Bet the Road Chalk: Mariners vs. White Sox
Seattle Mariners (2-3) vs. Chicago White Sox (3-1)
When: 7:10 p.m., Wednesday, April 13
Where: Guaranteed Rate Field, Chicago
Moneyline: SEA -115/CHW -105
Runline: Mariners +1.5/White Sox -1.5
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Starting Pitchers: Robbie Ray (1-0, 1.29 ERA, 1.00 WHIP) vs. Dallas Keuchel (0-0, 0.00 ERA, 0.00 WHIP)
The biggest issue that caused the Mariners to fall short in their playoff push in 2021 was their offense, which ranked dead last in the majors in batting average at .226 and scored only 697 runs, a number that should have left them well outside of the race. To fix it, the Mariners got aggressive, bringing in the likes of Jesse Winker and Eugenio Suarez to bolster the offense and give Mitch Haniger some help at the dish.
So far, the plan hasn’t worked. Winker and Suarez are both hitting .188 and the Mariners have managed to plate just 10 runs in five games this season. In fact, with their new additions at right field and third base, the Seattle offense has actually gotten worse in the early going, hitting a mere .177 as a team in April. The Mariners are certainly capable of more, but until one of their recent signing gets their bat going, it’s going to be tough for Seattle to score.
Bouncing Back to Form
Dallas Keuchel pitched well in three of his four starts to end last season and hasn’t done anything to suggest that he’s not the same pitcher who regularly mows down opponents. However, consistency has been the issue with him, as he’s gone through some months where he’s been dominant and others in which he struggled to even be decent. Against the Mariners last season, he was somewhere in between, as he held Seattle to five runs in 10 innings over two appearances, pitching through five innings on both occasions.
The problem is that when Keuchel goes too far to the side that struggles to be decent, the results can get pretty ugly. In August, when his team really could have used some strong pitching, he was a disaster, posting a 7.43 ERA and giving up four or more runs in three of his five starts. If the way he finished the year is an indication, this will work out much better than it did a season ago, but considering that three of those starts were against the offensively-challenged Tigers, there’s reason for concern.
Stepping Into the RoleRobbie Ray looked the part of an ace in his first action of the season with Seattle, as he held the Twins to just one run in seven innings of work, with that coming via a solo home run in a 2-1 Seattle victory. Ray also didn’t have to rely on his strikeout pitches to get outs, as he only fanned five despite coming off a year where he recorded 248 strikeouts.
There’s both a reason to be impressed and a reason to be concerned in the opener, as Ray recorded four walks along with five strikeouts in the win. A year ago, he posted just 52 walks, close to a fifth as many walks as he had strikeouts. If he can achieve the ratio he did in 2021, he’ll have another outstanding season in the Pacific Northwest. If his ratio ends up closer to what it was in the Twins game, successes like the opener could become a bit more fleeting.
- The Mariners are 6-1 in their past seven Wednesday games.
- The Mariners are 17-7 in their past 24 road games.
- The White Sox are 3-7 in their past 10 Wednesday games.
- The White Sox are 71-33 in their past 10 home games.
- The under is 5-1 in the Mariners’ past six road games.
- The under is 4-1 in the Mariners’ past five overall.
- The over is 5-2 in the White Sox’s past seven overall.
- The over is 4-1 in the White Sox’s past five against the AL West.
- The Mariners are 23-47 in the teams’ past 70 matchups in Chicago.
- The over is 5-2 in the past seven meetings in Chicago.
Temperatures are set at 62 degrees with wind blowing out toward the left field fence at 17 miles per hour. If the storms that are supposed to ravage Illinois on Wednesday do as expected, this game could easily get shortened or not played at all.
Any time you can get the better pitcher at a price like this, you need to jump on it. The Mariners got a great outing from Ray in his first appearance of the season, and I think that if the game is played, they’re in better shape to claim a win here. Give me Seattle.
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