The October 1st Angels at Mariners matchup is going to have a playoff-like atmosphere as Seattle comes into Friday night’s game tied with Boston for the 2nd wild card spot. The Red Sox are in Washington with a 7:05 first pitch, so Seattle will know where they stand by the time this 10:10 PM ET game gets underway.
Even if Boston loses, Seattle is still in a must win situation because they are only 1 game up on Toronto, and the Blue Jays are playing the last place Orioles this weekend. The Mariners took two of three in Anaheim last week, and are 10-6 against the Angels this season. Seattle is a -155 favorite in Friday’s series opener.
Ohtani Seals the Deal
The Angels have lost 10 of their last 13 games and are likely to finish the season around 20 games off the pace in the AL West. There’s still some excitement for Angels fans over the last weekend of the regular season though, as Shohei Ohtani gets three more games to solidify his AL MVP resume.
Ohtani will likely still get his first MVP award even with an 0-10, 10K weekend. The two-way superstar has 45 HR and 99 RBI on the season, and is the odds on favorite to capture the MVP ahead of Toronto’s Vlad Guerrero, Jr. Ohtani hasn’t went deep since September 21st, and the Angels only have three HR total over the past week.
Jose Suarez (7-6, 3.86 ERA) takes the mound for the last time this season for the Angels, and his second straight against the Mariners. Suarez allowed 4 ER over 5 IP last Friday and is 1-0 with a 4.26 ER in three outings vs. Seattle this season.
Seattle Can’t Afford a Letdown
The Mariners are looking up but also looking back, as they chase the Red Sox and try to avoid being caught by Boston in the AL wild card race. The M’s have done their part down the stretch, winners of four straight and 10 of their last 11 overall.
The Mariners have scored 4+ in 10 of their 11 and have mostly gotten that production from manufacturing runs. Mitch Haniger does have 3 HR over the past week, but only Jarred Kelenic and Abraham Toro have left the yard over that span. Seattle is in the postseason hunt despite a -48 run differential which is astounding. The M’s don’t scare you, they just beat you, especially at home where they are 45-33 on the year.
It’s up to Marco Gonzales to keep Ohtani and the Angels offense at bay on Friday night. The left-hander is 10-5 with a 3.80 ERA on the year and has a 2.84 ERA in two starts vs. the Angels this season. That includes 7.0 IP of 3-hit ball in a 5-1 Mariners win last Sunday as +124 underdogs in Anaheim, and Scott Servais would take another performance like that.
October 1st Angels at Mariners Pick
How do you go against Seattle at home and in the must-win spot? Seattle has won 8 of the last 9 Gonzales starts and the Angels are ready to reach the 2021 finish line line with losses in 10 of their last 13. Ohtani may get his here, but it won’t be enough.
Mariners 6 – Angels 3
Free Pick: Mariners -165