Mariners Are the MLB Betting Pick Against the A’s on Thursday Night
The Seattle Mariners and Oakland A’s both have moderately disappointed this season but they are teams going in opposite directions in the AL West with the Mariners rising and A’s sliding. The teams open a four-game set in Oakland on Thursday with Seattle likely a short MLB betting favorite.
Seattle at Oakland MLB Betting Prediction & Game Info
When: Thursday, April 20, 10:05 PM ET
Where: Oakland Coliseum
Probable pitchers (away/home): James Paxton/Sean Manaea
TV: MLB Network
Radio: Seattle / Oakland
Opening MLB Lines: Mariners favored by TBA
Why Bet On Seattle?
The Mariners’ big offseason acquisition, shortstop Jean Segura, remains on track to be activated when he’s first eligible on Friday so he’ll be in there for Game 2. Segura landed on the disabled list last week with a mild strain of his right hamstring, but fortunately it’s not considered serious. Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto said they haven’t decided whether he’ll go out on a brief minor league rehab assignment before being activated. Taylor Motter has thrived during Segura’s absence, but he’ll soon slide into a utility role.
Meanwhile, reliever Steve Cishek (hip) tossed a scoreless inning Monday in his first minor league rehab appearance with Double-A Arkansas. It was his first appearance since undergoing hip surgery last October. The plan calls for him to make three or four more appearances in the minors before joining the Mariners’ bullpen.
It’s lefty James Paxton on the mound. The Canadian has been one of MLB’s top starters to open the season as he’s yet to allow a run in 21 innings with just eight hits, four walks and 22 strikeouts. Paxton was named American League Player of the Week on Monday. He is just the second Major Leaguer since 2003 and 10th in MLB history to open a season with three starts of six-plus scoreless innings.
The others are George McQuillan of the Phillies (1907), Lefty Leifield of the Pirates (’07), Ray Caldwell of the Yankees (’14), George Mogridge of the Yankees (’16), Harry Brecheen of the Cardinals (’48), Luis Tiant of the Indians (’66), Tommy Greene of the Phillies (’91), Woody Williams of the Cardinals (2003) and Jordan Zimmermann of the Tigers (’16).
Paxton’s 21 consecutive shutout innings to start the season are a Mariners record, passing reliever Mark Lowe (17 2/3 in 2006) for the overall mark, and Felix Hernandez’s 17 innings in ’07 for a starting pitcher.
The last left-handed Mariners pitcher to earn the AL Pitcher of the Week honor was Randy Johnson on June 9, 1997.
Why Bet On Oakland?
The A’s got bad news this week when shortstop Marcus Semien had surgery Tuesday to repair a fracture of the scaphoid bone in his right wrist. Semien will have a screw inserted into his wrist and will be re-evaluated in six weeks, at which point a clearer timetable for his return will be known. The shortstop actually suffered the injury late in spring training, but obviously he had felt it was something he could play through. Semien, 26, is hitting .171 with one RBI in 11 starts at shortstop this season. He set career highs with 27 home runs and 75 RBIs last season.
Athletics general manager David Forst said Monday that shortstop prospect Franklin Barreto is not under consideration for a promotion at this time. The A’s don’t want to rush Barreto’s development (or start his arbitration clock). Barreto, 21, is batting .310/.375/.524 with two homers in the early going for Triple-A Nashville. Oakland will go with Adam Rosales as their main shortstop for now.
The A’s also have lost starting pitcher Kendall Graveman to the DL with a strained right shoulder. Graveman started Opening Day in place of the injured Sonny Gray and began the season 2-0 with a 2.00 ERA in his first three starts. But he exited after just five innings and 74 pitches Friday against Houston, and manager Bob Melvin said afterward the pitcher couldn’t get loose. Graveman thinks he’ll only be skipped once.
“I think if we give it a couple more days then we’ll be back to normal, back to where we need to be,” Graveman said. “I expect to miss one start, and then come back on the road.”
Cesar Valdez is scheduled to start for the A’s on Thursday in Graveman’s spot. Valdez, 32, is 1-0 with a 2.70 ERA at Triple-A Nashville. He pitched in nine games, two starts, with Arizona in 2010, going 1-2 with a 7.65 ERA; he also has spent time in the Houston, Florida and Pittsburgh organizations along with playing for three years in the Mexican League.
Seattle at Oakland MLB Betting Pick: Seattle Mariners
Paxton is rolling and is 2-0 with a 2.75 ERA in three career starts vs. Oakland.