Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#4969 Seattle Mariners vs.
#4970 Oakland Athletics
Wednesday, September 20, 2023 at 3:37pm EDT
Written by Mark Ruelle

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The Seattle Mariners and Oakland A's will wrap up their three-game series on Wednesday afternoon in Oakland. The Mariners are battling both the Rangers and Blue Jays for the final two spots in the American League Wildcard race. They are also still in the hunt for the AL West title as they trail the Astros by less than three games. The A's are out of the playoff picture and are only battling the Kansas City Royals to avoid having the worst record in baseball this season. The pitching matchup on Wednesday afternoon will be hard-throwing righty George Kirby (10-10, 3.57) of the Mariners facing an as-yet-to-be-named starter for the A's. The first pitch is scheduled for 3:37 PM EST.

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Down to the Wire

At times it seems as if neither the Rangers nor the Mariners want one of the final two wildcard spots in the American League. The Rangers have lost four straight games heading into Tuesday night's game with the Red Sox while the Mariners were swept by the Dodgers over the weekend before getting a clutch pitching performance from rookie Bryan Woo on Monday night against Oakland in a 5-0 win. The win coupled with the Rangers' loss to the Red Sox vaulted the Mariners back into a tie for the final wildcard spot with the Rangers.

*The article was written before the completion of Tuesday night's game. 

The Mariners will hand the ball to righty George Kirby in the series finale on Wednesday afternoon. Kirby is 10-10 in 28 starts this season including 17 quality starts. He has given up 163 hits in 171.2 innings pitched with an ERA of 3.57. Kirby has a K/9 rate of 8.3 and his WHIP is an impressive 1.05. Kirby is 4-6 in 15 games on the road this season with an ERA of 3.99. He has faced the A's once this season and picked up the win after going seven innings and allowing seven hits and three runs. In his last five starts, he is 0-2 with an ERA of 6.00 while allowing 32 hits in 27 innings pitched and striking out 27 batters.


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Battling for the Bottom

The Oakland A's are sinking toward the finish line in what has become a two-team race with the Royals for the worst record in baseball. Heading into Tuesday night's game, the A's have lost five in a row and seven of their last nine games overall. The A's have now lost over 100 games in back-to-back seasons and have already passed last year's total of 102. They are two games behind the 102-loss Royals heading into Tuesday night's action.

The A's have not announced a pitcher for Wednesday afternoon's series finale against the Mariners. The A's have several candidates to give them multiple innings on Wednesday afternoon. Mason Miller, a starter in the minors, pitched just an inning on Saturday against San Diego on Saturday. He is 0-3 with an ERA of 3.42 in seven appearances this season including six starts. He will likely be asked to open this game or at least contribute multiple innings. Another pitcher I expect to get some innings would be lefty Kyle Muller, another starter that is working out of the A's bullpen.

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Kirby has stumbled a bit over his last five starts with an elevated ERA and 0-2 in that span. He has a perfect opportunity here against the light-hitting A's lineup to get back on track. Kirby has faced the A's once this season and was sharp going seven innings and allowing just three runs in a Mariners' win. The A's will have to cobble together a group of pitchers on Wednesday with no available starter to give them a long stint. The Mariners lineup should have its way with the A's staff on Wednesday as they try to stay with the Rangers and Blue Jays in the wildcard race.

Take Seattle with the run line.

Prediction: Seattle -1.5

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I expect another solid effort from Kirby against the Mariners on Wednesday. He allowed three runs in seven innings in his last outing against them and should once again find success against baseball's worst-hitting lineup. The A's have gone to the under in seven of their last ten games including the opener of this series in which the team was shutout. In fact, Oakland is averaging just one run per game heading into Tuesday night's game. The Mariners have gone under the total in five of their last six games as well. I think the Mariners will produce against the A's on Wednesday but they will do most of the damage while the Mariners will be held in check.

Take the under.

Prediction: Under 8.5

Written By Mark Ruelle , "Mark Ruelle"

Mark has been a sports fanatic since childhood. He is also an avid follower of sports analytics and has used it in his own betting analysis for over two decades. Now we have Mark on our team here at Stat Salt. He holds degrees in marketing, broadcasting, and English and uses this vast array of assets to dissect and analyze game matchups. Mark will provide you with a wide variety of statistics to consider and a strong opinion in each matchup that he covers. Please follow him daily for an up-to-the-minute analysis of all the important games.

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