Toronto Blue Jays vs Seattle Mariners: Preview, Prediction & Odds -- Aug. 15, 2021

by Chuck Sommers

Game time: 4:10 p.m. ET
Venue: T-Mobile Park, Seattle, WA
Where to watch: SNET-1, ROOTNW, MLB Network

Season-to-date (entering Saturday)
Blue Jays: 62-53 (4th place, AL East)
Mariners: 62-55 (3rd place, AL West)

Projected lineup


Blue Jays:
George Springer (R) CF
Marcus Semien (R) 2B
Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (R) 1B
Bo Bichette (R) SS
Teoscar Hernandez (R) DH
Lourdes Gurriel Jr. (R) LF
Randal Grichuk (R) RF
Santiago Espinal (R) 3B
Reese McGuire (L) C

Mariners:
J.P. Crawford (L) SS
Mitch Haniger (R) RF
Ty France (R) 1B
Kyle Seager (L) 3B
Abraham Toro (S) 2B
Luis Torrens (R) DH
Jarred Kelenic (L) CF
Tom Murphy (R) C
Jake Fraley (L) LF

Probable starting pitchers: Steven Matz (TOR) vs. Logan Gilbert (SEA)

Odds at USA Sportsbooks

DraftKings: Blue Jays -150, Mariners +130
BetMGM: Blue Jays -140, Mariners +115
FanDuel: Blue Jays -146, Mariners +124

Recent form (entering Saturday)
Blue Jays: Lost three of five
Mariners: Three straight wins

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Blue Jays - Mariners preview


The Toronto Blue Jays and Seattle Mariners will wrap up their three-game series Sunday in what has become an important game for the once-scorching Blue Jays.

At the time of publishing, Toronto and Seattle have barely begun their second meeting on Saturday, a battle between Hyun Jin Ryu and Yusei Kikuchi. The Mariners won 3-2 on Friday on a walk-off walk for their third straight victory.

Sunday’s pitching matchup will see Steven Matz take the mound for Toronto against right-hander Logan Gilbert.

Regardless of Saturday’s outcome, this is an important game for the Blue Jays. Now having lost consecutive games, including Thursday to the Los Angeles Angels, Toronto has slipped to four games behind the Boston Red Sox for the second wild card spot in the American League. After losing two of three to the Tampa Bay Rays, the Red Sox have won back-to-back games highlighted by the season debuts of Kyle Schwarber and Chris Sale.

The euphoric fun of returning to Toronto has won off with the Blue Jays’ offense scoring five runs combined in the past two games. Matz, who boasts a 4.28 ERA, has lost three of his last four starts, allowing eight runs. He threw six scoreless innings and had eight strikeouts on Aug. 4 against the Cleveland Indians.

Seattle has pulled within five games of a wild card spot with the three straight wins entering Saturday, but have had to combat with the Houston Astros’ recent winning ways, as well as the Oakland Athletics’ 8-2 stretch in the last 10 games. But more importantly, the Mariners are one game back of Toronto in the wild card standings.

Betting trends


We highlighted Matz’s struggles lately. Those translate to the books. When the Blue Jays are a favorite of -125 to -175, they’re 1-5 when Matz takes the mound. The over is 4-2 in that scenario.

Opposing him on the mound, the Mariners are 9-2 as an underdog when Gilbert pitches and are 11-4 in all starts this season. Seattle has lost both of his starts in August, however. The over is 6-5. The homers may not be coming in hot early, but don’t be surprised to see the RBI flowing in by first pitch.

Prediction


Be weary of this matchup because we expect Toronto to continue to be good. We also don’t think the Mariners have done enough to convince us they’re worthy of a run. But in this instance, all signs point to Gilbert slowing down the Blue Jays batters and getting a crucial series victory, Saturday pending. Mariners win, over cashes.

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Chuck Sommers

About the Author:

Chuck Sommers has camped outside of sportsbooks since he can remember, learning the tricks and nuances of the trade. He still has nightmares of betting $5,000 on the Raiders in the Tuck Rule game but has since turned that to 25 years of veteran handicapping greatness. You can find him mostly in the shadows at the Red Rock or Aliante casinos wondering if the over is cashing on any given Sunday.

All photographic images used for editorial content have been licensed from the Associated Press.

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