The 2019 Major League Baseball season opens in the United States on March 28. But, the official season opener actually is this Wednesday as AL West rivals Seattle and Oakland face off in Tokyo. The A’s are the designated home team for the two-game series. Check back for MLB odds.
Athletics vs Mariners MLB Odds & Japan Opening Series Prediction
The @Mariners are playing games in Japan. @JenTalksSports gives us a look at what it’s like inside the Tokyo Dome. Catch a new edition of #Mariners All Access today at 3:30 on @ROOTSPORTS_NW pic.twitter.com/G5bKPj2MHf— ROOT SPORTS™ | NW (@ROOTSPORTS_NW) 17 de marzo de 2019
- When: Wednesday & Thursday, 5:30 AM ET
- Where: Tokyo Dome
- Probable pitchers (away/home): Game 1 – Marco Gonzales vs Mike Fiers / Game 2 – Yusei Kikuchi vs. Marco Estrada
- TV: ESPN
- Live Stream: WatchESPN
- MLB Odds: TBA
Why Bet on Seattle?
It makes perfect sense for the Seattle Mariners to play in Japan as they have had some of the best Japanese players ever, led by Ichiro Suzuki. He was an AL MVP (2001), Rookie of the Year (2001), 10-time All-Star, 10-time Rawlings Gold Glove Award Winner, 3-time Silver Slugger Award Winner. He collected 262 hits in 2004, breaking George Sisler’s 84-year-old record for most MLB hits in a season. Ichiro semi-retired to the front office during last season but will play early this year – shoot, maybe just in this series.
Seattle will be without one of its best players for a while, though, in third baseman Kyle Seager. Seager is expected to be out 10-12 weeks after undergoing surgery to repair a tendon in his left hand. That prognosis is much worse than previously reported when it was though Seager might just miss April If he has any setbacks he could miss the entire first half of the season. Seager has never been on the disabled list before. Seager is coming off the worst season of his career — he batted .221/.273/.400 with 22 homers and 78 RBI in 155 games last year.
It’s Marco Gonzales getting the start in the opener for Seattle. It’s the lefty’s first Opening Day start, ending Felix Hernandez’s 10-year run, and becoming the youngest Mariners lefty to open a season since Floyd Bannister in 1982. Gonzales was 1-1 with a 4.70 ERA in 3 starts vs. Oakland last year.
Gonzales went 13-9 with a 4.00 ERA last season overall. He was up and down, winning five straight starts in June and July, when he was one of the top pitchers in the American League, but losing all four of his starts in August as he dealt with a neck injury.
In Game 2, it’s new Mariners lefty, Yusei Kikuchi. Seattle won a bidding war for him this offseason that could pay him up to $107 million over the life of the contract. He will become the first Japanese pitcher to open his MLB career in Japan, where he went 73-46 with a 2.77 ERA in eight seasons for the Seibu Lions in the NPB. He was named to NPB All-Star teams (2013, 2017 & 2018) and he led the Pacific League in ERA (1.97) and wins (16) in 2017. He features a mid-90s fastball and quality slider among his four-pitch repertoire.
The Mariners traded a bunch of talent this offseason, led by Robinson Cano, stellar closer Edwin Diaz and shortstop Jean Segura. Seattle is rebuilding.
- Runs: 4.18
- Hits: 8.65
- Walks: 2.65
- Strike Outs: 7.54
- Runs: 4.39
- Hits: 8.60
- Walks: 2.47
- Strike Outs: 8.20
Why Bet on Oakland?
This will be the eighth time MLB has played its season opener internationally, having opened in Monterrey, Mexico (1999); Tokyo (2000, ’04, ’08, ’12); San Juan, Puerto Rico (’01); and Sydney, Australia (’14). MLB has opened its season in Tokyo four previous times. Oakland and Seattle also met in the last Opening Series in Tokyo in 2012, with the two teams splitting the two games.
The Oakland A’s had MLB’s earliest report date for players and was only able to play 19 Cactus League games. No player still on the roster got more than 35 at-bats and only two pitchers threw as many as 10 innings. When the A’s return home with two regular-season games under their belts, they return to exhibition play for three games against the Giants in the Bay Bridge Series on March 24-26. On March 28, the A’s play their U.S. season opener.
It’s Mike Fiers taking the mound for Oakland in Game 1, making the first Opening Day start of his career, combined to go 12-8 with a 3.56 ERA in 31 games (30 starts) between Detroit and Oakland last year. His teams were 21-9 in his starting assignments.
Fiers allowed five runs over 3 1/3 innings in his final Cactus League start against the Cubs. Fiers surrendered eight hits, including three homers, and recorded only two strikeouts. The 33-year-old right-hander has given up six runs on 11 hits with seven strikeouts and one walk in 6 1/3 innings this spring.
In Game 2, it’s free-agent addition, Marco Estrada. The right-hander went 7-14 with a career-worst 5.64 ERA with the Blue Jays while trying to pitch through back issues in 2018.
The A’s were a wild-card team last year thanks in large part to hitting a ton of homer – Khris Davis led the majors – and especially their bullpen. All-Star Blake Treinen yielded just seven earned runs over 80 1/3 total innings in 2018 for an ERA of 0.78.
- Runs: 5.00
- Hits: 8.66
- Walks: 3.40
- Strike Outs: 8.55
- Runs: 4.18
- Hits: 8.04
- Walks: 2.93
- Strike Outs: 7.63
Athletics vs Mariners MLB Betting Trends
- Seattle is 1-5 ATS in its last 6 games when playing Oakland
- Seattle is 2-4 SU in its last 6 games when playing Oakland
- The total has gone OVER in 5 of Seattle’s last 5 games when playing Oakland
- Oakland is 2-4 ATS in its last 6 games at home
- Oakland is 4-1 SU in its last 5 games at home
- The total has gone OVER in 8 of Oakland’s last 10 games at home
Expert Final Prediction for Athletics vs Mariners
The teams split the series, with Oakland winning the opener and Seattle Game 2 behind Kikuchi, whom the A’s haven’t seen.