Apr 3, 2014; Oakland, CA, USA; Seattle Mariners relief pitcher Yoervis Medina (31) hands over the ball to manager Lloyd McClendon (23) as he is replaced against the Oakland Athletics during the seventh inning at O.co Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Seattle Mariners Gameday Preview at Oakland Athletics

 

Initial Thoughts:

Tonight the Seattle Mariners send recently signed veteran Christ Young to the mound against Dan Straily of the Oakland Athletics. After being released by the Washington Nationals at the end of Spring Training, the Mariners signed Young the day after they parted ways with non-roster invitee Randy Wolf. Over the course of his nine years in the majors, Young has compiled a 53-43 record with a 3.79 ERA.

 

Game Details:

Seattle Mariners (3-1) — Previous 10: (3-1)

Los Angeles Angels (2-2) — Previous 10: (2-2)

Time of game: 7:05 PM Pacific. Location: Oakland, California.

 

MATCHUPS:

Pitching:

Mariners: Chris Young (0-0, -.– ERA) vs. Dan Straily (0-0, -.– ERA).

EDGE: Young. As a guy who has been in the league since 2004– aside from being out all of last season with injury– Young has the experience and the track record to be a productive back of the rotation starting pitcher. Moreover, Straily has terrible numbers against the Mariners in three career starts. He has an 0-1 record with a 7.82 ERA against the M’s.

Probable Lineups:

Mariners:

Abraham Almonte 8

Brad Miller 6

Robinson Cano 4

Justin Smoak 3

Logan Morrison DH

Kyle Seager 5

Michael Saunders 9

Dustin Ackley 7

John Buck 2

Of note: Through the first four games of the season Ackley, Cano, Smoak, Miller and Almonte are the only position players to start every day and at the same position. Stefen Romero, Morrison, and Saunders have already split time in right field, and Willie Bloomquist relieved Seager of his duties in their last game against the Angels. Saunders is the only Mariner position player yet to record a hit.

 

Athletics:

Coco Crisp 8

Josh Donaldson 5

Jed Lowrie 6

Yoenis Cespedes 7

John Jaso 2

Alberto Callaspo 3

Brandon Moss DH

J.J. Reddick 9

Nick Punto 4

Of note: The Athletics have the potential for a power lineup, though last night’s affair turned into a defensive struggle ripe with poor umpiring. Be wary of Cespedes in the meat of the order– he was making good contact last night.

 

Keys to Mariner Victory:

1) Bouncing back quickly from the tough loss. How will these young players handle the first sour taste of the season?

2) Is Chris Young MLB-ready? After offseason surgery at the end of 2012 he missed all of the 2013 season. Is he strong enough and ready to face a Major League lineup?

 

Other Notes:

The Mariners are currently first in the AL West with a 3-1 record. Yes, it’s wildly premature to be thinking about that stuff, but with the month of April ripe with divisional opponents, there’s nothing wrong with getting a little excited. A win against the A’s in April is worth just as much in the standings as a win against the A’s in September.

 

Final Thoughts:

Look for the Mariners to come out swinging tonight. Over these first four days of the season it’s clear that skipper Lloyd McClendon has this team playing aggressive, hungry baseball. Chris Young will continue the solid string of starts for the Mariners, and someone other than Sean Barber will be calling balls and strikes

Score Prediction:

Mariners 4, Oakland 3. (And yes, I realize I haven’t picked the Mariners to lose a game yet this season).

 

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Tags: Oakland Athletics Seattle Mariners

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