Free MLB Picks and Parlays – Tuesday, August 14th, 2018

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The Mariners' James Paxton is one of the best pitchers in baseball when he's healthy

Welcome back to the LazyBets Free MLB Picks column for Tuesday, August 14th.  The Mariners’ Marco Gonzales didn’t have his best stuff on Monday, and it ended up costing Seattle a game in the Wild Card standings after a 7-6 Oakland win.  More importantly, it cost us our bet on Monday - c’mon Marco, can’t you see that we’re trying to give out winners to the people?

Despite the loss, we still love the value we’re seeing in wagering against the A’s during their current hot streak. They’ll be facing one of the best pitchers in the AL on Tuesday, and we don’t think the oddsmakers are giving the Mariners enough credit once again.  Let’s get into it.

Seattle Mariners (Paxton) at Oakland Athletics (Fiers)

Game Time: 10:05 PM EST

Where to Watch:  MLB.tv

Run Line: Mariners -1.5 (+128)

Moneyline: Mariners -130

Bet the Mariners -130

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Mariners Athletics Pick

Oakland was praised for acquiring 33 year-old righty Mike Fiers from the Tigers last week, as they were in desperate need of rotation help.  While he’s certainly an improvement over Edwin Jackson (who has improbably given the A’s 54 quality innings this season), we aren’t particularly high on Fiers, and we think that the perception of him as a quality rental for Oakland’s playoff push is based entirely on his good fortune this season.

Fiers has never had an elite strikeout rate, and it’s lower than ever this season at 6.88 per nine.  Giving up the long-ball has been big a problem for him in the past, and his 1.52 HR/9 gives him the ninth highest rate amongst qualified starters in 2018.  Even with those two issues, Fiers has managed to maintain a 3.40 ERA due to an exceptionally high left-on-base percentage of 83.7%.

That LOB% is not sustainable - as more hits start falling in with runners on base, Fiers’ ERA is going to start climbing in a big way.  The public perception of Fiers may never again be as good as it is now, so we’re happy to fade him while that is the case.

Seattle’s James Paxton has a higher ERA than Fiers in 2018 (3.63), but he’s miles better in terms of actual talent.  Despite several injuries over the last few seasons, Paxton’s 2018 FIP of 3.05 is right in line with his incredibly good career mark of 3.08.   He’s got the sixth highest strikeout rate in baseball, and he has no glaring weaknesses as a starter.

We’re just going to echo what we said in Monday’s article about the offensive matchup: both teams have overachieved to be in the top ten offensively, and we believe that both are much closer to league average.  The best hitter in either lineup is the 38 year-old Nelson Cruz. With Fiers on the mound and his tendency to give up the long ball, we would not be surprised to see Cruz go yard for the 31st time this season.

With such an extreme advantage in the starting pitching matchup, we’re stunned to see Seattle being offered at such a discount on Tuesday.  We’re thrilled to be able to take James Paxton and the Mariners -130 at BetOnline against the overrated Mike Fiers and the A’s.

That’ll do it for us today, but don’t go anywhere just yet.  If you’re a football fan, you’re in luck - our best bets in the SEC and Big Ten were made available today, as well as our picks for the NFL’s offensive and defensive rookies of the year.  We’ve got a lot more where that came from, so be sure to check out our homepage daily to get prepared for the football season.

Good luck to all of you out there, and let’s get a win!

Bet the Mariners -130

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