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Red Sox vs Mariners Pick, Prediction Today
Updated:2024-05-02 16:50    Views:180
Red Sox vs. Mariners OddsThursday, Mar 2810:10 p.m. ETNESNRed Sox OddsSpreadTotalMoneyline+1.5-1647.5-100o / -122u+130Mariners OddsSpreadTotalMoneyline-1.5+1367.5-100o / -122u-154Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute MLB odds here.

Here's everything you need to know about Red Sox vs Mariners on Thursday, March 28 — including odds and a prediction.

The Red Sox and Mariners open up their respective seasons with one team having high hopes of making the playoffs.

Things are about as gloomy as they've ever been in a while in Boston heading into a season. The Red Sox made virtually no moves in the free agent market this offseason and are rolling into 2024 with one of the worst starting rotations in baseball.

They will send their one bright spot, Brayan Bello, to the mound on Thursday night, but after that it doesn't look to promising for the Red Sox, who are projected to finish last in the AL East.

The Mariners are looking to take the next step toward being World Series contenders with all of their young stars starting to blossom. Luis Castillo will get the ball on Opening Day after a solid 2023, but will have a tricky matchup against this Red Sox lineup.

Here's my Red Sox vs Mariners pick and prediction.

Check out our MLB Betting Hub for more previews from today's slate.

Boston Red Sox

Bello seems to be close to making the jump in stardom, but he's not the prototypical modern-day strikeout pitcher. Bello relies on a high ground-ball rate, which he did a good job of last season.

As you can see below by the heat map of his pitch mix, his sinker, changeup and slider are designed to be down in the zone, while he also uses his fastball that does average close to 96 mph to keep hitters guessing.

Baseball Savant

Bello's biggest problem is when he does get hit, he gets hit hard. He was in the 35th percentile among starting pitchers for average exit velocity allowed and was also in the 13th percentile for hard hit rate allowed. That is why his expected ERA was at 4.18 in 2023, and by most projection models he is going to be around a 4.30 ERA pitcher in 2024.

The Red Sox lineup is about the only bright spot for this team heading into 2024. Boston finished last season eighth in wOBA against right-handed pitching because the Red Sox have the ability to platoon six left-handed bats into their lineup. Castillo became more reliant on his fastball last year, which is good news for the Red Sox, who hit that pitch well last year.

The front three in the Red Sox bullpen are halfway decent, all ranking inside the top 100 in Fangraphs rankings, but the back portionof the bullpen might might be one of the worst in baseball. So, if Bello gets in trouble early, things could snowball for the Red Sox.

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Castillo made a pretty big change last season by starting to become more reliant on throwing his fastball. In 2022, he threw his fastball around 32% of the time, but last season he was up to a 44% usage on that pitch.

The problem is, that pitch isn't really anything special. He does average 96.3 mph on it, but it only has a Stuff+ rating of 95. He was just on point with the location of the pitch because it only allowed a .299 xwOBA.

As you can see below, the biggest problem with Castillo is what happens when his location is off. He gets hit really hard.

Baseball Savant

The other concerning aspect about Castillo is he doesn't have great splits versus lefties. He's great against righties, allowing only a .258 wOBA, but lefties have a .318 wOBA against him along with close to a 50% fly-ball percentage, when against righties he's only around 34%. So with Boston potentially having six left-handed bats in the lineup, this isn't a great matchup.

We can use a lot of different metrics to evaluate whether offenses are good or not, but one simple way is to see where a team ranks in ground-ball rate. Generally, if you have a high ground-ball rate, you aren't hitting the ball well because it means you aren't getting very many extra-base hits or hitting a high number of home runs.

The Mariners last year had one of the lowest ground-ball rates in baseball, which is a fantastic sign facing a pitcher like Bello who lives down in the zone.

Red Sox vs. Mariners

Betting Pick & Prediction

The weather on Opening Day doesn't look too great in Seattle with it being in the 50s and raining, so the roof most likely is going to be closed, which actually creates a better run-scoring environment than if the roof were open.

Both offenses have some advantages with the Mariners having a pretty significant positive run value against Bello's top three pitches along with being a good line-drive and fly-ball hitting team.

The Red Sox offense still is an above-average unit and has great platoon advantages here against Castillo.

I have 8.1 runs projected for this game, so I like the value on Over 7.5 runs at +100 (FanDuel).

Pick: Over 7.5 runs (+100 at FanDuel)