March 4, 2014; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Seattle Mariners starting pitcher Felix Hernandez (34) pitches in the first inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Camelback Ranch. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Seattle Mariners Series Preview: At Los Angeles Angels

Welcome to Opening Day. We will be here before each series to give you a series preview of the pitching matchups, lineup probables, key things to watch as well as the basic information such as start times.

The Mariners kick off the 2014 season on the road in Anaheim for a three-game series with the Angels.  Check out Barrys Ticket Service for tickets to the game.

Felix Hernandez starts Opening Day for the 7th consecutive season, breaking Randy Johnson‘s mark for most in club history. Speaking of King Felix, let’s take a look at the pitching probables and keys for the series.

Game 1: Felix Hernandez (12-10, 3.04 ERA in 2013) vs. Jered Weaver (11-8, 3.27 ERA in 2013).

This marks Weaver’s 6th Opening Day start, passing Mike Witt for the most in Angels team history. Felix is 4-0 on Opening Day but has never faced the Angels to start the year.

Game 2: Erasmo Ramirez (5-3, 4.98 ERA in 2013) vs. C.J. Wilson (17-7, 3.39 ERA in 2013).

With Hisashi Iwakuma out for the first few weeks of the season, the #2 spot falls to Ramirez, who went 3-0 with a 1.14 ERA in Cactus League play. Wilson was the ace of the Angels staff in 2013 but was roughed up a bit during the spring, especially by Seattle.

Game 3: James Paxton (3-0, 1.50 ERA in 2013) vs. Hector Santiago (4-9, 3.56 ERA in 2013).

Paxton was originally thought to be fighting for the number 4 or 5 spot in this rotation. But injuries to Iwakuma and Taijuan Walker bump him up to #3 to start the year. Santiago was acquired in the three-team trade that sent Mark Trumbo to Arizona. Over the past two seasons with the White Sox, he was in the bullpen more than he started. Now he gets a shot at starting full-time.

Lineups:

Mariners

CF Abraham Almonte
SS Brad Miller
2B Robinson Cano
1B Justin Smoak
DH Logan Morrison
3B Kyle Seager
RF Michael Saunders
LF Dustin Ackley
C Mike Zunino
P Felix Hernandez

Angels

RF Kole Calhoun
CF Mike Trout
1B Albert Pujols
LF Josh Hamilton
3B David Freese
DH Raul Ibanez
2b Howie Kendrick
C Chris Iannetta
SS Erick Aybar
P Jered Weaver

These are the starters for Opening Day. We will have every game’s starting lineups once they are announced each day in our gameday previews. Lineups are subject to change and are not official until handed to the umpire prior to first pitch.

Things to watch:

The lefty-heavy lineup of the Mariners gets a test in games two and three with lefties Wilson and Santiago on the mound. The Mariners fared well against Wilson in Cactus League play but the regular season is another story.

Justin Smoak has two homers of Jered Weaver in 27 career at-bats. Robinson Cano has a lifetime .391 average against him. Mike Trout is a lifetime .395 hitter against Felix with 9 RBI.

Cano is a .391 hitter against C.J. Wilson. Smoak sports a measly .207 average against Wilson but has 3 homers. In limited at-bats, both Josh Hamilton and Mike Trout have had success against Erasmo Ramirez, both hitting over .400.

James Paxton has only ever faced David Freese among the Angels starters. Cano is 0-for-5 against Hector Santiago. In fact, in limited at-bats, the Mariners starters are 3-for-18 against him.

Robinson Cano has never hit a home run off any of the scheduled starters for the Angels.

In Case You Missed It:

Here are some links to our Opening Day coverage:

History of Opening Day for the Mariners

Remembering the Seattle Pilots

Lamenting missing out on Opening Day

Seattle will travel further than any team

– How does Seattle’s payroll stack up?

Abraham Almonte gets the leadoff spot unfairly?

Tags: Felix Hernandez Opening Day Seattle Mariners

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