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Guardians vs. Mariners Predictions, Picks & Betting Preview: 3/31/23

Guardians vs. Mariners Predictions, Picks & Betting Preview: 3/31/23

Two teams projected by many to make the postseason square off in Game 2 of the 2023 MLB Regular Season when the Cleveland Guardians again face the Seattle Mariners. 

Game 1 saw both teams play to their strengths: starting pitching, quality defense and shutdown bullpens. Staff aces Shane Bieber and Luis Castillo locked horns and delivered 6 IPs of scoreless baseball each. The game was scoreless entering the bottom of the 8th, when Ty France eked out a 3-run HR that proved to be the difference. The Mariners ultimately won 3-0.

We should see a radically different game tonight, and we’ve explained why below. We’ve also found some betting value we hope to exploit.

Odds are provided by our friends at DraftKings Sportsbook. New members can claim a “Bet $5, Win $150” bonus by clicking here, creating an account and wagering on any pre-game money line.

Hunter Gaddis vs. Robbie Ray: Friday, March 31, 2023

Guardians starting pitcher Hunter Gaddis has replaced Triston McKenzie in the rotation due to a lat injury. Gaddis is #2 in the rotation in name only. The 24-year-old has middle-of-the-road stuff and isn’t viewed as a high-potential prospect.

Gaddis has only made 2 starts at the big-league level and was shelled in each of them, serving up 15 ER viua 15 H, 3 BB and 7 HR (!!!) in just 7.1 IP. Over 76.1 IP with AAA Akron, he put together a 4-3 record with a 3.60 ERA and 1.17 WHIP.  He showed extreme platoon splits, allowing 28 H and 17 BB (1.52 WHIP) in 29.2 IP against LHBs. These platoon splits, combined with his extreme flyball tendencies (29.4% GB% in AAA) are two weaknesses we’ll look to exploit.

Mariners starter Robbie Ray is one of the most powerful left-handed pitchers in the game. While he has averaged 11.0 K/9 over his career, tonight he faces a lineup that struck out a league-low 1,222 times (18.2% K%) in 2022. For reference, Houston K’d a combined 1,179 times and was the only other team with fewer than 1,217 strikeouts.

While it’s a small sample size of just 80 ABs, BvP truthers will be weary of Ray’s .263/.306/.525 slash line and miniscule 17.6% K% against the current Guardians roster. Ray is the superior pitcher by a country mile and will be well-positioned for a win, but this is not a spot where we should expect big numbers from him.

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Guardians vs. Mariners Picks & Best Bets For Friday, March 31, 2023

The Game Simulation from our friends at Ballpark Pal forecasts the Mariners as modest favorites to win a low-scoring affair. The cold weather will squash some offense, but Seattle should mitigate the damp conditions by shutting the roof at T-Mobile Park.

So, to take our Guardians vs. Mariners prediction and translate it to betting picks, we want to look at Seattle’s LHBs and Robbie Ray’s K props.

The Mariners will have 3 LHBs in tonight’s lineup, not including the switch-hitting Cal Raleigh and Cooper Hummel. 

Raleigh is an intriguing boom-or-bust option. He hit 24 of his 27 HRs against RHPs in 2022 and consistently made hard contact at a 39.8% Hard% clip. His overall split sat at .211/.276/.609 , with a .298 ISO and 29.2% K%.

I say again: Raleigh is the epitome of a boom-or-bust option this evening. This means I’ll fade his TB prop of 0.5 (-165), but those of you who like HR props might consider Raleigh’s at +300.

This leaves us with Kolten Wong, J.P. Crawford, Hummel and the enigmatic Jarred Kelenic. I’ll continue to fade the last two at face-value until one of them puts together even one month of replacement-level baseball. 

DraftKings Sportsbook has Wong’s TB prop set at 0.5 (-195), which is frustrating. He has a 2+ TB prop priced at +150, but it’s only available within an SGP. I would hammer that line if I could get it. We can’t, so we have to stay on the right side of value and look elsewhere.

Here are our Guardians vs. Mariners picks & best bets:

1 Unit

  • Kolten Wong o1.5 H+R+RBI (-105)
  • Total u8 Runs (-115)
  • Robbie Ray u5.5 Ks (-125)

0.5 Units

  • Cal Raleigh o0.5 RBI (+145)
  • Robbie Ray u17.5 Total Outs (-140)
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