ryan a Closer Matchup Than Expected (April 7)
Brandon Sloter/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Robbie Ray
- Two teams with a whole bunch of optimism get their seasons started in the Twin Cities.
- The Mariners are looking to snap a long postseason drought, while the Twins are looking to rebound from 2021's disappointment.
- Continue reading for a full breakdown of this matchup including a betting pick.
Mariners vs. Twins Odds
|Time||4:10 p.m. ET|
|Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute MLB odds here.|
Two clubs with a lot of optimism entering the 2021-22 season get together Friday at Target Field when the Minnesota Twins host the Seattle Mariners.
Reigning Cy Young winner Robbie Ray makes his Mariners debut against 25-year-old rookie Joe Ryan, who has been tabbed as the Twins’ opening day starter after a solid camp and spring.
Is Ryan ready to break through, or do the Mariners hold an edge here with their proven ace? Let’s take a look at what we should expect from this matchup.
Twins Improved Against Lefties
Minnesota decided not to tear it down after a lowly 73-89 record last season, and in turn enter this season with a realistic shot at claiming a spot in the expanded postseason.
We know that Minnesota will quite likely be more productive at the plate this season, with the revamped lineup led by a healthy Buxton and Carlos Correa.
The Twins struggled against lefties last season, but have a shot at improving those marks, which will be important out of the gate against a lefty of Ray’s quality.
There are some strong arguments as to why the Twins should be improved against lefties, and give Ray a tough time here.
Buxton crushed lefties in 2021, with a 169 wRC+ and a .325 BA, yet he missed 100 games. He had a red-hot spring, and is rightfully a trendy AL MVP entering this season; he has accumulated9.6 WAR in 187 games since 2019.
Correa also hit lefties effectively last season, with a 138 wRC+ and .290 BA.
Gary Sanchez and Kyle Garlick project to start on Opening Day as well, and they posted 125 and 131 wRC+ marks, respectively, against lefties last season.
All told, seven of the Twins’ nine projected hitters project as above-average hitters against southpaws, so it will be a tough day at the office for Ray..
Ryan gets the nod for the Twins, and he looked sharp in spring training, posting 6 Ks in just five innings. Ryan has been quietly impressive throughout a small sample of 26 2/3 big-league innings, posting a 2.99 xERA with a 30% K rate and 5% BB rate.
He’s not going to blow anybody away, but is a guy who holds some upside entering this season.
Mariners, Ray Due For Regression
Seattle came up just shy of the playoffs last season with 90 wins, and followed that up with some strong offseason acquisitions in Ray and Adam Frazier. Top prospect Julio Rodriguez offers a ton of promise after making the Opening Day roster, and enters as one of the betting favorites for AL Rookie of the Year..
The Mariners did overachieve by 14 wins last season, with a Pythagorean record of 76-86, and it’s tough to envision that they are as fortunate this season, despite said improvements.
Ray could be a candidate for regression himself. His xERA last season was 3.60 with an xFIP of 3.36. He stranded base runners at an alarmingly high 90% rate, 14% higher than his career mark.
Clearly Ray figured some things out with regards to his overall command last season and that was a big part of his shocking turnaround at age 30. However, Ray figures to take a step backward this season toward strong, but not elite results.
It’s very reasonable to expect a more productive Seattle lineup, but the unit is unlikely to be as improved as it looks on paper.
Rodriguez, Jarred Kelenic, and a possible bounce-back from Eugenio Suarez do offer big reasons as to why the offense could be vastly improved from the 27th wOBA and 18th wRC+ marks of last season.
However, a number of key pieces such as Ty France, J.P Crawford, Jesse Winker and Frazier project to finish with a lower WAR this season, with ZiPS projecting a combined drop of -2.4.
This pitching matchup is closer than most are likely expecting, and I project less of an edge for Ray and the Mariners than it would seem on paper..
The Twins’ bullpen was a mess last season, but they added some pieces there, and with it being Opening Day, having a rested and healthy unit should be a benefit behind their young hurler. It’s hard to imagine Ryan turns the Seattle lineup over more than twice, so it’s helpful to believe the Twins can piece together a handful of outs behind him.
A composite average of the main models project the Twins at 82.8 wins this season, while Seattle project at 80.0, with an area of strength in comparison for the Twins being run production.
I believe we have an edge backing the Twins even as slight favorites, and would bet them to -120.
Pick: Minnesota Twins -120 or better