The 2019 MLB regular season has been unpredictable up to this point to say the least. The Mariners got off to a blistering start despite most believing this would be a retooling year for Seattle. The Yankees, who were the heavy betting favorites to win the American League East, stumbled out of the gates.
Both teams have normalized since. The Mariners have come back down to earth in a big way, while the Yankees have surged to six games north of .500 despite the fact that most of their star players have already spent time on the injured list. They’re starting to get healthier, but Giancarlo Stanton, Didi Gregorius, James Paxton, Luis Severino, and Aaron Judge are still on the IL.
The Yanks thumped Felix Hernandez and the M’s 7-3 in the first game of their midweek set on Monday night. The two teams will square off from Yankee Stadium again today. Marco Gonzales will get the ball for the visitors opposite veteran right-hander Masahiro Tanaka for the Yankees.
|2019 ATR Home||9-9-0||10-9-0|
|2019 ATR Away||11-7-0||8-7-0|
|2019 O/U Home||11-6-1||8-11-0|
|2019 O/U Away||14-4-1||11-4-0|
The Mariners are 25-10-2 on the over/under this season, which is the best mark in the league by a wide margin in terms of hitting the over. Their home park isn’t the greatest hitting environment. While this team does have some veteran sluggers, the combination of the new juiced ball and some of these guys playing over their heads a bit has led to a power surge for the Mariners.
Seattle has slugged 70 homers through 37 games, which leads the league. The Brewers (62) are next. The Mariners have also piled up 207 runs already, which is 11 more than the next best team (Dodgers). Seattle already has four players (Jay Bruce, Edwin Encarnacion, Daniel Vogelbach, Mitch Haniger) with eight or more long balls.
Of course, Seattle hitting the over so often also has something to do with their own pitching. The team’s collective 4.49 ERA is in the bottom half of the league, and their 201 runs allowed is the second-most in all of baseball ahead of only the Orioles. The Mariners can hit, but they’ll also allow plenty of runs, too.
So, it’s easy to see why they’re just one game north of .500 despite their gaudy offensive numbers to this point. That said, tonight’s starter has been one of the few bright spots from a pitching perspective. Gonzales is 5-1 with a 3.28 ERA through his first eight starts of the campaign. The southpaw also hasn’t allowed more than three earned runs in any start, though he did struggle tremendously last time out. He was tagged for six runs (three earned) in just 1.2 innings of work in an eventual 11-0 loss at the hands of the Cubs.
Gonzales is a middling strikeout pitcher (18.1% K-rate on the year) and he’s a lefty with a wide platoon split. Righties have given him problems over the years, but his ground ball numbers have been far more effective against lefties. That will work well for him at a park like Yankee Stadium that caters well to lefty power, but the Yankees still have plenty of right-handed thunder in the lineup. Gonzales has allowed a career wOBA of .336 to right-handed batters.
The Yankees’ recent winning ways are a bit surprising considering they essentially have an All-Star team’s worth of players on the shelf. Gary Sanchez and Miguel Andujar recently returned from their injuries, but there’s still quite a bit of talent sitting on the bench for New York.
Regardless, they’ve been winning. The Yankees swept the Giants in San Francisco last week after taking three of four from the Angels in Anaheim. They took two of three from the Twins over the weekend before winning the first game against the Mariners on Monday night.
Pitching has been key for the Yankees to this point. Tanaka has been passable, but we’ve seen him enjoy more success in the past. His 3.92 ERA to this point is fine, but his walk numbers are up and he’s allowing more hard contact than ever. Tanaka has yielded a hard-hit rate of 42% in the early going. Hard hits are up around the league in general, but that’s still a scary number.
It’s especially daunting considering he’ll be facing the aforementioned powerful Mariners lineup in this one. Tanaka has allowed at least 22 homers in each of the last four seasons, and he’s been taken deep six times so far in 2019.
Yankee Stadium is one of the best parks in the league in terms of allowing home runs, and we have a couple of vulnerable pitchers on the mound tonight. Both Gonzales and Tanaka are decent, but each pitcher’s individual matchup is fairly imposing. In spite of all of the injuries, the Yankees’ 178 runs scored is still the seventh-most in baseball.
I expect the total to climb throughout the day. It’s currently listed at 9½ runs, and I’d be surprised if we didn’t crack double digits by the time the game starts. However, the over on 9½ is currently listed as a +100 underdog, which makes the bet even more appealing. Usually, we’re betting overs and unders around -110. Getting the over in a fairly obvious spot at +100 stands out.
Bet the over on 9½ runs in Mariners-Yankees on Tuesday night.
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