Fantasy Baseball: Seattle Mariners Hello Hisashi Iwakuma


Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

The Seattle Mariners have won their past five series matchups, and their players are acting as a huge boost to your Fantasy Baseball squad. It’s been a full month of baseball now, and around that time in the year where your fantasy teams are settling into their rightful positions within the league.

Mariners may not be the most sought after players, but your most likely sitting atop your fantasy league if you spot started your pitchers and picked the right moments for hot streaks.

If you’re a Mariners fan, it’s more than likely you drafted Hisashi Iwakuma. He came in third in AL Cy Young votes last year, but a spring training injury forced you to stash him in your leagues DL spot. Now that you have been patient for a full five weeks going into the season, you are being rewarded if full with his return.

Since coming off the disabled list, Iwakuma has been outstanding. He has posted a record of 2-0 with a 2.45 ERA, 10 Ks and only one walk to his name. Its safe to say he hasn’t lost a step from his elite form a year ago. His splitter looks nasty as usual, and his arm is showing no fatigue or soreness going deep into ball games.

It is becoming apparent that you shouldn’t bench Iwakuma, regardless of who he is matched up against. He pitches against the Tampa Bay Rays this week, and later against the struggling Minnesota Twins.

If you have him on your fantasy squad, you will want to leave him in your SP spot all week. The Rays and Twins are both struggling to find offense and Iwakuma won’t make life any easier for the hitters. Below is his Fantasy Baseball predictions for week:


14  IP, 1 W, 13 K, 2.50 ERA and 1.25 WHIP

Fantasy owners have been waiting patiently for Justin Smoak to live up to the hype. I believe this wait is now finally over. Robinson Cano pleaded for another big bat in the lineup, but the Mariners organization stood strong with their young power hitting first basemen. Extending his contract during the offseason, the Mariners are being rewarded heavily by their commitment.

Smoak has been more than the Mariners expected going into the season. He is currently hitting with a .246 BA, smashing 5 home runs, batting in 25 RBI, and 17 runs to add to his arsenal.

Fantasy owners don’t expect a high average from Smoak, but his HR and RBI output this early in the season is definitely something to write home about.

The Tampa Bay Rays and Minnesota Twins are coming to town this week, and their starting pitching has been depleted by injuries and high ERA. Smoak his known for having hot streaks, and this week may help him keep the pace with the early season success.

Below are your Smoak signal predictions for this week:


.250 BA, 1 HR, 5 RBI, 3 RUNS, 0 SB

The Mariners are winning more and more close games as the season continues. Winning close ball games means many save opportunities, and Fernando Rodney is taking advantage of all of them.

Rodney’s success this year in the closer role is exactly what the Mariners needed when they acquired the free agent this offseason.

He currently holds a 2.30 ERA with 21 Ks in the 16 games played thus far in the season. Rodney owns a fantastic line of 11 saves in 12 opportunities. Even if the ninth inning tends to be a roller coaster ride when he takes the mound.

Fernando may have been a late round addition in your fantasy draft, but he has carried with him the dominance of top tier closer. Currently ranked 6th overall in fantasy baseball saves, Rodney has turned out to be a great late round pick from your draft.

The Rays and Twins are both last place in their divisions, so expect the Mariners to have the lead going into the ninth inning this week. How many arrows will fly this week? Below are my predictions:


4  IP, 1 SV, 4 K, 1.50 ERA and 1.50 WHIP

It’s exciting to see the Mariners as a winning ball club this early in the season. Especially when they have been frantically replacing their pitching with a makeshift rotation. Players are beginning to come off the DL, and hitters are starting to find their rhythm.

The Mariners are playing last place teams in their respected divisions this week, so enjoy the fantasy numbers while they carry your team up the rankings.