Mariners vs. Athletics MLB Picks: Should We Put Our Faith in Gonzales?

 

Marco Gonzales #7 of the Seattle Mariners. Abbie Parr/Getty Images/AFP
Marco Gonzales #7 of the Seattle Mariners. Abbie Parr/Getty Images/AFP

The Seattle Mariners and Oakland Athletics have a must-win game on Tuesday night. Here’s a complete preview, including updated odds and MLB picks.

Seattle Mariners vs. Oakland Athletics

Tuesday, September 21, 2021 – 09:40 PM EDT at Oakland Coliseum

In Marco We Trust!

Time is running out and both teams need this victory. Oakland is two games behind Toronto for the second Wild Card spot in the American League while Seattle is three games out. The Mariners and A’s aren’t exactly mashing the ball and while the Athletics have better numbers in five of seven key categories over the last month, the Mariners have a higher walk rate and they’ve hit more home runs.

Stats over the last 30 days:

Athletics

.731 OPS, 16th-best

Mariners

.701 OPS, 22nd-best

Athletics

.316 wOBA, 15th-best

Mariners

.306 wOBA, 21st-best

Athletics

104 wRC+, 13th-best

Mariners

98 wRC+, 16th-best

Athletics

19.4 K%, 5th-lowest

Mariners

22.1 K%, 13th-lowest

Athletics

8.1 BB%, 17th-highest

Mariners

9.4 BB%, 6th-highest

Athletics

.158 ISO, 21st-highest

Mariners

.150 ISO, 21st-highest

Athletics

28 Home Runs, 22nd-best

Mariners

31 Home Runs, 20th-best

The Mariners will give the ball to Marco Gonzales (5.32 FIP), while Paul Blackburn (5.10 FIP) takes the hill for the A’s. On paper, the Mariners have a favorable matchup, as they’re 13-9 in Gonzales’ 22 starts, earning 4.8 units. The A’s on the other hand, are down 0.1 units on a 3-3 record in Blackburn’s six starts.

Marco Gonzales (8-5, 4.05 ERA, 1.21 WHIP) allowed three earned runs on three hits (one home run) with seven strikeouts and two walks over six innings to get a no-decision in a 9-4 loss against the Red Sox last Wednesday. He is 1-0 with a 3.45 ERA and an 0.99 WHIP in three starts against the Athletics this season. The current A’s lineup is 59-for-223 (.256) against Gonzales and Matt Olson is 10-for-36 (.278) with five home runs and seven RBIs against him.

Paul Blackburn (1-2, 4.94 ERA, 1.57 WHIP) is coming off his first win of the season last Thursday after giving up just two earned runs on six hits (one home run) with three strikeouts and two walks over five innings in a 7-2 victory against the Royals. Blackburn allowed two earned runs on five hits (one home run) with five strikeouts and zero walks over 5 2/3 innings to get a no-decision in a 5-3 loss against the Mariners on August 23rd. He has to be careful with Mitch Haniger, who is 3-for-6 with two home runs and three RBIs against him.

Prediction

The A’s opened at -130 at DraftKings, but over at FiveThirtyEight, they already have them at -108 based on our calculations (they suggest the Athletics will win this game 52 percent of the time). The projections say there isn’t much value on Oakland.

The Mariners rank No. 20 in hitting value (2.6 WAR) in the last 30 days according to FanGraphs while the Athletics are 13th in the majors at 4.1 WAR and the Mariners are No. 21 in Weighted On-Base Average (wOBA) in the last 30 days at .306 while the Athletics are 15th in baseball with a .316 Weighted On-Base Average (wOBA) in that span.

That said, Seattle’s projected lineup has five batters with Isolated Power (ISO) above .185 and eight batters with a hard hit rate above 36 percent and the Oakland lineup has just three batters with a Weighted On-Base Average (wOBA) above .340 and three batters with Isolated Power (ISO) above .185, giving the Mariners ample value. Keep that bet size small.

MLB Pick: Mariners +112 at FanDuel

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