The Mariners and Rays finish up a three game set and bid their goodbyes to one another as the two sides get set to finish up the regular season just about all within division. Matt Moore makes his second start since coming off the disabled list and is listed as a -150 road favorite up against Seattle youngster Erasmo Ramirez. The total is set at 7.0 with the over juiced to -120.
Matt Moore was effective in his first start back since elbow soreness landed him on the disabled list in late July. He wasn’t exactly sharp, however. Moore gave up six walks to the Angels’ lineup but scattered four hits allowed in over five innings to get out of the outing without giving up a run. For someone that seemingly has the pinpoint-like control that Moore shows, he does run into games where he completely loses command. He walked six in a June game against Toronto and has walked three or four in several outings this season. Moore is a stud but one must be slightly skeptical about him going forward after a heavy workload leading up to the elbow problem. About four or five Mariners have decent career success against Moore in limited opportunity but that shouldn’t be used as much of a barometer. I think Moore should be on watch in this game in a spot where we don’t know how healthy he is yet and what type of form he’s in. Couple the uncertainty with the fact that he goes on the road against a team that will still play hard in September.
While the market appears to be valuing Matt Moore as if he will be vintage Matt Moore, Erasmo Ramirez remains an intriguing buy as a relatively unknown arm in Seattle. Ramirez has come into his own as of late – matching pretty good stuff with nice command. Ramirez has allowed just eight earned runs in his last four outings. He failed to go six innings in just one of those starts (where he went 5.2). Overall, Ramirez’s numbers don’t look great with an ERA over 5.00 but he has yet to give up more than four runs in a start since he was lit up in early July against the Boston Red Sox. Ramirez has his hands full with the always-tough Tampa Bay lineup but if you believe in simplifying things with valuing pitchers vs. market perception, Ramirez could be your guy.
This play isn’t so much a spot as it is just taking a stab at value. Matt Moore has a degree of uncertainty while Ramirez appears to be slightly undervalued. For that reason I’m leaning on the home Mariners on Sunday.
Free Pick: Seattle +1.5 (-120)