Apr 5, 2014; Oakland, CA, USA; Seattle Mariners second baseman Robinson Cano (22) dives back to first as Oakland Athletics first baseman Daric Barton (10) waits for the ball at O.co Coliseum. Seattle won 3-1. Mandatory Credit: Bob Stanton-USA TODAY Sports

Seattle Mariners Gameday Preview at The Oakland Athletics

Initial Thoughts:

Win or lose, the Mariners have already secured a winning record in their first road trip of the season. Something that didn’t happen too often last season. A win would give this club even more momentum going home to open the season at Safeco against the Angels, who they just beat down for three games earlier in the week

 

Game Details:

Seattle Mariners (4-1) — Previous 10: (4-1)

Oakland Athletics (2-3) — Previous 10: (2-3)

Time of game: 1:05 PM Pacific. Location: Oakland, California.

 

MATCHUPS:

Pitching:

Mariners: Erasmo Ramirez (1-0, 2.57 ERA) vs. Sonny Gray (0-0, 0.00 ERA).

EDGE: Push. Gray was looked sharp in his first start of the year, garnering a no decision in a 2-0 Oakland loss on Opening Day. Ramirez was also sharp in his first start, despite giving up six hits including a homer. This could be a low-scoring affair.

Probable Lineups:

Mariners:

Abraham Almonte 8

Brad Miller 6

Robinson Cano 4

Corey Hart DH

Logan Morrison 3

Kyle Seager 5

John Buck 2

Dustin Ackley 7

Michael Saunders 9

Of note: This may be a stretch, but I think manager Lloyd McClendon gives Justin Smoak a day off before heading home. I have nothing to support that theory, just a hunch.

 

Athletics:

Coco Crisp 8

Josh Donaldson 5

Jed Lowrie 6

Yoenis Cespedes 7

John Jaso 2

Alberto Callaspo 3

Brandon Moss DH

Josh Reddick 9

Nick Punto 4

Of note: Coco Crisp has two hits and four walks in the leadoff spot in the first two games of the series. Get him out, slow the rest of the offense.

 

Keys to Mariner Victory:

1) Ramirez has to be on his A game (no pun intended) yet again. Can he turn in back-to-back solid pitching performances? If he does, the M’s have a real shot at winning.

2) Can the offense do anything against the starter? It took five innings to crack Dan Straily in the second game. In the first two games, this offense has put up only five runs, compared to the 26 in the first three. This team needs to hit and run and continue their aggressive behavior and score some runs.

 

Other Notes:

As reported yesterday, Taijuan Walker is on track to possibly join the club in the next week or so. Likely to make his first start in Texas or Miami. That explains McClendon’s preference for Walker’s next rehab start to be somewhere warm.

 

Final Thoughts:

The offense needs to come out and prove that the first three games weren’t a fluke. They need to make a statement against the two-time defending AL West champs by taking the series, in their house.

Score Prediction:

Mariners 6, Oakland 3. Cano with a homer.

 

Tags: Gameday Preview Seattle Mariners

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