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Adam Trigger

Adam Trigger

(961) Seattle Mariners at (962) Tampa Bay Rays

(961) Seattle Mariners at (962) Tampa Bay Rays
June 25, 2024 6PM EDT
Play Rating:
4% – Seattle Mariners -119 L Castillo (RHP), Z Littell (RHP) Must Start

Mariners (6:50PM ET ROOTNW, SUN, MLB.TV) – Tough beat on Monday with the Mariners blowing a 3-1 lead in the 8th inning with two outs but we are still on an fantastic 21-6 best bet run across MLB and KBO and I’ll look to keep it going with the first of two MLB BEST BETS on Tuesday when the Seattle Mariners continue a three game set with the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St Petersburg, Florida.

As someone who coached baseball for years, I know these are brutally tough decisions and hate to be one to second guess a manager from my couch but Scott Servias lost his club that game last night.  Seattle had a 3-1 lead in the bottom of the 8th with 2 outs when Austin Voth walked Taylor Walls so one would think Servias would most certainly go to closer Andres Munoz who has some of the best numbers of any reliever in Major League Baseball this season.  Voth then gave up a base hit to Jose Siri so surely Servais brought Munoz in with the go ahead run at the plate but Servais left Voth in to give up a double and finally brings Munoz in with a mess to clean up.  After a walk it looked like Munoz did just that until a ground ball to first took a wicked hop and turned into a base hit into right field.  The hit scored two, the Rays went up 4-3 and a game that should have been a straightforward win for Seattle after taking a 3-1 lead turned into a gut wrenching loss. 

I’m going to back the Mariners to bounce back from that, I feel like Seattle is the better of these two teams and has the better starting pitcher with Luis Castillo takes the bump for the visitors tonight.   Castillo is pretty much a lock to pitch deep (regularly pitches to and past the 6th inning) and I’m less concerned with the guys that won’t be available because they aren’t the ones I want in high leverage spots anyway. The one benefit of last night’s incompetency by Servais is he pretty much has no choice but to lean on Munoz in the late innings here which is best case scenario for Seattle anyway.  Castillo has gone 5 or more innings in all 16 starts and I won’t be surprised to see him go 6 or 7 here as he has a 2.37 lifetime ERA against Tampa Bay with his team winning all three of those games.  Munoz will be in again in the 8th if needed that we are probably only talking a mix and match of 1 inning or so from anyone not named Castillo or Munoz here.

Tampa Bay counters with Zack Littell, he’s someone I thought would regress at some point after a strong April and he’s done just that with a 5.65 ERA over his last seven starts.  Littell has been LIT up by the long ball, he’s given up 8 home runs in that seven start run which should help Seattle immensely since that’s been a source of offense for a Mariners team that’s struggled to string hits together.  Tampa Bay is lauded on an annual basis for having a great bullpen but the Rays have been bottom 10 in MLB most of this year.  Even with a recent uptick, the Rays still hover around the bottom third in MLB in most bullpen metrics including a -0.6 bullpen WAR which is 28th out of 30 MLB teams.  Seattle is Top 10 in that same metric to complement one of the more elite starting pitching staffs you will find in Major League Baseball this season.  We were also unlucky that Bryan Woo left yesterday’s game early with a hamstring injury which is ultimately what probably caused Servias to second guess bullpen usage at the end of the game.  That was a fluke thing and I fully expect a healthy Castillo to be in this game for the long haul here.

Very similar handicap for me last night and ultimately I think I made a good call last night (getting to the bottom of the 8th with a 3-1 lead) that met a very unfortunate fate.  I think the Mariners make up for it here.  Play on Mariners -119 for 4% (or 4 units)

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