First pitch: 5:10 p.m. ET
Probable pitchers: Jesus Luzardo (2-2, 3.97 ERA) vs. Marco Gonzales (5-2, 3.02 ERA)
Oakland Athletics vs. Seattle Mariners Predictions
At this point, sample sizes are large enough to determine a team’s tendencies with certain pitchers. In the case of the Mariners, their struggles opposite left-handed pitching couldn’t be more clearer.
Not only is Seattle the only club in baseball with a collective batting average below the Mendoza Line against southpaws — and decisively so at .185 — they’re also dead last in team OPS (.602). Thus, it’s hard not to like this spot for hard-throwing left-hander Jesus Luzardo.
The 22-year-old has mostly shined in his first “full” campaign at the big-league level. In four of his seven starts, Luzardo allowed two or fewer runs, and the one time he was tagged for more than four probably had a lot to do with it being an assignment in which he was a late fill-in.
Luzardo has not seen the Mariners yet this year but he did a season ago, notching a pair of scoreless two-inning relief appearance that saw him scatter only one baserunner and strike out six.
Being a strikeout artist, this is definitely a favorable matchup for the youngster, as the Mariners are being retired via the K once every 3.5 at-bats opposite lefties.
Oakland sports another offense that hasn’t fared successfully with left-handed pitching. In fact, they’re in the bottom third of the Majors in team batting average (.227) and OPS (.714) when facing southpaws — and they just lost one of their main right-handed bats (Matt Chapman) that could help combat this.
Making things more challenging for the A’s in the opener of this doubleheader, they’ll be tasked with taking on a lefty who has been so good that, if not for Shane Bieber, would certainly be making noise in the American League Cy Young Award race.
That would be Marco Gonzales, of course. Just about everyone — myself included — thought the seven-year veteran overachieved last season when he compiled a career-best campaign (16-13, 3.99 ERA) but apparently that wasn’t the case, as he’s looked even better in 2020.
Through eight outings, Gonzales wields a shiny 3.02 ERA and is impressively limiting hitters to a harmless .211/.235/.347 slash line. Not only that, his astounding 0.87 WHIP is tied for the third-lowest in baseball among all qualified starters — with Bieber and Jacob deGrom. Wow.
Perhaps the most important item in projecting Gonzales’ performance is his history with this opponent. The former first-round draft pick not only registered nice numbers against Oakland last season, he also went at least six frames in all five meetings. Being a doubleheader game slated to go seven innings, this is paramount in avoiding the Seattle bullpen.
Bet: UNDER 6 (-112)
MLB Leans - September 14
ATL/BAL Over 9
MIN/CHW Under 10
2020 MLB Over/Under Betting Record*: 13-34-4, -25.62 units
Yesterday’s Result: Indians-Twins Under 8.5 (loss)
*Each bet graded as if it were to win 1 unit