July 7 MLB Preview — Oakland Athletics at Seattle Mariners

(Daniel Mengden photo courtesy Jeff Curry/USA TODAY Sports)

This is the full preview(s) as seen on the Winners and Whiners and Stat Salt websites. The confidence rating for all picks on a scale from 1 to 5 is in parentheses.

Note: The 5/5 does NOT represent the best overall pick of the day’s games when there are multiple games, simply the best pick(s) from each individual game.

When and Where: Sunday, July 7, T-Mobile Park, Seattle, Wash., 4:10 p.m. EDT.

Daniel Mengden tries to close the first half of the season a three-start winning streak Sunday when he leads the Oakland Athletics into the finale of their series versus the Seattle Mariners.

Mengden trying to secure rotation spot for wild-card chase

Mengden (3-1, 4.67 ERA) is in his second stint with the A’s this year, having been recalled in late June to help fill the void created by the 80-game suspension handed to Frankie Montas for violating the league’s PED policy.

The right-hander has had two wildly varying starts since being called up, but they have resulted in the same result for Oakland — wins. Mengden allowed a pair of home runs Tuesday versus Minnesota, but picked up the victory despite yielding five runs and eight hits in 5 2-3 innings of an 8-6 A’s triumph.

“It was key that Mengden was able to get into the sixth,” A’s manager Bob Melvin told the club’s official website. “(Yusmeiro) Petit had to come in and do his thing for one-plus innings like he’s done so many times. He continues to perform in high-leverage situations. (Joakim) Soria has also been pitching really well. It’s been really important for him to fill the void late in games and he’s done that.”

Mengden faced the Mariners during his first stint with the A’s this year and battled control problems. He was able to work in and out of trouble, giving up just one run despite yielding five hits and five walks in four innings.

Mengden did not get a decision in Oakland’s 6-4 win and is 0-2 with a 4.43 ERA in four career starts versus Seattle.

LeBlanc trying to thrive in bulk reliever role

The Mariners have not officially named a starter for this game, but the expectation is Scott Servais will use Matt Carasiti (0-0, 1.80) as an opener, and he will give way to Wade LeBlanc (5-2, 5.02).

Carasiti has only been scored upon once in his four appearances as opener, allowing a solo homer to Jose Martinez against St. Louis on Tuesday. He bounced back with a scoreless first Thursday, striking out two while working around a base hit by Martinez.

LeBlanc has pitched fairly well since being taken out of the rotation, going 3-0 with a 3.31 ERA in six appearances as the Mariners bulk reliever. He conceded only a solo homer in 4 2-3 innings versus St. Louis on Tuesday and did not factor in the decision as Seattle eventually won 5-4.

“It all starts with pitching and we got exactly what we were hoping for out of the opener and Wade,” Servais said. “I thought Wade threw the ball really well.”

LeBlanc, though, has had two rough outings against the Athletics — one as a starter and one as a reliever. The lefty lost to Mengden in May after giving up four runs and five hits in five innings of a 6-2 loss, then was drilled for six runs and nine hits in just 2 2-3 innings June 15 as the A’s stormed to an 11-2 rout.

Khris Davis has sized up LeBlanc well, going 4 for 8 with a homer, and Marcus Semien has taken the lefty deep once while going 5 for 12.

Notable Trends:

The Mariners are:

  • 0-4 in their last four during game 3 of a series.
  • 6-21 in their last 27 home games vs. above-.500 teams.
  • 8-20 in their last 28 games vs. AL West teams.

The Athletics are:

  • 4-0 in Mengden’s last four road starts.
  • 7-1 in Mengden’s last eight road starts vs. sub-.500 teams.
  • 18-6 in their last 24 road games.

5-Star Pick!!!!!

OVER 5 runs first 5 innings (-125)

The hedge is both Mengden and LeBlanc get dinged for enough runs in the five innings to deliver the over, with neither pitcher offering much to back them in their recent outings. The five-inning over has split the 12 games between the teams this year but is 8-4-1 in Seattle’s last 13 home games.

4-Star Pick!!!!

Athletics -1.5 runs (+115)

The Athletics are the lean based on what they have done against LeBlanc this year. One time could be a fluke, but to batter the lefty in both roles means Oakland hitters are seeing the ball well coming out of his hand, which should lead to a victory.

3-Star Picks!!!

OVER 9.5 runs (-121)

Again, a pick based on the track record of what the A’s have done against LeBlanc while also noting Mengden has had his hiccups and can be nicked for a few runs. The over has gone 3-1-1 in Mengden’s last five starts against AL West teams and is 8-3 in Seattle’s last 11 Sunday games.

Mariners -0.5 runs (+140)

An alternate line courtesy PointsBet.com, the Mariners have been a good five-inning team of late, leading at that point in their last five games and in 10 of the last 14. They also have led in all four of their home games versus Oakland. Mengden did help the A’s grab a five-inning lead in his other start against the Mariners this year but with two wildly varying starts, the play is the trend.

1st inning 3-way money line draw (-125)

Though Mengden did give up a run to Seattle in the previous matchup, he has not yielded one in his two road starts. Carasiti has been mainly effective in his role as opener save one bad pitch, so what amounts to as a “No” pick for a first-inning run is the play here with the expectation of a 0-0 opening frame.

Published by:

Chris Altruda

Currently a freelance sportswriter on the hunt for full-time work. If you like my work or have constructive criticism, please share it and/or contact me at chris.altruda@hotmail.com or via Twitter at @AlTruda73 My portfolio of clippings can be viewed at http://www.clippings.me/caltruda And thank you for taking time out of your day to read my posts.

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