The Seattle Mariners have drawn a bit of sharp action on the season win totals. Unfortunately, the wise guys are going against the Mariners winning 85.5 games. The odds are -110.
It’s easy to see why the Mariners are a bit of a bet-against team. They have far too many question marks in their line-up. They have Nelson Cruz, Robinson Cano and Kyle Saeger, but that’s about it. A few players are capable of decent seasons, but there isn’t much power in the outfield, so the Big 3 may see fewer good pitches.
Their starting rotation isn’t all that bad. It’s not all that great, either. Felix Hernandez and Hisashi Iwakuma is an above-average 1-2 punch, although neither had a particularly good season a year ago. James Paxton has great stuff, but has never put it together. Drew Smyly has battled injury problems and is a bit of an unknown. Yovani Gallardo is coming off a horrible year and has been roughed up this spring.
The Mariners are banking on at least two or three of their starting pitchers to revert to their previous form. While one, maybe even two, will do so, it’s unlikely that all four will. That will leave them with a few holes in the rotation.
The questions regarding the starting rotation become even bigger when you look at Seattle’s bullpen. Edwin Diaz will be the closer and did a decent job last year splitting time. They’ll need others to step up and contribute.
Seattle won 86 games last year and looks to have improved themselves slightly. So why the drop in the season win total? For starters, both Houston and the Los Angeles Angels are likely to have better seasons than they did a year ago. Texas is another team that could make some noise.
While the Mariners may be better than last year, several of the other teams in the division will be also. That’s what the wise guys are banking on.