After failing to pick up a series sweep yesterday, the Seattle Mariners will continue their road stand as they head to Chicago to take on the Cubs. We’ll preview the interleague matchup before going over why I’m targeting an F5 run line in this one.
The Seattle Mariners weren’t the only team who could not secure a series sweep, as the Cubs dropped their final game of the series to the Rangers yesterday afternoon. Chicago started the series with two strong pitching performances, but yesterday, they allowed eight runs on ten hits.
Tonight the Cubs will turn to left-hander Drew Smyly, who will be making his second start of the season. Smyly struggled in his first start against the Reds, as he allowed nine hits and seven runs in just 4 ⅔ innings of work. The veteran will look to bounce back tonight against a Mariners lineup that ranks 25th in the league in batting average and OPS.
In their extra innings loss yesterday to Cleveland, the Mariners' offense scored six total runs on nine hits. Catcher Cal Raleigh was able to hit his first homer of the year in the loss, but as a whole, the Mariners lineup has struggled to produce power as they rank 23rd in home runs.
Seattle will have Luis Castillo on the mound tonight, which is excellent news for them since the right-hander has gotten off to a phenomenal start to the year. Castillo has thrown 11.7 innings through two starts and has yet to allow a run. Additionally, the righty has racked up 12 strikeouts while only allowing three hits in total.
Castillo has a lot of experience pitching in Chicago from his time with the Reds, but the lineup he’s facing tonight will be much different. The Cubs have not put up big power numbers to start the year either, but they are hitting .275 as a team while averaging 5.25 runs per game. Ian Happ has gotten off to a great start to the season and has the most experience against Castillo, with 28 plate appearances against him.
For my play in this interleague matchup, I’ll be targeting an F5 innings bet in the form of the Mariners' F5 run line of (-.5), which is priced at (-104). It makes more sense in terms of pricing to target Seattle on the run line instead of the moneyline since the F5 moneyline for Seattle is priced at (-152).
Seattle will be facing a starter in Drew Smyly, that is in the 38th percentile in whiff percentage and 10th percentile in strikeout percentage, so they have an excellent chance of getting on base consistently to start the game. The Mariners have had a lead through the first five innings in three of their last five games, so they have shown they could produce runs early and often.
I mentioned it earlier, but Luis Castillo has yet to allow a run this season, and a big reason for that is he is already in the 80th percentile in whiff percentage and 86th percentile in xSLG. Castillo has thrown 175 pitches up to this point in the year and has only allowed just one barrel. I trust Castillo can be solid for five innings today and hold any lead the offense gives him.
Seattle Mariners F5 (-.5)