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  • Writer's pictureMason Dalley

Best Bet 7/17/2023

Minnesota Twins @ Seattle Mariners U7.5

DK +100

FD -115

BSB -120

Best Bet Season Record 2-1

Seattle Mariners starting pitcher Logan Gilbert reacts after striking out Chicago White Sox’ AJ Pollock during the sixth inning, Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2022, in Seattle. (Stephen Brashear / AP)
Image courtesy of Lindsey Wasson-USA TODAY Sports

The best way to bounce back from a slightly risky pick you love based on a feeling and hope of an overperformance from a dicey defense is to go after a statically sound, near guaranteed winner. As mentioned in my look ahead post and podcast, I do not think runs will be scored in this game. Sonny Gray is throwing it back to his Oakland days, and will be receiving some down ballot Cy Young Votes for his 2023 campaign. His pitching line of 2.89 ERA/2.85 FIP/99.2 IP/101 SO/9.3 BB%/1.27 WHIP is stellar. What makes me believe that he will be able to be effective in Seattle is his pitch mix.

Gray uses a healthy, diverse pitch mix that is able to keep opposing batters off balance. It also allows him to attack matchups in a way that an elite two pitch pitcher just isn't able to. Against Seattle, look for his fastball mix to put in work. Seattle ranks at 21st in all of MLB in hit percentage off of the fastball at 30.8%. Gray's fastballs are incredibly valuable to his game because it sets up his devastating Sweeper, a pitch that has induced a batting average of .128 and a slugging percentage of .160. Expect the Sinker and Cutter to induce soft contact and foul balls while the Sweeper puts the Mariners away.

The Mariners aren't doing poorly themselves in the pitching department for today's game. Logan Gilbert is sporting a 3.66 ERA/3.47 FIP/108.1 IP/106 SO/4.4 BB% /.093 WHIP. He denies traffic with the best of the, ranking in the 95th percentile in all of MLB in walk rate. Gilbert is a very different flavor of great starting pitcher in comparison to Gray. Where Gray relies on nibbling along the edges and using a varied pitch mix to keep hitters off-balance, Gilbert overpowers batters. He pounds the zone with a 95+ MPH 4SEAM fastball and follows it up with an 88MPH Slider as his main put away pitch. He has added a show me curveball that drops in 81MPH and most importantly of all, instead of changeup, Gilbert uses a nasty splitter. His split fingered fastball induces a .125 batting average and .278 slugging percentage. The splitter plays into his power and his frame. What's transforming Gilbert from a good #3 starter to a potential ace is how he uses his 6'6 frame.

His extension off the mound ranks in the 99th percentile in all of MLB, making his 95+ MPH fastball play more like a 98+ MPH fastball. It gives batters less time to react to his breaking pitches. It's devastating to deal with when he's locked in. This is all bad news for the Twins, who only hit the fastball 30.3% of the time, good for 26th in all of MLB.

Minnesota's bats won't play in T-Mobile Park, Seattle bats don't play particularly well in their own ballpark, I just don't see runs on the board

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