Seattle Mariners Series Preview: at Texas Rangers
At least they won once. I’m beginning to get that sinking feeling in my stomach that the Mariners were too good to be true. In true Mariner fashion they looked really good for a few weeks, then shot themselves in the foot (thanks to Fernando Rodney), and have been struggling to get it together again.
All I can say is ‘Thank God that the Blue Jays handed the Rangers a beating this past weekend too’ otherwise the AL West would look a lot different right now. By some miracle the M’s are still a half game up on the Rangers, so this week’s quick two-game series is going to be important. Here’s the Mariners series preview.
Game one: Hisashi Iwakuma (2-0, 1.59 ERA) v. Colby Lewis (3-2, 4.99 ERA)
If there’s any pitcher who’s hot in the MLB right now it’s Hisashi Iwakuma. This will be his fourth start since coming back from injury, and he’s been very, very impressive. He’s coming off of back to back shutout starts against KC and Tampa Bay, where he went 8.0 innings of shutout baseball with no walks.
If he’s not taken in your fantasy pool, pick him up immediately. Lewis represents a good chance for Iwakuma to notch another win. Lewis is coming off of a win in Houston where he went 5.2 innings of shutout baseball, but prior to that game he’d given up a bunch of runs, 17 on the season.
Lewis’s 2014 WHIP is 1.696, so look for the Mariners to try and drop in singles all day.
Game two: Chris Young (3-1, 3.22 ERA) v. Nick Tepesch (0-0, 1.69 ERA)
There’s not much left to say about ol’ Chris Young, he’s still rolling like it was 10 years ago. Even though he took a loss in his last start (his first of the season), that was a very winnable game for the Mariners.
He gave up a lot of hits (10) in that game, which was his highest of the season so far, but he was able to keep the Twins to only 5 runs over 7 innings. This is only Nick Tepesch’s second start of his sophomore season.
He was called up last week to make the start in replace of the injured Martin Perez. Tepesch went 4-6 last season with a 4.84 ERA.
- Brad Miller is continuing to make us all cringe. If he’s not striking out with the bases loaded or overthrowing short tosses to second, he’s getting thrown out by abysmal base running. The crowd has certainly turned on Miller, who was actually really good last season, but maybe a little bit of seasoning in Tacoma might be warranted.
- Corey Hart was pulled from Sundays game after pulling a hammy stealing second base, it looked pretty bad, and according to the Mariners he’s going for an MRI this week once the swelling goes down.
- With Hart out and Miller struggling, that certainly opens the door for fan favorite Nick Franklin! Franklin was a last minute scratch from Sundays’s AAA game, leading to a lot of speculation that he’s on his way to Texas to meet up with the big club.
- Robinson Cano is getting a bit of heat for his lack of homers so far in 2014, but damn did he ever hit the ball well on Sunday, where he had 4 hits and an RBI.
- Rangers freshly acquired slugger Prince Fielder is reported to have had some injections in his neck for a herniated disk. He missed his start on Sunday (ending his iron man streak at 547), and is officially listed as day-to-day, so we might not be seeing him this week.
- Alexi Ogando, the Rangers’ aging reliever took a nasty line drive to the hand this weekend against the Blue Jays. He took a Brett Lawrie liner right in the palm of his pitching hand, and while Ron Washington said he shouldn’t be going to the DL, I expect he’ll be getting a few days off this week and the Mariners might not see him this time around.
- The Rangers are 4-6 in their last 10 games, (same with the Mariners), including some winnable series against the Astros and the Blue Jays. Prior to that the Rangers were swept by the Rockies and have failed to win 4 straight series.
Around the AL West
By some miracle the M’s are still ahead of the Rangers (it’s not actually a miracle, the Rangers have been pretty bad in May so far). This is a quick two-game stop for the M’s before a long home stand, so it’s a nice way to get some momentum going.
- Obviously the Rangers are taking on the Mariners at home (if you didn’t know this by now, there’s some comprehension problems we need to talk about).
- The Astros are in LA to take on the Angles this week. The Astros are 6-4 in their last ten, including a few wins against the Rangers, so if they could manage to squeeze out a win or two against the Angels it would go a long way to getting the Mariners back on top.
- The West leading Oakland A’s are in Tampa Bay this week for a three-game series against the slumping Rays. While the Rays are still dead last in the East, they still have a chance to win this series. (hopefully).