Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Seattle Mariners
Monday, April 19, 2021 – 10:10 PM EST at Petco Park
- Dodgers: Dustin May (1-0, 1.74 ERA)
- Mariners: Justus Sheffield (0-1, 4.91 ERA)
The Dodgers are 13-3 on the season and that was expected. But what wasn’t expected was the Mariners getting off to a hot start, as they’re currently 10-6 on the season. Dustin May will take the hill for the Dodgers for his third start of the season.
He’s thrown 10.1 innings and allowed two runs and nine hits while striking out 14 and walking three. In his last start against the Rockies, he couldn’t make it through five innings after allowing seven hits and a walk. However, he also struck out six batters in that game and struck out eight in his first start of the season against the A’s.
May has been getting a high ground ball rate and limits hard contact to 28.4 percent dating back to last year. The Mariners’ offense has had limited success against righties this season.
While they’re keeping ground balls low, they’re striking out a high amount of the time and have seven batters with a wOBA of .326 or lower against righties this season. After striking out around seven batters per nine innings last season, May has made it a mission to increase his strikeouts per nine innings and already has 14 in 10.1 innings this season.
On the other hand, Justus Sheffield will take the mound for the Mariners after going 11 innings this season, allowing eight runs (six earned) and 11 hits (2 HR’s) in two games.
Sheffield has gotten more ground balls than flyouts in these first two games of the season but has struggled with balls in play, allowing a .312 BABIP dating back to last year.
This season, Sheffield has an XFIP of 5.10 and is allowing plenty of hard contacts. The Dodgers are really good at working walks against lefties this season and Sheffield is dishing out over three per nine innings. Uncharacteristically, the Dodgers only have two players that have high base hit numbers against lefties including Justin Turner and Chris Taylor, who hit a two-run homer yesterday.
If the Dodgers can work walks and limit strikeouts, the Dodgers should be able to score runs against Sheffield.
I’ve been intrigued with Dustin May and his strikeout numbers to start the season. He’s really looked to increase them this season and it’s showing early.
The Mariners are filled with power bats who hit righties hard, but only when they make contact. There are six batters in the projected lineup for the Mariners that have a high strikeout rate against righties.
As long as May can go five innings or more, there’s a very high chance he’ll be able to get six strikeouts in this game.
MLB Pick: Dustin May Over 5.5 K’s (+100) at Bet 365