Mariners vs. Blue Jays MLB Best Bets for May 18

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Marco Gonzales #7 of the Seattle Mariners delivers a pitch in the second inning against the New York Mets. Elsa/Getty Images/AFP

The Seattle Mariners have all the value for your Wednesday MLB picks when they visit the steaming Toronto Blue Jays.

Seattle Mariners vs. Toronto Blue Jays

Wednesday, May 18, 2022 – 07:07 PM EDT at Rogers Centre

The Seattle Mariners must be a little tired of having the Toronto Blue Jays – and their legion of Canadian fans in beautiful British Columbia – cross the border and invade the Emerald City.

Pandemic and geopolitical concerns notwithstanding, these games have become de facto home games for Toronto in recent years.

Don’t be surprised if the Mariners (16-21, minus-4.61 betting units) try extra-hard to stick it to the Blue Jays (20-17, minus-0.43 units) this Wednesday in the T-Dot.

Seattle won both their road games against Toronto last year – albeit at Sahlen Field in Buffalo – and the M’s took two out of three from the Jays in 2018 and 2019.

Five of those six wins were underdogs on the MLB odds board. The Mariners won’t be winning this series, though.

Toronto took the first two games by a combined score of 9-2; as we go to press, the Mariners are +202 road dogs and climbing at BetOnline for Wednesday’s finale. Smells like a bargain.

Who’s Starting for the Mariners?

This bargain does smell a bit funny, though. Marco Gonzales (6.29 FIP) is due to take the mound for Seattle, and he’s already cost M’s supporters 1.74 betting units on a team record of 2-5.

  • This is despite a forgiving .272 BABIP allowed, which is 20 points below Gonzales’s career average.
  • Gonzales was Seattle’s Opening Day starter the previous three years, but he hasn’t pitched like an ace for a while now.

Maybe spin rate has something to do with it. The 30-year-old righty is known mostly (if he’s known at all) for his change-up, which has spun less quickly every year since 2017, and has taken a nose-dive this year – as have all his pitches. Stupid stickum rules.

Who’s Starting for the Blue Jays?

Losing Robbie Ray to the Mariners in free agency wasn’t great for Toronto, but they did sign Kevin Gausman (0.83 FIP) away from San Francisco, and they can’t ask for much more than what he’s provided so far.

  • The Jays are 5-2 in his seven starts for a tidy 1.25 units, with the Under at 4-2-1. That FIP is bound to go up, of course.
  • Gausman has yet to allow a home run this year, which is clearly unsustainable. Then again, so is that .353 BABIP allowed.

Suffice to say Gausman is the better pitcher in Wednesday’s matchup by a fair margin: 21 Elo points, according to FiveThirtyEight.

How Much Do Bullpens Matter?

A lot. But in this case, both bullpens have been equally disappointing; Seattle ranks No. 19 overall at FanGraphs, one spot ahead of Toronto’s, with the two teams virtually tied at plus-0.4 WAR.

There’s a catch, though: Jays' closer Jordan Romano (3.58 FIP) is day-to-day with a non-COVID illness and wasn’t available for the first two games of this series.

Set-up man Tim Mayza (2.56 FIP) also just went on the 15-day injured list with an inflamed forearm. That’s Toronto’s top two relievers in sickbay.

With that in mind, and with FiveThirtyEight projecting the equivalent of –177 moneyline odds for Toronto (64 percent, run through the imperturbable BMR Odds Converter), we’re going to bite the bullet here at the ranch and recommend Seattle for your betting picks.

Let’s make it the classic underdog-under parlay while we’re at it, and as always, may the sphere be with you.

MLB Pick: Mariners (+202) with BetOnline (visit our BetOnline Review)

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Mariners (+202)
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MLB Pick: Under 8 (-105) with BetOnline

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Under 8 (-105)
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*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.