Seattle right-hander Yovani Gallardo has been surprisingly serviceable this season, posting a 4.58 ERA, 3.77 FIP, 4.23 xFIP and 4.63 SIERA. Of course, those peripherals are underwhelming but, frankly, I expected much worse from the veteran hurler.
Gallardo’s strikeout rate continues to decline (6.18 K/9) and his lack of command (3.43 BB/9) remains an issue. He has also struggled at home this season with a 4.76 ERA and 1.52 WHIP in three starts. However, Seattle backers will point to Gallardo’s solid 48.8% ground ball rate and his recent success against the Oakland Athletics (12 1/3 IP L/2 starts; 2 ER; 8 H; 13 K).
Seattle fans must be perplexed by the Mariners’ ineffective bullpen (5.21 ERA & 1.37 WHIP), especially in night games where the relief staff owns a horrible 5.48 ERA and 1.37 WHIP. Oakland’s bullpen has been equally ineffective in 2017, posting a 4.73 ERA and 1.33 WHIP overall, including a 6.62 ERA and 1.72 WHIP on the road.
Both bullpens have imploded in division play, with Seattle’s relief staff owning a 5.01 ERA and Oakland’s relievers owning a 4.81 ERA. The Athletics’ distinct advantage in this game rests solely with southpaw Sean Manaea, who toes the rubber with solid peripherals: 3.30 FIP, 3.86 xFIP and a 3.74 SIERA.
Prior to going on the 10-day disabled list, Manaea was striking out more guys this season (9.99 K/9 rate) and was inducing a lot of groundballs (63.9% GB%). These attributes mirror those of fellow teammate Sonny Gray, and I expect Manaea to continue his strong 2017 campaign tonight in Seattle.
The Mariners struggle to hit the ball against left-handed starters (3.9 runs per game; .692 OPS) and are averaging just 4.3 runs per game at night (.318 OBP; .711 OPS). Manaea is a perfect 3-0 with a career 3.91 ERA and 1.21 WHIP in four career starts against the Mariners, including limiting Seattle to one run in six innings last month.
From a technical standpoint, Oakland applies to a profitable 70-47 system that invests on certain well-rested bullpens (i.e. threw 2 or fewer innings in each of its last three games). Oakland is 5-1 in the last six meetings in this series, while the Mariners have lost four straight overall and are 2-5 in Gallardo’s last seven starts.
Take the Oakland Athletics at plus-money in tonight’s American League West clash as Oskeim Sports’ Free MLB Sports Pick for Monday, May 15.
Oskeim Sports’ Free Sports Pick: Oakland Athletics (+104)