Hoping to position themselves for the postseason, the Seattle Mariners begin a three-game interleague series with the Los Angeles Dodgers on Friday (10:10 p.m. ET) at T-Mobile Park.
Los Angeles and Seattle are dead even at -105 on the moneyline in the series opener. The projected total is 8 (+105 Over, -125 Under).
Can the Mariners take care of business at home? Or will the Dodgers complicate Seattle’s postseason plans? Read on as we break down the series in our Dodgers vs Mariners preview.
LA Cruising to Another NL West Title
It’s a matter of when, not if, the Los Angeles Dodgers clinch the National League West. The Dodgers hold a 13.0-game lead over the Arizona Diamondbacks, putting themselves in the driver’s seat to win their 10th division title in 11 seasons.
With a record of 88-57, the Dodgers need just seven more wins to hit their projected total of 94.5. They’ll undoubtedly get there. And once the focus shifts to the postseason — if it hasn’t already — they’ll be one of the favorites to win the World Series, right alongside the Atlanta Braves. In fact, Los Angeles is currently +200 to capture the NL pennant, trailing only Atlanta (+120). The Dodgers are also +450 to win it all. Again, they’re second behind only the Braves (+300).
Can they finish the job? They have as good a shot as anyone. But the road has gotten a bit tougher over the past of late. Suddenly, their pitching is in flux. Left-hander Julio Urias, baseball’s ERA leader a year ago, was arrested on felony domestic violence charges earlier this month.
It’s the second domestic violence arrest in the past four years for the 27-year-old southpaw. Urias, who was 11-8 with a 4.60 ERA, is on indefinite administrative leave and could face a lengthy suspension from Major League Baseball.
Los Angeles has dealt with its share of injuries, too. Tony Gonsolin and Dustin May are both out with season-ending elbow injuries. And Clayton Kershaw missed about six weeks with shoulder issues. While he’s back now, his health is still worth watching.
Seattle Clinging to Wild Card
With only a few weeks left in the regular season, the Seattle Mariners are thick in the American League playoff race. At 81-65, the Mariners sit third in the AL West baseball standings, 1.5 games behind the Houston Astros. Sandwiched between them are the Texas Rangers. But the Mariners currently hold a 1.0-game lead for the third and final Wild Card spot.
Oddsmakers remain bullish on the Mariners, pricing them at -350 to make the playoffs. But they haven’t done themselves any favors lately, with a 4-6 record over their last 10 games.
Outfielder Julio Rodriguez has been especially hot during that stretch, going 12-of-29 with three home runs and six RBI over the last seven days. The Mariners also got a big left from Cal Raleigh, who broke the club’s single-season record for home runs by a catcher, with 28. In September, Raleigh is hitting 13-of-44 with three homers and five RBI.
The Dodgers have been one of the most profitable teams for bettors, with an 82-63 record against the run line, including 43-28 on the road. Their 56.6% cover rate is the third-highest in baseball behind the Cincinnati Reds (61.9%) and Baltimore Orioles (60.7%). Conversely, the Mariners are just 71-75 ATS, including 30-41 at home. Los Angeles has also hit the Over at a 61.3% clip, highest in MLB. Seattle is 52.5%. Keep that in mind when assessing the odds in our Dodgers vs Mariners preview.
⚾ Game 1 ⚾
George Kirby vs Bobby Miller
Kirby is 10-9 with a 3.48 ERA. In his last start, Sept. 8 against the Tampa Bay Rays, the right-hander allowed four runs on five hits in 6.1 innings. Two of those runs came on a homer by catcher Rene Pinto in the seventh inning after he’d already topped 90 pitches. Afterward, when speaking to reporters, Kirby complained about being left in too long by manager Scott Servais. Kirby later apologized.
The Dodgers will counter with Miller, who is 9-3 with a 3.98 ERA. The rookie right-hander has gone at least six innings in six consecutive starts and owns a 3.43 ERA since the start of August. That’s important to remember when making MLB score predictions.
⚾ Game 2 ⚾
Bryce Miller vs Clayton Kershaw
Miller, 25, has performed well as a rookie, going 8-5 with a 4.05 ERA and 1.11 WHIP. Notably, the right-hander has given up just one homer over his last seven appearances, spanning 37 innings. He faces Kershaw, who is 12-4 with a 2.61 ERA. He’s also struck out 123 in 117.1 innings. While he remains highly effective, the 35-year-old Kershaw hasn’t gone more than five innings since June 27. He’s a +10000 longshot to win his fourth NL Cy Young, as San Diego’s Blake Snell is now a -350 favorite.
⚾ Game 3 ⚾
Logan Gilbert vs TBD
Gilbert is 13-5 with a 3.62 ERA. He’s a workhorse, having thrown the 15th-most innings (174.0) in baseball. Notably, the Dodgers have yet to announce a starter. That could affect the odds in our Dodgers vs Mariners preview.
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