May 1, 2014; Bronx, NY, USA; Seattle Mariners starting pitcher Roenis Elias (29) pitches during the first inning against the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

Seattle Mariners Gameday Preview at the Athletics


Initial Thoughts:

The Mariners are .500 on the season at 15-15! This is truly a remarkable feat considering just a few weeks ago they were in the midst of an 8-game losing streak. Moreover, the M’s have already used 8 starting pitchers on the season, and the offense has been below average more often than not.

In today’s game against the Oakland Athletics the Mariners have a chance to not only give themselves a winning record, but also pull themselves within 2.0 games of the division lead.

Baseball is fun.

Game Details:

Seattle Mariners 15-15. Last 10: (8-2).

Oakland Athletics 19-13. Last 10: (5-5).

Game Time: 7:05 PM Pacific. Location: Oakland, California. O.co Coliseum.

 

MATCHUPS:

Pitching:

Seattle Mariners RHP Roenis Elias (2-2, 3.09 ERA) v. Oakland Athletics RHP Jesse Chavez (2-0, 1.89 ERA)

EDGE: Chavez. Even though Elias fanned 10 Yankees over 7 innings of 2-run ball (one earned), Chavez has been lights out the entire season for the A’s. Chavez has struck out 41 and walked only 8 in his 38 innings pitched this season. If both of these pitchers are on, this could be a vintage low-scoring affair.

 

Potential Lineups:

Mariners:

Michael Saunders 8

Stefen Romero 9

Robinson Cano 4

Corey Hart DH

Kyle Seager 5

Justin Smoak 3

Dustin Ackley 7

Brad Miller 6

Mike Zunino 2

Of Note: if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it: Saunders and Romero combined went 4-10 in last nights game, including the go-ahead and eventual game winning home run by Romero. It was the first of his career. And it seems worth mentioning that since Michael Saunders has taken over the leadoff spot from recently optioned Abraham Almonte, the Mariners have gone 5-2 with considerably more offense.

Athletics:

Coco Crisp 8

Jed Lowrie 6

Josh Donaldson 5

Yoenis Cespedes 9

Brandon Moss 7

John Jaso DH

Derek Norris 2

Daric Barton 3

Eric Sogard 4

Of Note: The Mariners pitching staff held the A’s offense to just four hits last night: one hit a piece for the first four batters in the lineup. The A’s are patient, profession hitters, so be wary of them taking lots of pitches from potentially erratic Elias.

Other Notes:

The Mariners remain in 4th place in the AL West. However, they are a full 6 games ahead of the Astros, while trailing the Angels by a half-game, the Rangers by a full-game, and the A’s by 3.

As we’ve mentioned a few times in wishful thinking here at Sodo Mojo: if the Mariners miraculously sweep this four-game series, they would be tied for the division lead.

 

Final Thoughts:

The 162-game season is a long one; and in just the first 30 games the M’s have provided excitement and hope, then dejection and disdain, and now back to a cautious optimism.

As the pitching infantry slowly trickle back in over the next month-plus, this team can only stand to get better.

It’s always a wild ride with the Seattle Mariners.

Score prediction:

Mariners 3, Athletics 2. (I would also like to not that I have not once accurately predicted the score so far this season. Go me.)

 

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