Mariners vs. Rays: Castillo's Cy Young Chase Behind Cole

Mariners secure Castillo's prime with lucrative extension

by Faizan Chaudhary
Mariners vs. Rays: Castillo's Cy Young Chase Behind Cole
© Steph Chambers/GettyImages

On the upcoming Thursday MLB matchup, the Seattle Mariners are set to go head-to-head with the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in what could be a teaser for the AL Wild Card. With the Mariners being pegged as -130 favorites by SportsLine Consensus, all eyes will be on their ace, Luis Castillo.

Currently, he seems to be the only viable contender to challenge the New York Yankees' Gerrit Cole for the coveted AL Cy Young Award. While Cole, currently at -300 odds on DraftKings, remains a favorite for his first Cy Young Award, the Yankees’ playoff hopes have diminished, even with their improved recent performance.

This could sway some voters away from Cole. Castillo, on the other hand, carries an impressive +400 odds for the Cy Young in his debut full season in the American League. Seattle's decision to obtain him from Cincinnati in 2022 might have cost them in terms of minor-league talents, notably the promising infielder Noelvi Marte, but the acquisition has clearly paid dividends.

Castillo's Stellar Mariners Contract

Following the trade, the Mariners sealed a deal with Castillo, a five-year contract extension worth $108 million. This ensured the 30-year-old stays in Seattle during his prime years. This season, Castillo's stats are noteworthy: 11-7 win-loss, a 3.19 ERA, 1.03 WHIP, and 183 strikeouts, ranking him among the top AL pitchers.

Although Cole outperforms him in several metrics, Castillo boasts a superior opponent batting average at .214 against Cole’s .217. Recently, Castillo's odds wavered below +300, but a challenging game against the Mets saw him concede five runs.

Nevertheless, his resilience is commendable, especially when considering he hasn’t faced a personal loss since mid-July. He's been consistent and fit, unlike erstwhile frontrunners Jacob deGrom and Shane McClanahan. When Castillo previously met the Rays, his performance was decent but not decisive.

For the upcoming Thursday game, betting markets have set various over/under metrics for him, with odds of +115 for a win. Historically, the Mariners have celebrated two Cy Young victors: Randy Johnson in 1995 and Felix Hernandez in 2010.

While Johnson has already secured his place in the Hall of Fame, Hernandez, who recently joined the Mariners' Hall of Fame, may follow suit. With no other AL pitcher getting odds below +1300 for the Cy Young, this season is shaping up to be an intense duel between Castillo and Cole.

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