Seattle Mariners starting pitcher Marco Gonzalez throws to the plate against the Los Angeles Dodgers during the first inning of a baseball game in Los Angeles, Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2020. (AP Photo/Alex Gallardo)
- The San Francisco Giants are -110 slight road favorites over the Seattle Mariners in the 2021 MLB Season Opener on Thursday night (April 1, 10:10 pm EST)
- Kevin Gausman gets his first Opening Day start in a Giants uniform, while Marco Gonzales gets the honors for a third-straight season with the Mariners
- Read below for a preview and betting prediction for the game
The San Francisco Giants begin year two of the Gabe Kapler Era in the Emerald City on Thursday. The Orange and Black break the seal on the new season against defending American League Rookie of the Year Kyle Lewis and the Seattle Mariners.
First pitch is slated for 10:10 pm ET at T-Mobile Park.
Giants vs Mariners Odds
|Team||Moneyline||Runline at DraftKings||Total|
|San Francisco Giants||-110||-1.5 (+150)||Over 8.5 (-105)|
|Seattle Mariners||-106||+1.5 (-182)||Under 8.5 (-117)|
Odds as of March 31st
San Fran, a team that narrowly missed a Wild Card spot last season, is a slight -110 favorite in the Giants vs Mariners odds. in a game that features a total of 8.5.
Seattle starter Marco Gonzales is coming off a stellar 2020 pandemic-shortened campaign, finishing with a 7-2 record and 3.10 ERA, including 64 strikeouts over 69.2 innings pitched in 11 starts. The M’s won five of his last six starts and hope to continue that momentum into the new season.
But the Giants have won seven of the last ten matchups in the interleague series. And there should be one player in Kapler’s lineup that has given the Seattle lefty fits.
Giants’ Career Stats vs Gonzales
|Tommy La Stella||8||5||0||0||0||.625|
Tommy La Stella joins the G-Men after splitting last season between the Angels and A’s. The 2019 All-Star and utility man extraordinaire was listed as day-to-day earlier this week after suffering a left knee contusion in Sunday’s exhibition game against the Athletics.
Tommy La Stella looks fine. Pinch hits, singles. Bruised knee not a problem.
— Susan Slusser (@susanslusser) March 29, 2021
If Kapler is able to pencil La Stella into his lineup — as it seems like he should — look for the 32-year-old to make an immediate impact. The top-of-the order player — who went for 8-for-27 (.296) with a home run and two runs batted in for Oakland in the 2020 postseason — clearly has performed well against Gonzales in a small sample size.
Buster Posey said the goal remains for the Giants to win the NL West. “I don’t think I’d be a very good teammate or competitor if I said otherwise.”
— Andrew Baggarly (@extrabaggs) March 31, 2021
Another player to watch is Buster Posey. The Giants’ future Hall of Famer will be back on the field for a regular season big league game for the first time since September 29, 2019 after opting out of last season due to COVID concerns.
While the last time the former National League MVP had at least 500 at-bats was 2016 (the last time the franchise played in the postseason, not so coincidentally), his presence in the lineup should bring a calming influence. Posey owns a 6-for-26 (.231) mark over seven career games played at the Mariners’ home ballpark with a home run and two runs driven in.
Meantime, Scott Servais is running out his fairly young lineup against Kevin Gausman — and that lack of experience shows in its collective history against the 30-year-old.
Mariners’ Career Stats vs Gausman
The obvious player that stands out entering Thursday’s lid-lifter is Seattle third baseman Kyle Seager. While he may not be as good as his younger brother, Kyle slashed .241/.355/.433 and played in all 60 games at the hot corner last season.
Seager’s 2020 slash line is comparable to what he’s done over the course of his career and is a player who has hit at least 20 home runs every full season since 2012 (including 2019, when he went deep 23 times in only 106 games and 443 plate appearances).
Plus, Seager’s numbers against Gausman scream flat-out ownership. The 33-year-old will certainly be a pick-to-click for the home team.
Despite La Stella’s arrival and Posey’s return to the Giants’ lineup, Seattle as a home underdog seems like you’re playing with house money in this spot. After winning nine straight Opening Day outings between 2007-2015, things have evened out over the last five openers — which saw Seattle go 2-3. But winning 11 of 14 is a strong trend. Plus, Gonzales is simply better than Gausman. The lefty is confident, too.
We’re ready. #SeaUsRise pic.twitter.com/JQi4FIHfTx
— Marco Gonzales (@MarcoGonzales_) March 31, 2021
With a stronger starter, a reliable veteran and underdog status, I like the M’s Thursday.
The pick: Seattle ML (-106)
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Blair Johnson is a veteran journalist and seasoned sports content creator. He has been writing and producing content as long as he can remember, with such familiar names as CNN, NFL Media and Yahoo. Blair currently lives and works in the greater Los Angeles area.