The Seattle Mariners are on fire and quickly gaining ground in a crowded American League West.
The Mariners smashed the Chicago White Sox 14-2 on Monday to move within two games of the West-leading Texas Rangers and just a half-game back of the Houston Astros.
The Mariners, who have now won seven straight, swept the Astros in Houston over the weekend and kept their hot bats going to open the series in Chicago. Seattle scored five first-inning runs, had 15 hits and clubbed four home runs in the win.
Cleanup hitter Cal Raleigh led the way with two homers and six runs batted in, while Luis Castillo allowed just one run in seven innings on the mound.
Following Monday's win, the Mariners are +325 to win the AL West at BetMGM. The Rangers, losers of five straight, are the favorites at +120, while the defending World Series champion Astros are listed at +130.
Can the Mariners keep it going Tuesday? Seattle is a -155 road favorite at BetMGM, with the home White Sox listed at +125. The total is 8.5 runs.
The White Sox are having a miserable season, but they have Mike Clevinger on the mound. He has been their best starter this season with a 3.26 earned-run average in 16 starts. He has allowed a total of four earned runs in his past five starts, including throwing seven shutout innings last week versus the Chicago Cubs.
The Mariners will counter with Bryan Woo in his first start since Aug. 3. The rookie righty is coming off the injured list after missing a few starts due to forearm soreness. Woo, who had a 4.75 ERA in 11 starts, did not have a minors rehab assignment, so he could be on a pitch count in his return to the rotation.
What else is going on in MLB?
It’s a busy Tuesday in baseball, with 15 games on the schedule.
In the National League, the Philadelphia Phillies and San Francisco Giants, two of the teams fighting in the wild-card race, will meet for the second game of a three-game series. The Phillies blasted the Giants 10-4 on Monday, hitting four homers in the process. That included an inside-the-parker from Bryce Harper.
The Phillies are three games up in the wild-card race, while the Giants are one of five teams within two games of one another in the crowded field. For Tuesday's matchup, the Phillies are -140 favorites at BetMGM, while the Giants are +115.
In the AL East, the first-place Baltimore Orioles will begin a series with the Toronto Blue Jays. The Orioles, three games up in the division, are -120 home favorites, while the Blue Jays are +100. The Blue Jays are 8.5 games back in the East but are just one game back of the last AL wild-card spot.
Another team fighting for an AL wild-card spot is the Boston Red Sox, who are +115 underdogs on the road versus the Astros (-140).
The Rangers are +105 road underdogs versus the Arizona Diamondbacks (-125), one of those teams in the thick of the NL wild-card race.
What’s the best bet? Fading the Yankees
As much as this is a fade of the Yankees, who have lost eight consecutive games to fall four games below .500, it’s a play on the Nats. Washington has quietly been playing much better in recent weeks.
The Nats are 12-6 in the month of August, including winning seven of their past nine. While the Nats will start All-Star Josiah Gray, the Yankees have Carlos Rodon on the mound. Rodon has a 7.33 ERA and is coming off a stint on the injured list.
I’ll play the road dog.