Cubs vs. Cardinals 6/17/18
Where: Safeco Field
When: June 17th, 2018 4:10PM ET
Moneyline: BOS -127 / SEA +117
Over/Under: 8
By Prognosticator Darin Zank

A smokin’-hot Seattle outfit shoots to clinch a series victory over Boston when these two American League playoff contenders meet Sunday afternoon at Safeco Field (4:10 ET). Which way are we playing this contest with our daily free MLB picks?

The Line

Most MLB betting odds opened Boston and Eduardo Rodriguez at around -130 over Seattle and Mike Leake, with an over/under of 8. The early betting action then pushed that line down about a nickel, to the -125 range.

Sunday Set-Up

The Red Sox took the opener of this series Thursday night 2-1, but the Mariners won Friday night 7-6 and Saturday night 1-0. Nelson Cruz knocked in the only run of the game in the third inning Saturday, while Seattle starter Wade LeBlanc retired 22 batters in a row into the eighth. The Mariners bullpen then did the rest.

Seattle is now 23-8 since losing 2B Robinson Cano to injury/suspension.

Boston, meanwhile, has lost two straight, after winning four in a row.

At 46-25 the Mariners trail division-leading Houston by a half-game in the AL West. Seattle is also on a pace to play way over its 2018 betting over/under of 78 wins.

At 48-24 the Red Sox now trail the first-place Yankees by a game in the AL East.

This series is the first encounter between these teams this season. Last season these teams split six games, with the unders going 5-1, as those games trended very low-scoring, averaging just 5.5 total runs per.

Sunday’s Starters

Leake (7-3, 4.26), by our strict standards, is 7/14 on quality starts this year, and five for his last five. Last Tuesday he held the Angels to one run through six innings, and over his previous five starts, he’s allowed just seven earned runs through 35 2/3 innings. The Mariners are 11-3 with Leake this season, with overs going 10-4, thanks mainly to some decent run support.

In two starts last year for St. Louis against Boston Leake allowed ten runs through 11 1/3 innings. The Cardinals lost both those games.

Lefty Rodriguez (8-1, 3.64) is only 4/13 on quality starts this year and just one for his last nine. But a lot of that has to do with a short leash. Last Tuesday he limited Baltimore to two runs through 5 2/3 innings, and over his previous five starts, he’s allowed just seven ER through 29 1/3 innings. The Sox are a shiny 12-1 with Rodriguez this season, overs 7-6.

In two starts last year against Seattle Rodriguez gave up four runs through 11 1/3 innings. Boston split those two games.

The first glance might give Rodriguez the advantage in this match-up, but Leake’s been great lately. Let’s call it a wash.

Sunday’s Batting Splits

The Red Sox rank No. 1 in the Majors this year against right-handed pitching with a .268 team batting average, 2nd with a .336 team OBP and No. 1 with a .474 team slugging percentage.

The Mariners, meanwhile, rank 4th against left-handed pitching with a .267 BA, 7th with a .334 OBP and 9th with a .431 slugging percentage.

We’ll give Boston the edge with the sticks here, but not by a whole bunch.


The Sox bullpen ranks 6th in ERA at 3.03 and 7th in WHIP at 1.19, while going 25/31 on save opportunities.

The Seattle pen ranks 9th in ERA at 3.53 and 8th in WHIP at 1.20 while going 28/40 on save opportunities.

We’ll give Boston another short edge in the bullpen comparison.

Free MLB Picks

The Red Sox own a couple of handicapping advantages, but sometimes when betting baseball, we have to go with our gut and the hot team. And right now the Mariners are steaming (in a good way). On top of that, they’re home dogs. We’re betting Seattle here.
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