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MLB First Look: Seattle’s Robbie Ray Eyes Easy Start Against A’s in Oakland

Mikolas, Cardinals Try to Slow Streaking Padres at Petco Park

All eyes will be on Yankee Stadium on Wednesday night as Aaron Judge goes for home run No. 61. Perhaps it comes in the first inning, in which case it would impact any first-inning scoring wagers. For our purposes, we’re looking at a few other matchups to get you through another interesting night of sports bets.

Giants vs Rockies

The Colorado Rockies have been officially eliminated from playoff contention and the San Francisco Giants will be soon. However, German Marquez and Logan Webb would like to finish strong, and Wednesday’s matchup at Coors Field is part of that equation.

Robbie Ray #38 of the Seattle Mariners throws to the plate
Jayne Kamin-Oncea / Getty Images North America / Getty Images via AFP

Marquez has been a bit better as the season has worn on, but he occasionally falls flat. And all too often those occasions coincide with him pitching at home, where he has a 6.78 ERA for the year and a 13.50 mark over his last two starts.

The 27-year-old has also given up four first-inning runs over those last two Coors Field outings. His ERA in the first inning overall sits at 6.11 and opponents have a .954 OPS in that frame, higher than every inning against him with the exception of the fifth.

The Giants got to Marquez for three first-inning runs in their only meeting this year and they could have a similar attack in this one.

Webb has been better in the first inning (3.30 ERA) but he’s given up at least one tally in the opening frame in two of his last three outings. He also surrendered a pair in the first in his lone start this year at Colorado, where he owns a very Coors Field-like 5.46 career ERA.

When glancing at the MLB lines, consider these many trends signaling a first-inning run in Colorado.

First Inning to Score: YES

Cardinals vs Padres

Staying in the National League West we see the streaking San Diego Padres, who have won four in a row to solidify their position in the wild card race. Blake Snell will try to help keep them hot as they continue their series set with the visiting St. Louis Cardinals.

Snell is enjoying his best overall campaign since winning the Cy Young with Tampa Bay in 2018, and it’s been getting better as the season wears on. He is 7-4 with a 3.01 ERA over his last 14 starts, posting a scoreless first inning in each of his last four.

We’ve been watching the Cardinals’ first-inning attack wane for several weeks now. They still rank eighth in the majors in scoring percentage in that frame at 32.2, but they were second at about 36% about a month ago.

Of course, St. Louis isn’t scoring at all, no matter the inning. It has been shut out for two straight games for just the second time all season and has scored a grand total of one run in its last 34 innings. That’s a pretty good sample size for bettors to utilize as they make their MLB picks.

The iffier scenario involves Cardinals starter Miles Mikolas, who has struggled a bit on the road this year and will be facing a Padres unit that has broken free from a long offensive slump. However, Mikolas has limited opponents to a .178 average and miniscule .212 on-base percentage in the first inning, and he’s had a scoreless first in four straight away from home.

A one-time San Diego draft pick who opened his career largely as a reliever for the Padres, Mikolas owns a tidy 2.84 ERA in his career at Petco Park. Juan Soto, Manny Machado and company look locked in right now, but we like Mikolas to handle them early.

First Inning to Score: NO

Mariners vs Athletics

The Seattle Mariners aren’t exactly bursting through that playoff door. They still hold the third wild card spot in the AL, but they’ve lost four of their last five and were held to only one hit in the 4-1 loss to Oakland on Tuesday.

James Kaprielian will try to take advantage of the slumping M’s when he gets the start for the Oakland Athletics. He has allowed three or fewer earned runs in 13 of his last 14 starts and matched his season high with six innings his last time out.

Once a 40th-round pick out of high school by Seattle, Kaprielian has faced the Mariners four times this year. He was knocked around in the first encounter but owns a 2.76 ERA in the last three, just one of which involved a first-inning run.

His first-inning ERA is 2.35. The Mariners lead the majors in first-inning scoring percentage on the road (34.2), so they’re always a threat. If the MLB odds take that into account and give you a good payday for backing Kaprielian, go for it.

His counterpart will be Robbie Ray, who has struggled his last two times out, allowing nine runs in 10 innings overall. Prior to that, Ray had a six-start stretch in which he was 4-0 with a 1.38 ERA

The reigning Cy Young Award winner owns a solid 3.41 first-inning ERA and an even better 2.41 number in his three starts against the A’s, who are 26th in the majors in first-inning scoring percentage at home (23.6).

You can do a lot worse than a bet online in favor of an early goose egg here.

First Inning to Score: NO

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