The Baltimore Orioles (14-15) will face the Seattle Mariners (16-14) to close out a three-game series on Wednesday, and in the process wrap up a seven-game series for the 2021 season. Each of the first five games was decided by two or fewer runs, which gives an indication of how difficult this one might be to predict. What we do know is that Baltimore has fared shockingly well on the road this year (10 wins in 15 games), so the Mariners’ home-field edge is likely nullified.
Free Picks: Baltimore Orioles vs Seattle Mariners
How will Mariners navigate Orioles’ ace Means?
Even though they’re not off to a very bad start, the Baltimore Orioles are objectively a team that lacks star power. We all know this.
But they do have John Means. Through six starts, Means has posted a 3-0 record and a 1.70 ERA, collecting more strikeouts (38) than base runners (31). He’s been nasty, and his stat line sticks out particularly with Baltimore because the rotation as a unit ranks 25th in the majors in ERA (4.81).
Every fifth day, Means gives the Orioles a legitimate chance to win. And with the Orioles as -105 money line underdogs (10Bet) among Wednesday’s MLB picks, Means makes the otherwise uninspiring Orioles a fairly compelling option. The Mariners are -116 money line favorites (10Bet) for this one, by the way.
And let’s not discount what Seattle’s starter, Yusei Kikuchi (1-1, 4.40 ERA) brings to this matchup. After all, he dealt out a one-hit outing — over seven innings — in his last start, striking out seven and walking just two. That came against the Astros, who are sixth in MLB in team batting average (.253).
But Kikuchi lacks the stable success of Means. While Means has allowed three or more runs just once through six starts, Kikuchi has allowed three or more runs in three of five starts. Dating back to last year, Means has a 1.67 ERA over his past seven starts; in the same span, Kikuchi’s ERA is 4.43.
Offensively, these teams are almost equally deficient. The Orioles and Mariners rank 27th and 28th, respectively, in team OPS, and they’re both in the bottom half of the league in virtually every category. Perhaps the Orioles are a bit “hotter” on offense right now (a relative term, all things considered), given their output of 25 runs in their past five games. The Mariners have scored 18 runs in their past five.
In the series opener between these teams on Monday, the Orioles won, 5-3, thanks to a five-run eighth inning. Outfielder Cedric Mullins dealt the most damage, with a two-run home run as part of a three-hit night. Mullins is sort of the “John Means” of Baltimore’s offense with a .942 OPS. Austin Hays (.808) is the only other Oriole with an OPS above .800.
A nice performance from Means and Mullins should be enough to push the Orioles past the Mariners, so we’ll roll with Baltimore in this BetPicks prediction. But keep in mind that all of the matchups between these teams have been close this season; the game could be decided by one inning or even one play.
- Baltimore is 6-4 on the money line in its past 10
- The UNDER has cashed in six of the Orioles’ past eight games
- Seattle is 4-6 on the money line in its past 10
- The UNDER has cashed in six of the Mariners’ past nine games
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Jordan Horrobin is a freelance sports journalist based in Toronto, Ontario, who enjoys sports-related research and telling engaging stories. His work can also be found at Sportsnet, Forbes and elsewhere. Though he abandoned most of his team-specific fandoms in the interest of unbiased analysis, Jordan roots hard for his fantasy football/hockey teams (and he's a complete homer for all things Ohio University).