We tumbled a little bit on Tuesday, dropping a half unit. We went 1-1, but I put my units in the wrong spots. The Royals were the half-unit play, and they came back to win 7-6. We took the Guardians to win, and Trevor Stephen blew it in the eighth inning. We got a huge break with the Royals and a bad beat with the Guardians. Baseball!
Here is my favorite pick for Thursday’s action.
2023 Straight Plays Record: 153-160 (-7.55 U)
I’m using BetMGM lines only this year. Here’s a link to get started with a first bet offer of up to $1500.
All prop entries will be on PrizePicks. Here’s a link to get a 100% deposit match.
Seattle Mariners vs. Tampa Bay Rays @ 6:40 PM EST
Pitching Matchup: Luis Castillo vs. Zach Littell
The Mariners bats come alive when Luis Castillo is on the mound. I’m unsure why; maybe they love the guy so much. Castillo sits in the fifth in the American League in run support per nine innings, and I think they’ll get to Zack Littell. On the flip side, the Rays have already gotten to Castillo before, and they have a good matchup once again.
In Castillo’s last 12 starts, the total has gone over 7.5. Castillo normally gives up a couple, and the Mariners score 5-6 runs. Sometimes, Castillo gives up a bunch of runs, but the Mariners still contribute. That’s what originally led me to look into this game.
Most of the Mariner’s pitching staff shares a common theme: struggling against left-handed hitting. It’s not a completely dominant left-handed lineup, but they will have at least four lefties; Brandon Lowe, Josh Lowe, Luke Railey, and Taylor Walls or Oselvis Basabe. The big-time righties for the Rays have shown they can hit Castillo and hit him for power. Randy Arozarena, Isaac Paredes, and Yandy Diaz are a combined 5-14 (.357) with two home runs and a double.
Luis Castillo also has had some issues on the road this season. In T-Mobile Park, Castillo has posted a 2.49 ERA, 3.32 FIP, and 3.23 xFIP. On the road this year, he’s posted a 3.99 ERA, 4.39 FIP, and 4.44 xFIP. He’s facing the eighth-best offense against right-handed pitching at home since August 1. Over the entire season, this Rays offense really hits righties at home, ranking fifth in baseball at 118 wRC+.
Zack Littell will toe the rubber for Tampa Bay. He’s really struggled to be effective in Tampa Bay, posting a 6.04 ERA, a 5.48 FIP, and a 4.16 xFIP. He’s facing a Seattle offense that ranks sixth in wRC+ against righties on the road this season by wRC+. Since August 1st, they rank third in wRC+ against righties on the road with a 134 wRC+.
The Mariners have a great bullpen but aren’t in a great spot, especially with their best arms. Topa, Brash, and Munoz are their best arms, and all may not be available today after throwing in back-to-back days.
Same wave with the Rays bullpen. They have plenty of options to go to, but only Kevin Kelly and Robert Stephenson have appropriate rest to be at their best today. I like both arms, but I think runs will be scored after the starters exit on both sides.
I bet this last night and see the market has moved with us. I see eight at -115, which is worth a 0.75 U.