Apr 18, 2014; Miami, FL, USA; Seattle Mariners starting pitcher Chris Young (53) throws against the Miami Marlins during the first inning at Marlins Ballpark. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Seattle Mariners Gameday Previews versus Houston Astros

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Initial Thoughts:

The Seattle Mariners try to avoid the sweep at the hands of the worst team in the American League, the Houston Astros. At the same time, hoping to snap an eight-game losing streak and avoid dropping into the cellar of the AL West.

After another tough loss last night, the prospects of a good season are looking bleak to say the least. But the Mariners had trouble with the Astros last season too, having lost two of the first three at Safeco in 2013 and posting a 10-9 record against them for the season.

Game Details:

Seattle Mariners (7-13) – losers of 8 straight.

Houston Astros (7-14)

Time of game: 12:40 PM Pacific. Location: Seattle, Washington.

 

MATCHUPS:

Pitching:

Mariners: Chris Young RHP (0-0, 3.27 ERA) vs. Jarred Cosart RHP (1-2, 7.36 ERA).

EDGE: I would think Young, but I’m getting tired of picking the Mariners to break this streak and being disappointed day after day. But of the current Astros, only Dexter Fowler has ever faced Young and it could have the same effect as a team seeing a rookie for the first time.

Probable Lineups:

Mariners:

Abraham Almonte 8

Brad Miller 6

Robinson Cano 4

Corey Hart DH

Justin Smoak 3

Kyle Seager 5

Nick Franklin 9

Dustin Ackley 7

Mike Zunino 2

Of note: The Ackley in the 2-hole experiment failed after going 0-8 with 6 K’s in the past two games. Franklin gets the start in right field today.

Astros:

Jose Altuve 4

Dexter Fowler 8

Jason Castro 2

George Springer 9

Marc Krauss 3

Alex Presley 7

Matt Dominguez DH

Marwin Gonzalez 5

Jonathan Villar 6

Of note: The Astros pumped up the long ball last night. This team of promising young prospects could be a formidable foe in a few years, to everyone but the Mariners who have proved they are already a formidable foe.

Keys to Mariner Victory:

1) Patience at the plate. The Mariners continue to strike out at a pace only exceeded by the swing-happy Atlanta Braves. But at the same time, if I see one more Mariner player WATCH a called 3rd strike, I may throw this laptop at my TV.

2) Lineup. The lineups that Lloyd McClendon have been using is not working. Ackley needs to bat back down in the lineup. I know McClendon wanted to get him an extra at-bat each night, but all he’s done is get him an extra strikeout each night.

3) Defense. If I watch Abe Almonte have one more ball go through his legs (on a routine grounder) I am going to drive to Seattle and personally yank him from the game. That isn’t even a minor league mistake, it’s a little league one. It’s got to stop.

Final Thoughts:

I think I’ve been saying it for a while now, but I believe that this is the game the bats wake up. I tweeted last night the Justin Smoak had hit two deep fly outs and was driving the ball well. I said that was a good sign and was laughed at for my optimism. In his next at-bat, he homered.

We have seen signs that this team is ready to bust out of its slump. Today should be the day they put it back together.

Score Prediction:

Mariners 7, Astros 2.

 

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