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MLB Computer Picks for September 25: Mariners Get Back on Track

Ty France Eduard Bazardo Seattle Mariners Oakland Athletics
Ty France #23, Eduard Bazardo #41, J.P. Crawford #3, Cal Raleigh #29 and Eugenio Suarez #28 of the Seattle Mariners celebrate after a win against the Oakland Athletics on September 19, 2023. Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images/AFP.

Top sportsbooks have released their MLB odds for today’s baseball action.

Three games interest me: Rangers vs. Angels, Astros vs. Mariners, and Padres vs. Giants.

For your best bets, I will recommend that you invest in Rangers-Angels “Over,” Mariners ML, and Padres ML.

These bets are supported by OddsTrader’s computers and by my handicapping.

Picks Summary

  • Rangers-Angels Over 9 (-110) at Bet365
  • Mariners ML (-130) at Bet365
  • Padres ML (-120) at Bet365

Texas Rangers vs. Los Angeles Angels

Monday, September 25, 2023 – 09:38 PM EDT at Angel Stadium


  • Computer Pick

Our computers indicate that this will be a high-scoring game that easily exceeds the total posted by oddsmakers.

I argue that you should agree with our computers and wager on the “Over.”

Jon Gray (Texas Rangers)

Jon Gray starts for Texas tonight. Gray enters tonight’s game in terrible form: he has yielded an ERA of over 10.00 in two of his last three games and an ERA of over 7.00 in each of his last three games.

It’s not like he’s been facing tough competition, either. Two of those three opponents, Cleveland and Oakland, rank bottom four in runs per game.

Gray’s Problems

Gray is doing a lot of things wrong. For example, he is struggling to keep the ball in the ballpark. His last start, in which he allowed two home runs in 2.1 innings against Boston, is one example.

He has allowed a combined total of four home runs in his last three starts and, more extensively, he has allowed at least one home run in five consecutive starts.

This tendency to allow home runs aligns with his consistent difficulty with minimizing hard contact and inducing soft contact.

His most recent three starts reflect this difficulty most prominently: in each of those starts, he induced soft contact at a rate lower than his season average and yielded hard contact at a rate higher than his season average.

Matchup Factors

Gray’s awful form is especially likely to continue given his opponent tonight: the Angels rank ninth with a .419 slugging rate against his pitches from righties.

Patrick Sandoval, who starts for the Angels tonight, does not share Gray’s bad form. However, Sandoval has just as much going against him as Gray does.

In his one start against Texas this season, Sandoval allowed four earned runs in 2.2 innings. It makes sense that he struggled so much because Texas ranks eighth with a .432 slugging rate against Sandoval’s favorite pitches from lefties.

MLB Pick: Over 9 (-110) at Bet365


Houston Astros vs. Seattle Mariners

Monday, September 25, 2023 – 09:40 PM EDT at T-Mobile Park


  • Computer Pick

Our computers indicate that Seattle will win.

This computer projection is going to be accurate: you should, therefore, wager on the Mariners ML.

Justin Verlander (Houston Astros)

Justin Verlander starts for Houston tonight.

It might seem scary to go against Verlander because the name Verlander is firmly associated with greatness. However, this year’s version of Verlander is not the Verlander of old, the Verlander who was great.

Currently, his FIP (like ERA but factors out fielding) is 4.00. This year, Verlander is struggling to strike batters out and to keep the ball in the ballpark.

Compared to last year, he is inducing less soft contact while failing to avoid hard contact at nearly the same rate.

Lower Pitch Quality

Verlander has become easier for batters to hit because, in his old age (he is 40), his pitches have lost quality. Specifically, he doesn’t throw as hard as he used to.

Whereas, for example, his fastball averaged 95 mph last year, it currently averages 94.3 mph. As heat maps show, he often leaves his pitches in the middle parts of the strike zone where batters tend to do greater damage.

Now that his pitches have lost quality, opposing batters more easily take advantage of their poor location.

Verlander’s Form

Verlander enters tonight’s game in poor form: he has yielded an ERA of 4.50 or worse in both of his last starts and in two of his last three starts.

He is allowing a lot of runs because batters are crushing his pitches, as evident in the very high rate at which he’s allowing hard contact.

Seattle’s Hitting Form

Seattle is hitting consistently well. The Mariners enter tonight’s game having scored five or more runs in five of their last six games.

Look out, among others, for Julio Rodriguez. Rodriguez is 3-for-8 with two doubles in his last two games.

Luis Castillo (Seattle Mariners)

The Mariners start Luis Castillo tonight.

Unlike Verlander, Castillo enters tonight’s game in strong form. Castillo has allowed a combined total of four earned runs in his last three starts.

He has sustained his superior form against the likes of Tampa Bay.

MLB Pick: Mariners ML (-130) at Bet365


San Diego Padres vs. San Francisco Giants

Monday, September 25, 2023 – 09:45 PM EDT at Oracle Park


  • Computer Pick

Our computers indicate that San Diego will win tonight.

Accordingly, you should bet on the Padres ML.

Blake Snell (San Diego Padres)

San Diego starts Blake Snell tonight. Snell enters tonight’s game in terrific form. He has allowed zero runs in both of his last two starts.

This trend is particularly impressive because he’s sustained it against strong competition. Two starts ago, he threw six shutout innings in Dodger Stadium.

In that start, he allowed one run and struck out eight batters while walking one. While locking down the Rockies – as he did in his last start – is not as impressive, the fact that he threw seven no-hit innings certainly constitutes a unique accomplishment.

Snell’s strong form goes beyond his last two starts. He has allowed zero runs in four of his last five starts.

Hard to Hit

While one may criticize his walk rate, it is better to walk a batter than to allow a hit because a hit may be a double or worse while a walk merely sends the batter to first base.

Walks tend to indicate that pitchers are struggling with their command, but this is not the case with Snell.

Snell’s command is excellent. He is hard to hit because he ably navigates the boundaries of the strike zone where batters tend to do less damage.

Snell vs. Giants

Tonight, Snell’s outlook is particularly strong because he loves facing the Giants.

In two starts against them this year, he’s allowed zero runs in twelve innings.

Logan Webb (San Francisco Giants)

Logan Webb starts for San Francisco tonight. As evident in his last start, when he allowed three runs to Arizona, his form does not compare with Snell’s.

Different Padres batters already hit him well. Manny Machado, for example, slugs .500 against him in 18 at-bats.

MLB Pick: Padres ML (-120) at Bet365

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