Seattle Mariners' Kyle Seager
Seattle Mariners' Kyle Seager, right, hits a double in front of Oakland Athletics' Yan Gomes, left, during the first inning of a baseball game in Oakland, Calif., Tuesday, Sept. 21, 2021. (AP Photo/Jed Jacobsohn)

Mariners vs Oakland, Sept. 22

Kyle Barrette

The battle continues in the race for the AL Wild Card. This series will likely decide which of these two teams will have a legit chance to compete for the last spot in the wild card and could have some outside impacts on a divisional race that is beginning to tighten up. With few games left when these teams face off again next week, this series is for all the marbles. Can the Oakland bats overcome and power them to a playoff berth? Will Seattle continue their current winning streak and sneak into the playoffs?



Oakland
The A’s currently sit in second place in the wild card and the division. With two series left against the Astros, the A’s have an outside shot to win the division but will need to likely sweep one of the series. Oakland has a better chance of winning out the last spot in the wild card, only being two games behind the Blue Jays versus being seven games behind the Astros. Cole Irvin goes to the mound for the A’s today and he has been just average over his last seven starts. He has allowed three or more runs in six of his last seven. His walks are up, and his strikeouts have decreased. Also, his home runs are rising at an alarming rate. Irvin has had two starts against Seattle and both did not go particularly well. The A’s lost both of those games and Irvin allowed a combined seven runs in only seven innings pitched. He will need to have one of his best starts to keep the A’s in this one.

Seattle
The Mariners won game one of this series and are on a two game win streak. Seattle has the most ground to make up and has a very slim chance of winning the division but has a good shot to take the last wild card spot if they can finish the season strong. Chris Flexen takes the hill for the Mariners today. He has been solid in eight of his last nine starts, allowing three or less runs in those starts. Flexen has been averaging five strikeouts a game while keeping his walks around two and has limited the home runs to a minimum. The Mariners have alternated wins and losses in his last four starts but Seattle are a solid 19-9 in games Flexen has started. The Mariners are 1-1 against the A’s in games Flexen has started, but he pitched well in both only allowing a combined three runs and went past the fifth inning in both starts.

Mariners vs Oakland: The Pick
The Mariners took game one of this series and are going to take game two here. The A’s have looked decedent of their older and more well versed version but be aware that it is the offense that is letting them down again. The Mariners hold the pitching advantage in this one and will have the advantage with their bats, so take the Mariners on the money line.

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