May 16, 2014; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Seattle Mariners starting pitcher Chris Young (53) delivers a pitch in the first inning against the Minnesota Twins at Target Field. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Seattle Mariners Gameday Preview at the Rangers

Initial Thoughts:

The complexion of this Mariners team is different when Hisashi Iwakuma pitches every fifth day. When both he and Felix Hernandez are on their game, they are arguably the best 1-2 punch in the American League.

Last night it showed when ‘Kuma went 8 innings, yet again, allowing only 2 runs in the process.

The 6-2 put the M’s back at .500, and today’s getaway game before the longest homestand of the season could springboard this team into another hot streak.

Game Details:

Seattle Mariners 22-22. Last 10: (4-6).

Texas Rangers 21-24. Last 10: (3-7).

Time: 11:05 AM Pacific. Location: Arlington, Texas.Globe Life Park.

 

MATCHUPS:

Pitching:

Seattle Mariners RHP Chris Young (3-1, 3.22 ERA) v. Nick Tepesch (0-0, 1.69 ERA)

EDGE: Young. Yes, Young has over-performed thus far this season, but his consistency has been, well, consistent.

Tepesch is making only his 2nd start of the season after being called up to replace Martin Perez who is slated for Tommy John Surgery.

Tepesch does have a low ERA, but as a starter last season for the Rangers he posted a 4-6 record with a 4.84 ERA, so the M’s could get into him here today.

Projected Lineups:

Mariners:

James Jones 8

Michael Saunders 9

Robinson Cano DH

Justin Smoak 3

Kyle Seager 5

Nick Franklin 4

Dustin Ackley 7

John Buck 2

Brad Miller 6

Of Note: Franklin wasted no time getting into the M’s lineup, going 2-3 with an RBI and a run scored as the DH in last night’s game.

Ackley went 2-4 with an RBI, and is slowly raising his average and becoming dependable at the bottom of the order. And Cano continues to rake despite his lack of power– with a .322 average and another walk to add to his team-leading total.

Rangers:

Daniel Robertson 8

Elvis Andrus 6

Shin-Soo Choo 7

Adrian Beltre 5

Alex Rios 9

Mitch Moreland 3

Michael Choice DH

Chris Gimenez 2

Rougned Odor 4

Of Note: The Rangers only managed 6 hits off of ‘Kuma and co. last night. The Mariners only struck out 3 hitters, but also only walked one.

They induced ground balls and fly outs to subdue what used to be a consistently potent Rangers lineup. Prince Fielder was also out of the lineup.

 

Other Notes:

The grade 2 hamstring strain for Corey Hart looks to keep him out for 4-6 weeks, giving Franklin plenty of time to solidify himself on the 25-man roster. Logan Morrison‘s recovery from his hamstring injury has also been a slow going process, and he could be seen back in Seattle in the next couple of weeks.

 

Final Thoughts:

The M’s look hungry, and since their 8-game losing streak early in the season they don’t allow themselves to get totally beat down when they hit a rough patch. They are going to win this one in Texas today, then head home for this long and luxurious homestand. The first set is 4 against the Astros, then 4 against the Angels, and finally 3 against the AL-leading Detroit Tigers. Some valuable divisional wins need to be picked up to make moves again in the division. That starts today by beating up on the depleted Rangers squad.

Score Prediction:

Mariners 5, Rangers 3.

 

 

Tags: Chris Young Seattle Mariners

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