First pitch: 4:10 p.m. ET
TV: MLB Network
Probable pitchers: Justus Sheffield (4-3, 3.75 ERA) vs. Mike Minor (1-6, 5.92 ERA)
Seattle Mariners vs. Oakland Athletics Predictions
The trickiest part about handicapping games involving teams that aren’t handling as meaningful situations as others in the season’s final days is finding proper motivation for the starting pitchers.
Regarding Justus Sheffield, while his Mariners can’t go anywhere, the mindset is always the same and that will especially be true as the prideful youngster seeks to end his successful year on a positive note.
The former New York Yankee prospect only exhibited flashes last season in his first campaign with Seattle but took a pretty considerable step in year two, shrinking his ERA by nearly two full runs. His batting average against (.246) also slimmed down a fairly wide margin (.303).
Sheffield is really in a groove right now, during three straight quality starts for the second time this season, so you know he’s not going to want to conclude his season with a sour taste. The A’s do have something to play for in terms of seeding purposes but this is still a fine matchup for the 24-year-old southpaw. Oakland hits a meager .213 against lefties, ranking them second-to-last in the American League.
The one AL club behind them in that category is their opponent here, Seattle, who are at the very bottom of the Majors with their putrid .188 mark opposite left-handed pitching. It’s a tendency that’s carried on throughout the entire season.
Well, that figures to play in the favor of Mike Minor. And the veteran lefty certainly doesn’t need any additional motivation, seeking a spot on the postseason roster.
Minor has been solid when tangling with the M’s in the recent past. In fact, he’s faced them more than any other opponent in 2020 (three starts) and shined in those outings, etching a 2.12 ERA and 0.82 WHIP across 17 frames. One of those was actually a shortened doubleheader affair — just like this assignment.
He was 3-1 in four dates versus Seattle last year, too. Even if he falters, there’s a great pen behind him.
Bet: UNDER 7 (-107)
MLB Leans - September 26
NYM/WAS Under 5
NYM/WAS Over 8.5
CIN/MIN Under 7.5
2020 MLB Over/Under Betting Record*: “18-41-4,” -28.74 units
Yesterday’s Result: Padres-Giants Under 6.5, Game 1 of doubleheader (loss)
*Each bet graded as if it were to win 1 unit