The Seattle Mariners can’t seem to lose. They won four of their six games this week, and have already taken the Red Sox series in Boston. Bill Krueger said it best, “This is the time of the season where the good teams win ball games, and the bad teams lose, a lot.”
This is a crucial time for the Mariners to step up their game. With postseason on the line, it’s becoming more and more important to set an example against the weak teams, and prove your worth against the playoff hopefuls.
This week, the team returns home to Seattle to play the Texas Rangers, and then an interleague matchup against the Washington Nationals. The Rangers are in dead last place in the AL West. Yes, even behind the lowly Houston Astros.
That Rangers are the team the Mariners need to simply destroy to keep this winning theme. Momentum will be crucial with the Nationals coming next on the home stand. Washington has won five of their past seven games and are sitting comfortably at first place in the NL East. This upcoming week is looking very bright for more offense and stellar pitching.
The best part of the Mariners success this year has been the spread of wealth. It’s becoming a fun guessing game of who will step up for the day and put the team on their shoulders.
Yes, Seattle may have two superstars in Robinson Cano and Felix Hernandez, but the rest of the team is made up of multiple prospects that are finally starting to pay off. Let’s take a look at some of those broad shoulders that we can expect to see great numbers for our Fantasy Baseball squads this week.
Dustin Ackley has been a one man wrecking crew on opposing pitchers this past week. His streak of hot hitting hasn’t slowed down and doesn’t look to take a break anytime soon. In his last seven games, Ackley is hitting a solid .300 BA, has a home run, and has driven in seven RBI.
Not only is his bat doing some work, Ackley is also stealing bases left and right adding two more to his season totals. He has improved his season average to .252 BA on the year, and is showing the promise of his previous first round draft pick potential.
Lloyd McClendon has proven his genius by plugging Ackley in the number two hole in front of Cano. Fantasy baseball owners are chomping at the bit with the increased batting average and runs scored sitting that high in the order.
Fantasy owners can expect a strong start to the week against a depleted Rangers pitching rotation. Ackley will need a hot start, as the Nationals rotation will do their best to keep the bats silent in Seattle. Below are this week’s fantasy projections for the hot hitting left fielder.
WEEKLY FANTASY PROJECTION: DUSTIN ACKLEY
.300 BA, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 6 RUNS, 1 SB
The acquisition of Austin Jackson may not have been the big right handed bat the fans were expecting, but his addition to the team filled two major gaps with the team’s needs. The Mariners finally have a true leadoff hitter and permanent resident in centerfield.
I’m sure fantasy owners freaked out the second Jackson left the offensive juggernaut Detroit Tigers, for the run scoring troubles of the Mariners lineup. The good news is life simply hasn’t been that bad since he joined Seattle. Having Miguel Cabrera protect Jackson in the order was nice, but the hot hitting of Ackley and Cano have kept his fantasy value high.
Jackson had a good road trip this week. He may have only finished with a .222 BA, but he did score four runs, knocked in two RBI, and stole three bases. As the season continues on, Jackson is getting more and more familiar with his new lineup.
The Mariners are going to expect a lot from their leadoff hitter in this upcoming home stand. Fantasy owners can expect huge week from Jackson as he sets the stage against a struggling Texas Rangers rotation. If you are looking for runs, plug him in your lineup immediately.
Jackson is used to playoff contention. Fantasy owners can expect his experience to keep the Mariners competitive when the first place Nationals come to town. Below are this week’s fantasy baseball projections for the Mariners leadoff hitter.
WEEKLY FANTASY PROJECTION: AUSTIN JACKSON
.300 BA, 0 HR, 3 RBI, 7 RUNS, 1 SB
This week’s fantasy sleeper pick goes to the Mariners bullpen. Unique as it maybe for fantasy value, the bullpen for Seattle is hard to ignore. Not only are they the number one bullpen in the MLB, they are showing no signs of letting up as the season draws closer to an end.
It is almost surreal discussing Seattle relief pitchers in a positive manner. Mariners’ fans are accustomed to turning their televisions off when the starter leaves the game. Now, we actually get to watch the entire game without replacing any furniture.
Anchored by potential relief pitcher of the year Fernando Rodney, opposing hitters are finding it nearly impossible to score. Unless your fantasy league has scoring categories for holds or saves, it is very rare to pick up a relief pitcher. I’m here tell you this week may be your week to change that strategy.
Coach Lloyd McClendon has made it known he has no quarrels inserting his bullpen early in the game if the starter is struggling. This opens the door for bullpen to pick up the Win in these situations. Below are the fantasy baseball projections for the number one bullpen in baseball.
SLEEPER PICK WEEKLY PROJECTION: MARINERS BULLPEN
9 IP, 2 W, 11 K, 2.00 ERA and 1.50 WHIP