MLB Expert Pick and Betting Analysis for Today's Mariners vs Orioles

MLB Expert Pick and Betting Analysis for Today’s Mariners vs Orioles

Written by on May 17, 2024

An excellent series and potential playoff preview starts from Baltimore on Friday as the AL West-leading Seattle Mariners visit the defending AL East champion and current second-place Orioles. I expect both these clubs in the 2024 postseason.

The O’s are short favorites on the MLB odds for the opener.

MLB Picks Orioles -140, Mariners +120 (total 8.5)
Expert Prediction Orioles 4, Mariners 3

Seattle Mariners

The Mariners finished a homestand at 4-2 following a 4-2 win over Kansas City on Wednesday as the M’s secured their eighth series win among their past nine, their fifth in a row at home — and another against a quality opponent. Seattle improved to 19-3 when scoring at least four runs.

Ty France clubbed his fourth home run of the season in the victory. France blasted his 414-foot solo shot off of Royals’ right-hander Alec Marsh in the fourth inning, increasing the M’s early advantage to 2-0. He finished the afternoon 1-for-4 and is now hitting .243/.295/.368 with 14 RBI on the season.

Good thing Seattle was off on Thursday because closer Andres Munoz otherwise wouldn’t be available for this one after a five-out save on Wednesday. Munoz gave up a hit and struck out three over 1.2 scoreless innings to record his seventh save of the season. Austin Voth ran into trouble in the eighth inning, so Munoz got the call with runners on second and third and only one out to protect a 3-1 lead. He did allow an inherited runner to score, but Seattle got the run right back in the bottom of the frame and Munoz dominated the ninth.

It’s the fourth time this season he’s worked more than one inning to notch a save, and with Matt Brash done for the year and Gregory Santos potentially not back until the All-Star break, Munoz may have to continue putting in extra work.

“I don’t even think about what is going to happen next,” Muñoz said when asked about his mentality between the eighth and ninth innings. “I’m just focused in that moment and just trying to get outs, try to save the run and that is the mentality at that moment.”

The M’s were hoping to activate shortstop JP Crawford off the injured list this weekend but that might be delayed as he was hit by a pitch on the hand during a rehab game with Triple-A Tacoma on Wednesday. It is considered minor but could push Crawford back a day or two. After a career year in 2023, Crawford was slashing .198/.296/.302 (.598 OPS) with two homers, one triple, one double, nine RBIs, an 18.4% strikeout rate and an 11.2% walk rate with Seattle in 2024.

It’s young righty Bryce Miller on the mound Friday. Miller (3-3) was stuck with the loss against Oakland last Saturday, allowing two runs on five hits and two walks over six innings. He struck out nine. Miller deserved a better fate as he generated a whopping 17 swinging strikes, including six on his splitter alone, and finished with a strong 34 percent CSW.

All of the damage against Miller came in the top of the third, when the 25-year-old issued a leadoff walk to Lawrence Butler to open the frame, followed by back-to-back singles. Miller only two hits outside of that inning and retired 10 of the final 12 batters he faced, but he still got stuck with his third loss of the season due to a lack of run support. Miller has allowed two earned runs or fewer in six of his eight outings so far. He’ll bring a 2.66 ERA, 0.95 WHIP and 51/15 K/BB ratio across 47 1/3 innings into Friday.

Miller’s splitter has become his go-to secondary pitch this season. He’s throwing it 18.2% of the time, which is a stark contrast to the changeup he featured last year. Miller threw 117 changeups over the course of 131 1/3 innings in 2023. Batters are hitting just .147 with a .235 slugging percentage off the splitter this season.

“Bryce is off to a good start this year,” Manager Scott Servais said. “I think we’ve seen from Bryce this year is just the addition of the secondary pitches and how he’s using those and how effective they’ve been to really help him against left-handed hitters.”


Baltimore Orioles

The Orioles needed a win on Wednesday at home against Toronto to avoid a three-game sweep and they got it in dramatic fashion via walk-off two-run homer in the bottom of the ninth from All-Star catcher Adley Rutschman in a 3-2 win. Rutschman’s drive off Jays closer Jordan Romano was reviewed — the ball appeared to deflect off a fan who was reaching out above the big wall in right field — but the homer was upheld.

Baltimore split the two-game set with the Blue Jays — the middle game Tuesday was rained out — and has now gone 105 straight regular-season series of at least two decisions without being swept. That’s tied for the third-longest run in major league history with the 1903-05 New York Giants.

“We’re focused on the long-term picture and getting to where we want to be,” said Rutschman, who slugged his second career walk-off homer. “But I think that is a cool testament to our team.”

The former No. 1 overall pick is slashing .314/.350/.509 with nine homers, 27 RBI and 24 runs scored through his first 40 games this season. Rutschman has four homers in his last three games after totaling five in his first 37. His OPS has jumped from .781 to .859 as a result of those three games. He has hit safely in 21 of his last 23 games since April 19. For the season, he has reached safely in 34 of his 40 games and has a hit in 33 of those.

Batting leadoff for the first time in his career, Jordan Westburg went 2-for-5 with a homer versus the Blue Jays on Wednesday. Manager Brandon Hyde indicated before the game that this wasn’t a permanent move. Westburg is batting .301/.354/.534 with seven homers and five steals in 159 plate appearances. Prior to Wednesday, he had hit third once but never higher than fifth otherwise.

The Orioles were swept in last year’s AL Division Series against Texas, but the most recent time it happened in the regular season was from May 13-15, 2022, at Detroit. During this current stretch, the O’s have avoided being swept in the final game of a series now 14 times. The Birds have not been swept at home in a series of at least two games since August 27-29, 2021.

Baltimore (27-14) is proving to again be a talented, resilient team, having already notched 12 comeback victories and six by a margin of one run.

“We have big-time character, and our guys definitely play to win,” Hyde said. “We don’t make it easy on ourselves sometimes.”

It’s expected to be lefty Cole Irvin on the mound Friday. Irvin (4-1, 2.90 ERA) picked up the win last Friday, allowing two runs on five hits and a walk over 5.2 innings in a 4-2 victory over the Diamondbacks. He struck out six. Irvin was sharp and had given up only a solo shot to Ketel Marte heading into the sixth inning, but Irvin got the hook after 95 pitches (62 strikes) with runners on first and second and two outs.

Irvin generated 30 called or swinging strikes as he won his fourth straight start, and after a bumpy beginning to the season he has posted a 1.19 ERA, 0.79 WHIP and 21:3 K:BB in 30.1 innings over his last five outings.

“I think my stuff’s better. I think, overall, I’m just in a better position — mentally, physically,” Irvin said. “This is probably the best I’ve felt in my career. Good time for it to pop up.”



Mariners at Orioles Info

When: Friday, 7:05 PM ET
Where: Oriole Park at Camden Yards
Pitchers (away/home): Bryce Miller/Cole Irvin
TV: MLB Extra Innings
Stream/gameday audio:

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