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MLB Computer Picks for July 15: M’s Primed for Second-Half Success?

Julio Rodriguez Seattle Mariners Detroit Tigers
Julio Rodriguez 44 of the Seattle Mariners scores past Jake Rogers 34 of the Detroit Tigers at home plate Steph ChambersGetty ImagesAFP

It’s not like anyone expected the Seattle Mariners to win the World Series this year. After squeaking into the postseason for the first time since 2001, the Mariners were given a win total of 88 for the 2023 MLB regular season – but at 45-44 (minus-8.01 betting units) coming out of the All-Star break, they still have a lot of catching up to do.

The good news for Seattle is that they’ve actually been playing more like an 88-win team than a .500 club. Even better, the computers at OddsTrader say the M’s are going to carve up the Detroit Tigers this Saturday. Let’s take a closer look at why this is our top baseball pick from the late afternoon/evening slate.

Picks Summary


Detroit Tigers vs. Seattle Mariners

Saturday, July 15, 2023 – 09:40 PM EDT at T-Mobile Park


The MLB futures market may be at its softest during the preseason, but those win totals do draw a lot of extra attention from sportsbooks, bettors, the sabermetrics crowd – even the teams themselves. And heading into the unofficial second half of the 2023 campaign, the Mariners are who everyone thought they were.

That’s if you go by Seattle’s plus-36 run differential heading into Friday’s series-opener with Detroit. A typical team with that differential at this stage of the season would be 49-40; that works out to 89 wins over the course of 162 games.

On the surface, the Tigers (39-50, plus-5.30 units) have made a profit this year by not playing as horribly as expected. But it’s probably dumb luck judging by their minus-86 run differential (35-54 Pythagorean). Their performance level is that of a 64-win team for the full season; Detroit had a win total of 69.5 on the preseason MLB odds board.

Seattle hosted the All-Star Game, so their players have had the opportunity to get the most rest and relaxation possible from this break in the schedule. One notable caveat: George Kirby (3.68 xFIP) will get the nod Saturday, having thrown 14 pitches in one inning at Tuesday’s Mid-Summer Classic.

To balance that off, Michael Lorenzen (4.21 xFIP) responds for Detroit after 18 All-Star pitches, earning a share of the hold for the American League. The OT computers have Seattle winning this matchup 4.7 runs to 3.1, which might even be understating the gap between the two clubs for a change – a proper single-unit wager on the M’s is worth considering here.

MLB Pick: Mariners ML (-220) at Caesars Sportsbook


Washington Nationals vs. St. Louis Cardinals

Saturday, July 15, 2023 – 07:15 PM EDT at Busch Stadium


Here’s an interesting spot where we can recommend Under 9.5 as well as Over 9, depending on what your preferred online sportsbook has on the board for you. The OT computers project St. Louis to beat Washington 5.2 runs to 4.1, for a very reasonable 9.3 runs between them.

Most of the books at press time have Over 9 on their MLB lines for Saturday, at varying levels of vigorish; don’t fall into the trap of thinking we’d rather take that bet than Under 9.5 just because the projected score is closer to the latter. Teams don’t score tenths of a run in the real world; working out the probabilities of going Over or Under requires a bit more math than that.

We also don’t have an official pitcher named yet for the Nationals, but it does look like rookie Jake Irvin (5.67 xFIP) will twirl opposite Steven Matz (3.82 xFIP), on what should be a typically hot summer night in St. Louis. Maybe Over 9 is better than Under 9.5 after all.

MLB Pick: Over 9 (-110) at Caesars Sportsbook


Minnesota Twins vs. Oakland Athletics

Saturday, July 15, 2023 – 07:07 PM EDT at Oakland Coliseum


We had the same 6.5-run total (and the same helpful weather report) in Friday’s baseball picks, so there’s no reason at this point to change tack – not with the OT computers pegging Minnesota and Oakland to score 3.5 runs apiece in regulation.

This pick also comes with the same caveat as Friday’s: We don’t officially know Oakland’s starting pitcher at press time. But we do have a likely candidate in Hogan Harris (5.38 xFIP), who would be making his fifth big-league start if he indeed gets the call. The Over went 3-1 in Harris’s other four appearances.

Pablo Lopez (3.44 xFIP) has pitched quite well for Minnesota, but the Over is still 9-8-1 in his 18 starts thus far, and none of those had a total this low attached. Bet accordingly – the computers have spoken.

MLB Pick: Over 6.5 (-105) at Caesars Sportsbook


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