It’s hard to find a team that has performed better during the second half of the season than the Seattle Mariners. Currently, amid their second longstanding winning streak since the All-Star break, the Mariners enter tonight’s matchup with the White Sox on a six-game win streak and fresh off a sweep over the Astros. We’ll preview the opening game of their series with Chicago before going over my play on the run-line.
It took a massive 8th inning, but the Chicago White Sox were able to board the plane home to Chicago yesterday without being swept by the Rockies. In the first two games of the three-game set, the White Sox were outscored by Colorado 25-6. Giving credit where it’s due, though, the White Sox fell behind 5-2 heading into the 7th inning yesterday, and instead of rolling over, they scored eight unanswered runs, capped off by a Lenyn Sosa three-run home run.
Even with the win, the trip to Colorado could not have gone worse for the White Sox pitching staff, and looking to get them back on track tonight will be right-hander Touki Toussaint. Over his last three starts, Toussaint’s command issues have taken center stage, with the right-hander allowing a combined 14 walks. It’s hard to keep runs off the board when issuing that many walks, so Toussaint has allowed three or more earned runs across those last three starts.
Toussaint has to match up with one of the few teams no struggling pitcher wants to face, the Seattle Mariners. Over their last ten games, the Mariners' offense has scored six or more runs in seven of those games. In their 7-6 win yesterday over the Astros, the Mariners recorded 15 hits, including a Eugenio Suarez home run and a double from Julio Rodriguez, who is fresh off setting the record for most hits in a four-game stretch.
After using seven relievers in yesterday’s win, the Mariners will need tonight’s starter Luis Castillo to give them some length, which shouldn’t be a problem since he has thrown six or more innings in nine of his last ten starts. Despite allowing four earned runs in seven innings during his last outing, the right-hander still came away with the win and is still pitching to a 3.14 ERA.
The Mariners' run-line of (-1.5) is currently priced at (-110), and I’ll be backing them for my play. Aside from the fact that the teams have played a polar opposite brand of baseball recently, the Mariners also have advantages on both sides of the field tonight, as they are facing the ideal starter to continue their impressive level of run-scoring.
Over the last month, the Mariners' offense ranks 3rd in SLG, OPS, wOBA, and wRC+ against right-handed pitching on the road. Now Seattle takes that production level and matches up with a starter in the 33rd percentile in hard-hit percentage, 21st percentile in xERA/xwOBA, and 1st percentile in walk percentage. Additionally, when Toussaint is removed from the game, Seattle gets to face a White Sox bullpen that is 19th in FIP and 20th in ERA over the past month.
While the Mariners have an ideal matchup at the plate, the White Sox will have their work cut out for them. Chicago is hitting .231 and ranks 28th in OPS, wOBA, and wRC+ against right-handed pitching at home since July 21st. Now they face Luis Castillo, who is in the 68th percentile in xBA and 63rd percentile in xERA/xwOBA. Additionally, the Mariners' bullpen has the best FIP and xFIP in the league over the past month.
Seattle Mariners (-1.5)(-110)