After Alek Manoah outlasted Luis Castillo in a pitcher’s duel on Friday night, the Toronto Blue Jays will go for a series win against the Seattle Mariners in a Saturday matinee at Rogers Centre. First pitch is scheduled for 3:07 p.m. ET. Kevin Gausman (2-2, 2.84 ERA) will go for Toronto against struggling Seattle righty Chris Flexen (0-4, 8.86).
The Blue Jays are heavy -245 favorites on the moneyline at DraftKings Sportsbook, while the Mariners are +205 underdogs. The run total is set at 9.
Mariners-Blue Jays picks: Saturday, April 29
Out: 1B Evan White (groin), RP Andres Munoz (shoulder), SP Robbie Ray (elbow), OF Taylor Trammell (hand), OF Dylan Moore (oblique)
Day to day: SP Chris Bassitt (back)
Out: RP Adam Cimber (back), RP Mitch White (elbow), SP Hyun Jin Ryu (elbow), RP Chad Green (elbow)
Chris Flexen vs. Kevin Gausman
Flexen is now locked into the Mariners’ rotation after Robbie Ray’s season-ending surgery, and Seattle is hoping he’ll find his form soon. The righty has gotten hammered this year, with a whopping 18 runs, 25 hits and four homers allowed over his last three starts. He uses mainly a cutter, four-seamer and changeup, but without anything moving away from right-handed hitters, he’s allowed a .357/.446/.536 slash line — which could spell trouble against Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Bo Bichette and Co.
Gausman has been his typical self so far this year, once again relying on a four-seam fastball and a splitter that ranks among the game’s nastiest pitches (carrying a 45.5% whiff rate into play on Saturday). The righty has given up a bit more solid contact than usual, but with a strikeout rate in the top 10 percent of the league, it hasn’t much mattered.
This number is a reaction to Flexen’s ugly recent performances, but Toronto hasn’t cleared this number in its last nine games, and I’m taking the under based largely on Gausman dominating a struggling Seattle lineup.
Flexen hasn’t even been competitive so far this season, and a righty-heavy lineup like Toronto’s feels like a uniquely bad matchup for him.
Pick: Blue Jays