Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 9:58 AM

Saturday's Best Bet

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Saturday MLB Betting Preview
Oakland vs Seattle

The A's grabbed a 5-2 win in their series opener with Seattle on Friday night, and now Oakland's got a legitimate shot at getting to the break with a record that's 10 games over the .500 mark. That's quite the record no doubt, but the A's will still likely head into the All-Star break a handful of games behind Houston in the AL West, but with about a half-season to go, anything can happen.

For right now, it's all about finishing strong this weekend for Oakland, and it starts with assuring themselves of another series victory. The Mariners have decided weeks ago that 2019 isn't going to be their year – which is wild to think about given they were 13-2 SU out of the gate – and with seven losses in their last eight games, Seattle's players are just looking forward to some time off away from one another and the team.

Can Oakland capitalize on that again tonight, or will the Mariners actually show some fight and try to head into the break on their own positive note? MLB Odds: Oakland (-138) vs Seattle (+128); Total set at 9.5

The A's are sending righty Chris Bassitt to the hill tonight and Oakland fans are hoping that all the run support Bassitt has gotten lately continues to happen. The A's are 3-0 SU in his last three starts thanks to scoring 9 runs/game for Bassitt, as all three of those wins have come by at least four runs. Bassitt is a guy that typically doesn't go more than five innings or so, so there is that to be concerned about to a degree for A's backers, especially if he falls off a bit from those recent starts.

Yet, the message defensively will be just as stern this time around, as they can't go around giving up easy yards and points like they did and expect to win too many games. But if we can use last year as any indication, we should expect the Riders defense to step up from here on out, because last season's visit to Ottawa in Week 2 was the only time all year Saskatchewan allowed more then 34 points against. Welcoming a Toronto team that looked awful last week for the home opener is a great situation for this Riders defense to get back on track, and it's hard to believe that they won't be able to to some degree.

Prior to that three-game stretch of victories for Bassitt, it was a rough outing for him at home against this same Seattle team in mid-June, as control issues (4 walks allowed) led to some crooked numbers being put up on him in an eventual 9-2 Seattle win. That was his only start of the year against Seattle so far, and even if the Mariners are a disinterested bunch right now, laying it with Oakland has to be a bit concerning simply because of that past result.

Seattle counters with Marco Gonzales tonight, and the lefty is tyring to get back in the win column after a four-game winning streak in his starts was snapped by Houston last time out. Gonzales' pitching wasn't exactly the driving force behind that four-game winning stretch as the Mariners did put up 6+ runs in all four of those outings, as like Bassitt, Gonzales got bailed out by some tremendous offensive support. But I guess when you have given up 118 hits in just 106.2 IP this year like Gonzales has, you are going to need help like that at times to get the desired results.

All of that brings me to tonight's play, and rather then be concerned about trusting Oakland with a shaky pitcher out there, or considering backing a disinterested Mariners team that's already bad as it is, it's the total that caught my eye here as I do believe we get to double digit runs when all is said and done.

I've already touched on the idea that both starters haven't really had much of an issue getting run support from their teammates all year – Bassitt has gotten 6 runs/game in support through 13 starts and Gonzales sits at 5.1/game in his 19 starts – but the fact that each offense is also up against one of these guys should help promote those scoring barrages to continue. Neither starter has been great at keeping the opposition off the scoreboard all year either, and when you combine all of that for the whole picture, a total below 10 does appear to be a bit low.

Furthermore, Gonzales' last three home starts have all cashed 'over' tickets – two of the three came against AL West rivals too – as there was an 8-2 win against KC, as well as 13-3 and 11-4 losses against the Angels and Rangers respectively. Those latter two results are evidence of how bad it can get for Gonzales when it is going bad, and with the Mariners on a 5-1 O/U run in his last six home starts overall, and a 5-1 O/U run when he's had a full five days off, tonight's outing should follow a similar script.

Oakland is on a 4-0 O/U run in Bassitt's last four starts overall – largely because of that run support he's gotten, but the A's as a team are also 6-2 O/U in their last eight against a southpaw starter, and 9-3 O/U in their last 12 after allowing two or fewer runs the last time out. Nine of Oakland's last 13 games against a losing team have cashed 'over' tickets as well, and with these two guys who are prone to get hit hard as well as get plenty of offensive support, the 'over' is the best way to go here.

MLB Best Bet: MLB Best Bet: Over 9.5 runs

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