Seattle Mariners Series Preview: v. Oakland A’s


Listen up M’s fans, if there was ever a weekend to get out to Safeco field and cheer on the Mariners, THIS IS THE TIME TO DO IT. 

The weather is going to be awesome, the Mariners are hungry to avenge some poorly timed losses to the Astros, and the A’s are in the midst of a September implosion. Did I mention that the Mariners are only a game-and-a-half back of the A’s for second in the West?

This series means everything to the Mariners. Squeezing out a few wins would drop them into the first wild card spot with only 2 weeks to go in the regular season. Here’s your Mariners Series Preview for this weekend’s all important matchup against the Oakland A’s.


Game one: Jason Hammel (10-10, 3.55 ERA) v. James Paxton (5-2, 1.87 ERA)

Hammel looks to have finally gotten on his feet after coming to the American League back in July. Hammel is 2-8 in the AL, but that second win was at the hands of the Mariners, who were dominated in an 8 inning, 3 hit clinic only 2 weeks ago.

Paxton is coming off of only his second career loss last week. He fell victim to the Mariners’ latest runs drought and lost 1-0 to the Rangers. Paxton pitched decently in that game, going 6 innings of 1 run ball. The last time he faced Oakland was the start before, where he went 7.2 innings with 4 hits/2 runs and took the win.

Game two: Sonny Gray (13-8, 3.22 ERA) v. Felix Hernandez (14-5, 2.12 ERA)

Sonny Gray is very quickly approaching 200 innings (currently at 190.0), giving him an average of 6+ innings per start. Gray has only gone sub 6 innings 5 times this season, including a start against the Mariners two weeks ago where he took a 6-5 loss after giving up 6 runs in 5 innings.

For the 7th time in his career, Felix has eclipsed 200 innings, and is still looking great. Felix is also coming off of a win in that last series against the A’s. He tossed an 8-inning, 3 hit gem. Even more notable, is that the King is 4-0 against the A’s on the season with a 2.15 ERA.

Game three: Jon Lester (14-10, 2.52 ERA) v. Chris Young (12-7, 3.35 ERA)

Unlike Hammel, Jon Lester took an immediate liking to the AL West, having gone three straight wins in his first three Oakland appearances. The wheels fell off shortly after that, however, and he dropped three straight, including one to Seattle on September 3rd where he pitched against the King.

Chris Young has been tripping over the finish line as he searches for that elusive 13th win. Young is winless since August 17th, and in between has only pitched 9.1 innings in three starts, giving up 15 hits, 10 runs and a 7.71 ERA. Included is a 0.2 inning start against the A’s where he gave up 5 runs.

Series Notes

  • Chris Young has been in search of a career-high 13th win for almost a month now. He’s already matched the 12 wins he set way back in 2005, but certainly hasn’t looked as good looking for lucky number 13.
  • Speaking of lucky number 13, Dustin Ackley hasn’t played since re-aggravating the bone spurs in his left foot on September 6th. Ack says he’s ready to go, but we’ll see when the lineups come out.
  • This is the beginning of 7 straight games against the A’s and Angels for the Mariners. Making this one of the most important weeks in Mariners baseball for the season.
  • As it looks right now, if the Mariners end up playing a game 162, Felix is lined up to take the start that day. Obviously that’s a huge edge for the M’s, but they’ve got to get to that game first.
  • The A’s are slumping, hard. They’re 3-7 in their last 10, and have lost 5 straight series, dating back to August 22-25th against the Angels.
  • Since the Mariners have such a hard schedule to close the season on, the A’s have a significantly easier one, facing the Rangers 7 more times in the next 2 weeks.
  • The A’s will be missing John Jaso and Craig Gentry this weekend as both are back in Oakland to deal with concussions.

Wild Card Roundup

It can’t be understated how important this matchup is for the Mariners. As it stands, the winner of this series is going to have a wild card spot, while the loser will be on the outside looking in.

The rest of the WC race is largely unchanged, except the Toronto has turned up the heat and jetted back into the hunt. The Jays are on a 4 game winning streak and are 8-2 in their last 10. Regardless, it’s going to take a lot for them to make up 3.5 games in only 2 weeks.

  • The A’s and Mariners are facing off at Safeco for an ultra important AL-West matchup
  • After winning their series against the Royals, the Tigers are hosting the Indians in a three gamer this weekend. Cleveland isn’t too far off of the Wild Card either, so this is going to be a fight for both teams.
  • The Jays are at home to take on the Rays. Tampa had been playing spoiler for a while as they had been beating the Yankees, Red Sox and Jays for most of August, but they are now falling apart in September. The Jays/Rays last matchup was a three game sweep for Toronto.
  • I’ll throw the Yankees in here too, as they are only 4.0 games back. The Yanks are playing a double header today and then the rest of the weekend against the Orioles, who have a solid lock on the AL East.
TeamGames Back
Oakland A’s+1.0
Detroit Tigers
Seattle Mariners0.5
Toronto Blue Jays3.5
Cleveland Indians3.5