The final week of the Major League Baseball regular season gets underway on Monday, September 27.
For some teams, they have already clinched a postseason spot, and their main focus will be preparing for the playoffs and staying healthy. For other teams, they have already been eliminated from contention and are just searching to end the year on a high note.
But for the Oakland Athletics and Seattle Mariners, this final week is extremely important. The Yankees currently lead the American League Wild Card following their sweep of the Red Sox over the weekend. The Red Sox sit in the second Wild Card spot.
Seattle trails Boston by just two games, while the A's are just three games back. This series is going to be crucial for both of these teams and could even make or break their playoff hopes.
Seattle Mariners Betting Preview: Looking to Break the Drought
It has been 20 years since the Seattle Mariners made the playoffs. To put that in perspective, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone was the top-grossing movie, and “Hanging by a Moment” by Lifehouse was the top song back in 2001 when we last saw the Mariners in the postseason.
And for the most part, they have not been all that close to making it over the past 20 seasons. But sitting just two games out with just a week remaining, the Mariners have a chance to end the drought.
The scheduled starter for the Mariners is right-hander Chris Flexen. Flexen has been very efficient this season as he holds a 13-6 record with a 3.56 ERA and 118 strikeouts.
The Mariners desperately need their offense to step up if they are going to sneak into the playoff picture. Seattle has the worst team batting average in baseball and has relied on their pitching and defense all season. If they can score just enough runs against Oakland, they should have a chance to win this series.
Oakland Athletics Betting Preview: Pitching, Pitching, and More Pitching
Similar to the Mariners, the A's lean on their pitching. Although their offense is not quite as dreadful, it is below average. However, the Atheltic's team ERA sits at 3.90, which is good for 9th in the league.
Sean Manea, Chris Bassitt, and Cole Irvin have led this staff all season and could be their ticket to leapfrogging the Red Sox in the wild card race.
Pitching for Oakland on Monday is the lefty Cole Irvin. Irvin has been a pleasant surprise for the Athletics, as he has pitched to the tune of a 3.99 ERA with a 10-14 record and 117 strikeouts.
And although the pitching has been the main talking point for the team, when you have the bat of Matt Olson in the middle of your lineup, there is always a possibility for a crooked number from an offense perspective.
Mariners vs. Athletics Betting Odds & Lines
Mybookie has the A's as the favorite at -210. The Mariners will look to upset the spread as they check-in at +175. The total is set at 8.5 runs.
The pitching matchup is a couple of guys who pound the strike zone, get a lot of soft contacts, and can work deep into games. Both lineups need to be aggressive and look to get these pitchers rattled early before they settle in.
But with the Mariners hitting woes, Irvin should have an opportunity to dominate. The Mariners' best hitter is Kyle Seager, but he will be tasked with a difficult assignment dealing with a lefty on the hill and being a lefty himself. If Irvin throws strikes and lets his defense work behind him, we could see him go deep into this one and spin a gem in the process.
Free Betting Pick
This will be a pitcher's duel with two pitchers that like to operate quickly on the mound. Flexen should throw a good ballgame, but Irvin is going to outduel him on the hill.
Neither team will score many runs, but the A's should do just enough to win. We could see Olson post big numbers as he has a good matchup with the righty Flexen on the mound.
The A's will win this game in low scoring fashion.