MLB Regular Season
Matchup: Arizona Diamondbacks at Seattle Mariners
Date/Time: July 27, 10:10 p.m. ET
Pitching Matchup: Robbie Ray (3-5, 2.72) vs. Mike Montgomery (4-4, 3.25)
MLB Betting Odds From BetDSI Sportsbook
Moneyline: Seattle -135
The Arizona Diamondbacks and Seattle Mariners find themselves in some pretty unique company this week. There is not expected to be a whole lot of trade deadline action with these two teams. Both teams have former closers on the trade market, as the Diamondbacks would like to find a taker for Addison Reed and the Mariners would have no problem parting with Fernando Rodney. Other than that, there’s not much for Arizona and Seattle to do this week. Neither team is in a position to challenge for the playoffs and neither team has much to sell. That may actually benefit both of them during this crazy week.
The Diamondbacks had a big push to get to .500 prior to the All-Star Break and then lost three straight against the New York Mets to hit the break at three games under. The Mariners have been a disappointment all season long, as injuries to Hisashi Iwakuma and James Paxton hurt their starting pitching depth and the offense hasn’t gotten much from anybody outside of Nelson Cruz’s monster April. There is one huge difference between these two teams that could play a part in Monday’s result.
The Diamondbacks will send Robbie Ray to the hill for his 11th start of the Major League season. Ray got the call after flashing some good swing-and-miss stuff in Triple-A over nine starts. He has thrown the ball very well for the Diamondbacks since his call-up, posting a 2.72 ERA with a 2.63 FIP and a 3.95 xFIP. The high xFIP comes from an extremely low home run rate, even though Ray is a fly ball pitcher by trade. Only two of the 75 fly balls he has allowed have left the yard.
What has helped Ray, and what could be a deciding factor in this game, is the Arizona defense. Even with some concerns about Yasmany Tomas entering the season, the Diamondbacks have been a top-five defensive team most of the season. Right now, only the Kansas City Royals have accumulated more defensive runs saved and the third-place teams, Miami and Houston, are pretty far back. With a game in an American League park, the Diamondbacks can add another bat to the lineup and take a subpar fielder and slot him in as the designated hitters.
Mike Montgomery is a great story. After spending seven full seasons in the minor leagues, Montgomery joined his third organization and got his Major League chance with the Mariners. In 10 starts Montgomery has shown some good pitchability, with a 3.25 ERA, a 4.01 FIP, and a 4.23 xFIP. His .259 BABIP against and 76.5 percent strand rate as statistical examples of that pitchability, though they have a little bit of luck attached to them as well.
Montgomery has the standard four-pitch mix for a lefty, with a slider that is classified as a cutter. He has an average swinging strike rate with a below average strikeout rate. Not surprisingly, Safeco Field has been kind to Montgomery so far, where he has held 137 opposing batters to a .223/.263/.323 slash. The Diamondbacks are seventh in wOBA against lefties so far this season, so this will be a stiff test for Montgomery.
MLB Prediction: Arizona Diamondbacks
I really like this spot for the Diamondbacks. I’m happy to back them in AL parks where they can put the optimal defensive lineup in the field. It’s a very small sample, but Arizona is 3-1 on the road in AL parks this season, which may not be predictive, but it does make sense. Ray should be a good fit for pitcher-friendly Safeco Field and this line is a few cents too high.