Apr 1, 2014; Anaheim, CA, USA; Seattle Mariners starter Erasmo Ramirez (50) delivers a pitch against the Los Angeles Angels at Angel Stadium of Anaheim. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Seattle Mariners Gameday Preview versus the Athletics

Initial Thoughts:

***Updated to reflect actual starting lineups***

Your Seattle Mariners are 5-2! With a 5-3 victory last night over the Angels, the Mariners have now won as many games against the Halos this season (4-0) as they did all of last season (4-15). The M’s sit a whole game ahead of the Athletics in the standings (4-3), with the Texas Rangers at 4-4. The Angels and Houston Astros are tied for last with 3 wins and 5 losses.

I can’t even guess how long it’s been since the Mariners led the division (even after just 7 games). But with everyday comes a new game, a new opportunity to prove the M’s are legit. Here’s tonight’s gameday preview.

 

Game Details:

Seattle Mariners (6-3) — Previous 10: (6-3)

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (6-4) — Previous 10: (6-4)

Time of game: 6:10 PM Pacific. Location: Seattle, Washington.

 

MATCHUPS:

Pitching:

Mariners: Erasmo Ramirez RHP (1-1, 5.73 ERA) vs. Sonny Gray RHP (1-0, 0.75 ERA).

EDGE: Gray. He is the ace of the Athletics staff, and has pitched as such in the first 12 days of the season. Pocket Rocket Erasmo Ramirez has been hot and cold, pitching like a number 2 his first outing before getting shelled during his last start. Expect Gray to come out firing, and Ramirez will need to fight and match for the M’s to have a chance at the victory.

Probable Lineups:

Mariners:

Abraham Almonte 8

Brad Miller 6

Robinson Cano 4

Justin Smoak 3

Kyle Seager 5

Logan Morrison DH

Dustin Ackley 7

Michael Saunders 9

John Buck 2

Of note: Ackley had a nice game last night, going 3-4 with 2 runs scored. But the story was catcher Mike Zunino, who cranked a 2-run homer and is batting .281 on the season. If he remains competent at the plate, he may be the much-needed right-handed bat deep in the lineup.

Athletics:

Coco Crisp 8

Jed Lowrie 6

Josh Donaldson 5

Brandon Moss 3

Yoenis Cespedes 7

Alberto Callaspo DH

John Jaso 2

Josh Reddick 9

Eric Sogard 4

Of note: The Athletics made a run at the M’s 6-0 cushion, but too little to late with Felix on the mound. Though tonight they may just need a run or two to back Gray to victory.

Keys to Mariner Victory:

1) First or second start Ramirez? First start was fantastic. Second? Not so much. As Mariners fans we need him spot on for a chance at the W.

2) Small ball. If the M’s can stay in the game behind Ramirez, they’ll need to do the little things to manufacture runs and not give Oakland extra outs.

 

Other Notes:

Felix Hernandez pitched before a Supreme Court last night and didn’t disappoint. 38,968 fans cheered his name. Erasmo needs to earn the M’s this victory so they stand at 7-3 while also taking another game from a divisional opponent. Moreover it would keep them in first place (first place!) in the division.

 

Final Thoughts:

With tonight’s potentially low-scoring affair, the one-run chess match will be in order. Also, though early in the season, the work the Mariners have done thus far against divisional opponents is inspiring. Get excited people, these M’s may be going somewhere.

Score Prediction:

Mariners 2, Athletics 3.

 

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Tags: Erasmo Ramirez Seattle Mariners

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