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MLB Betting Preview: SEA Mariners @ LA Dodgers (8/18/20)

In yet another cross-league battle, the Mariners and Dodgers square off in Los Angeles. At the top of the world, the 17-7 Dodgers will trot out Tony Gonsolin. In hopes of avoiding the AL basement, the Mariners will respond with Marco Gonzales.

As we did with our Brewers-Twins preview, let’s read between the lines in search of the best betting angles.

Los Angeles Dodgers catcher Will Smith (16) gets congratulated by Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Mookie Betts after hitting a home run

Seattle Mariners at Los Angeles Dodgers

Dodger Stadium, Los Angeles, CA – 7:10 PM ET

Game Info/Starting Pitchers:

SEA: Marco Gonzales – L (Last Season: 3.99 ERA, 4.15 FIP, 3.7 WAR, 203 IP)
LAD: Tony Gonsolin – R (Last Season: 2.92 ERA, 3.86 FIP, 0.6 WAR, 40 IP)

Odds & Betting lines (DraftKings)

Total: 9.5 | Over:-109| Under: -112
SEA | Moneyline:+215| Run Line (+1.5): +110
LAD | Moneyline:-265| Run Line (-1.5): -127

Game Notes

Walking a Fine Line

Over the past two seasons, Marco Gonzalez has been nothing short of excellent. By accumulating 7.1 WAR across 370 innings from 2018-2019, the lefty produced $56.6 million of value! Unfortunately, however, the cliff is much closer than his recent success would suggest. 

With a paltry career strikeout rate of a 18.6%, Gonzalzes’ game relies on pinpoint command of the strike zone. To the former 1st-rounder’s credit, he has already done so for long stretches in his career. In 2020, however, it’s now clear that his margin for error is shrinking. Just last year, his SIERA was an alarming 5.08, and his xFIP 5.11, which are barely rotation material. Moreover, Gonzales’ 2020 velocity of 88.5 mph is his worst ever. 

Guys like Gonzales perennially succeed in the face of dire circumstances, but nothing lasts forever.

Betting Picks

SEA +1.5 (+110)

To my slight surprise, it appears that public overconfidence in the Dodgers has somewhat negated our Gonzales angle. Even if you assume the squads to be on opposite ends of the league offense spectrum, there’s not enough to render the Dodgers 70% favorites. Even if he’s not very good, Marco Gonzales can still keep this game close. 

LAD Under 5.5 (+100) (Parlay)

With that in mind, we can leverage this overconfidence into a mini-parlay. If the Mariners are going to keep it close, the score is much more likely to be 4-3 than 8-7. While league offense has experienced an upswing of late, Dodger Stadium remains a pitcher’s ballpark. Plus, 5.5 runs is a high bar in and of itself. Last year, only 3 teams averaged more per game, and those teams’ median runs per game were lower. Better yet, should the Dodgers rest any of their star sluggers, we’d bank some value before the game even starts.