It wasn’t a pretty weekend for Mariners fans, as the M’s took the series loss in Chicago against the White Sox. While I’d ordinarily be disappointed by that news, the M’s are still 6-4 in their last 10, and are still 2.0 games up for the second wild-card spot.
The M’s are returning home for a week-long home stand. First up is the Minnesota Twins, who are here for a four game series. Here’s your Mariners series preview for this week.
Correia is leading the AL in losses right now, which is really great news for the Mariners. Correia has actually been pitching moderately well, and has made 6 innings in his 5 most recent starts (where he went 2-3). Correia doesn’t get a lot of strikeouts, so look for a lot of base runners tonight. That’s a big contrast to Hisashi Iwakuma, who is a strikeout machine. Kuma has 33 of them in his last 5 starts.
Hughes made it through the end of May with a 5-1 record, but he’s been figured out now and is 3-4 since then. He’s coming off of a loss against the Yankees where he gave up two homers, his first in over a month. MLB notes that Chris Young has a .178 opp BA at Safeco this season with only a 2.19 ERA, so he’s still cruising at home. Look for more of the same as the Twins struggle their way through July.
Gibson was hit hard by the Yankees last week too, where he was chased after only 2.0 innings and 6 runs on 6 hits. That was the third time this season that Gibson didn’t make it out of the second inning, but the previous two times he’s bounced back with a win. Elias is coming off of back to back losses against the Indians and White Sox, so he’s certainly looking to turn things around. The M’s have been active in pitcher rumors lately, so Elias might be a bit concerned about his spot if he can’t get back on the win train.
Game four: Yohan Pino (0-2, 4.98 ERA) v. TBA
Pino will be making his fifth MLB start and is still looking for his first win. His most recent start was his best of the season where he went 6 innings yeilding only one run and three hits to the Yankees, but his offense failed him and the Twins lost 2-1. This was Felix’s spot, but he’s been pushed to Friday. My guess is that we see Taijuan Walker in here on short rest.
Click here for your Mariners tickets to this series against the Twins.
- Robinson Cano and Felix Hernandez were voted into the All Star game next week, but there have been some notable snubs in Seattle, most notably Kyle Seager, who started the season really slowly but has build a career season since then. Fernando Rodney, current AL saves leader was also left off.
- Mariners scouts were at a David Price start the other day, leading to further speculation that the Ace may be Seattle bound. James Paxton is throwing again, but is far from returning, making him a strong bargaining chip in any potential trades.
- Felix has been pushed (his spot would have been Thursday against the Twins) to face the A’s on Friday. This is a smart move by the M’s as they get to field the All-Star against their division rivals before taking the week off for the break.
- Taijuan Walker had a medicore start in Chicago last weekend, giving up the only run of the game on a wild pitch. I would expect to see him on Thursday on short rest as the M’s pull the ol switcheroo with Felix.
Around the AL West
Frustratingly, this column has been the same week-after-week. The Mariners keep winning, but just can’t seem to gain any ground on the A’s and Angels, who are winning themselves. That being said, there is certainly a lot to be excited about, as the AL West develops into the best division in baseball this season.
- The A’s will have their hands full with a cross-the-bay home and home series against their NL rivals the San Francisco Giants. This has the making to be a tough series for the A’s, as the Giants are only a half game back of the Dodgers for first in the NL West.
- The Angels are hosting the Blue Jays this week for a three game series. The Jays have been a bit off lately after going on a tear to begin June. That being said, the Jays are still in the hunt for the AL East title, and are looking to get a few wins in before the All-Star break.
- The Rangers, now 17 games back in the west, are hosting the Astros this week in the battle of the basement. The Astros are only three games behind the Rangers right now, so they’re looking to do something dramatic.