May 4, 2014; Houston, TX, USA; Seattle Mariners starting pitcher Brandon Maurer (37) pitches during the second inning against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Seattle Mariners Gameday Preview versus The Rays

Initial Thoughts:

Let’s not talk about the Fernando Rodney Experience last night.

Whew, ok.

The Mariners have a chance to win the series today against the Tampa Bay Rays. After a 12-run onslaught in the first game, the M’s managed only 1 run to back Hisashi Iwakuma‘s 8-inning gem. If the M’s win today, they will go to 21-19; if they lose they will find themselves back at .500 once again.

Game Details:

Seattle Mariners: 20-19. Last 10: (6-4).

Tampa Bay Rays: 17-23. Last 10: (3-7).

Time: 12:40 PM Pacific. Location: Seattle, Washington. Safeco Field.

 

MATCHUPS:

Pitching:

Seattle Mariners RHP Brandon Maurer (1-1, 6.20 ERA) v. Tampa Bay Rays RHP Jake Odorizzi (1-3, 5.79 ERA)

EDGE: it’s a wash. Neither of these guys has pitched well this season. The only reason Maurer hasn’t lost more is because he has been given bounties of run support during his outings. Odorizzi had a nice start against the Cleveland Indians last Friday when he allowed no runs over the course of 5-innings. However, Odorizzi is 0-3 with an 8.35 ERA on the road this season. Could be a high-scoring affair in this Wednesday matinée game.

 

Projected Lineups:

Mariners:

James Jones 8

Stefen Romero 9

Robinson Cano 4

Corey Hart DH

Justin Smoak 3

Kyle Seager 5

Dustin Ackley 7

John Buck 2

Brad Miller 6

Of Note: The Mariners lineup was held to just 6 hits last night, with Ackley and Cano with two-apiece and Jones and Zunino with one each. What was more disconcerting, though, was the fact that Mariners hitters struck out 12 times and didn’t walk once. Even with Iwakuma pitching a gem, those kind of numbers will net a loss more often than not.

Rays:

Wil Myers 9

David DeJesus DH

Evan Longoria 5

Matt Joyce 7

Ben Zobrist 4

James Loney 3

Desmond Jennings 8

Yunel Escobar 6

Jose Molina 2

Of Note: The Rays offense didn’t fare much better last night until the ninth inning against closer Fernando Rodney. The Rays doubled their hit total from 4 to 8 in the 9th inning, netting two runs and a come-from-behind victory. Joyce hit well last night for the Rays, going 3-4, but their real hero was David DeJesus who led off the 9th inning with a game-tying home run.

 

Other Notes:

Both Taijuan Walker and James Paxton are slated for bullpen sessions again today. They are being brought along slowly, as the Mariners want them to stay in Seattle once they get healthy. And the way the Mariners are playing right now without them, it is almost better to take the time bringing them back, so that if the M’s are fighting for a playoff spot come September, they won’t have to be shutting down half of their starting pitching due to innings limits.

 

Final Thoughts:

I want to pick the Mariners to win today, especially since the trend recently has been a low-scoring game followed by an offensive outburst. But I don’t trust Maurer to go deep enough into this game without allowing too many runs. And when he gets pulled early, I don’t trust the bullpen to get through 4 innings without more damage being done.

Score Prediction:

Mariners 3, Rays 6.

 

Tags: Brandon Maurer Seattle Mariners

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