Pick: Los Angeles Dodgers at Seattle Mariners
Time: 10:10 PM ET
Where: Safeco Field, Seattle, WA
Listed Pitchers: Walker Buehler (LA) & Wade LeBlanc (Sea)
Moneyline: Los Angeles -120/Seattle +110 (Nitrogen, a bitcoin sportsbook, has best odds)
The Dodgers and Mariners are still very much in playoff contention as they open a three-game weekend inter-league series Friday night in Seattle. Which way are we playing this contest with our daily free MLB picks?
Friday’s MLB betting odds opened LA at around -130 over Seattle, with an over/under of 8 runs. Early MLB betting action then pushed that line down about a dime, to around -120.
The Dodgers could also be found getting around +130 giving the run and a half on the MLB run line.
Los Angeles just dropped two of three games at home to San Francisco this week, avoiding the sweep by winning Wednesday’s series finale 4-3 in 12 innings. The Dodgers led that game 3-0 into the top of the eighth but the bullpen, which has surrenders a bunch of leads recently, did it again, giving up a three-run homer to Andrew McCutchen. But LA managed a run in the bottom of the 12th for the win.
The Dodgers then had Thursday off.
Wednesday’s victory snapped a five-game losing streak for Los Angeles. At 65-57 the Dodgers trail first-place Arizona by two games in the NL West.
The Mariners, meanwhile, just dropped two of three games at Oakland, avoiding the sweep with a 2-0 12-inning victory Wednesday. That game was tied at 0-0 into extras before Seattle won it on a Dee Gordon homer. The M’s then also had Thursday off.
So the Mariners finished 6-4 on their recently completed 10-game AL West road trip. At 70-52 overall Seattle trails first-place Houston by 4.5 games in the AL West, and they sit 2.5 games back of the A’s in the battle for the second American League wild-card spot.
This series is the first encounter between these two teams since 2015.
Lefty LeBlanc (7-2, 3.80), by our strict standards, is only 6/19 on quality starts this season. But actually, other than a rough outing against the Astros a couple weeks ago he hasn’t been too bad as of late. Last Saturday he rebounded to hold that same Houston team to two runs and three hits through five innings, and just before that he held Texas to one run and two hits through 6 1/3 innings. He also hasn’t given up a homer in over a month. On the season Seattle is 13-6 with LeBlanc, with unders going 13-5.
This will be LeBlanc’s first start against the Dodgers since 2012, when he was with Miami.
Rookie righty Buehler (5-4, 3.32) is 6/14 on quality starts this year, and two for his last three. Last Saturday he held Colorado scoreless in Denver on four hits through seven innings, and over his last three starts he’s allowed just three runs and 13 hits through 19 1/3 innings. On the season Los Angeles is 8-6 with Buehler, with unders going 9-5.
This will be Buehler’s first-ever start against Seattle, which could give him an edge, at least for the first couple of times through the lineup.
For our handicapping purposes we’re calling this pitching match-up a push.
The Dodgers rank 28th in the Majors this year against left-handed pitching with a .225 team batting average, 21st with a .310 team OBP and 22nd with a .378 team slugging percentage. LA’s also scored a total of just 14 runs over its last six games.
The Mariners rank seventh against right-handed pitching with a .255 BA, 22nd with a .313 OBP and ninth with a .418 slugging percentage.
We’re giving Seattle the edge with the sticks here.
The Dodgers bullpen ranks 15th in the ML with a 3.97 ERA and ninth with a 1.25 WHIP. But this unit is also without closer Kenley Jansen, and his absence has been felt.
The M’s pen ranks 14th in ERA at 3.91 and seventh in WHIP at 1.25.
We give Seattle the edge in this department, too.
Unders are 32-26 in games played at Safeco Field this year, which are averaging 7.6 total runs per, second-fewest among all ML ballparks.
Unders are 8-1-1 over LA’s last 10 games, mainly because the Dodgers aren’t scoring much.
Unders are 5-1 over Seattle’s last six games, mainly because the M’s are getting good pitching.
Seattle is 18 games above .500, 50-32, against right-handed starters this season. Los Angeles is 25-20 against left-handed starters. The Mariners are also 6-4 over their last 10 games while the Dodgers are 1-5 over their last six. And Seattle gets two of our handicapping check-marks. We’re betting the Mariners Friday night.