Mariners Game Notes: Rickie Weeks Replaces Dustin Ackley in LF


The Seattle Mariners (10-13) will take on the Houston Astros (16-7) on Saturday night for the third consecutive game. First pitch is scheduled for 4:10 pm PT at Minute Maid Park in Houston. Taijuan Walker (1-2, 6.86 ERA) is tasked with getting the M’s back on track after Seattle dropped the first 2 games of this series. Collin McHugh (3-0, 2.92 ERA) will toe the rubber for Houston tonight. Root Sports Northwest will carry the game live, and subscribers can watch on connected devices.

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The Mariners currently sit in 3rd place in the American League West. After losing the last 2 games, Seattle is 6.0 games back of the division leading Houston Astros.

M’s Manager Lloyd McClendon and Astros skipper A.J. Hinch have released the following lineups for tonight’s game:

Rickie Weeks Draws Start in Left Field Against McHugh

Typically, when the M’s are opposed by right-handed starting pitchers, Dustin Ackley will be playing left field. However, McClendon has decided to give Rickie Weeks the nod in left tonight. Greg Johns of, suggests that the decision to start Weeks may have less to do with him, and more to do with Ackley’s struggles against McHugh.

Based on these abysmal numbers, it is clear McClendon is making a wise decision. Weeks has had a rough start to his Mariners’ career, hitting .195 with 2 home runs and 5 RBI’s though his first 41 at bats. Hopefully, the veteran is able to turn things around in May. McHugh is a tough matchup, but Weeks is always a threat to leave the yard.

Apr 27, 2015; Arlington, TX, USA; Seattle Mariners starting pitcher

Taijuan Walker

(32) pitches against the Texas Rangers during the first inning at Globe Life Park in Arlington. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Pick to Click

The Mariners have received strong showings from their staring pitchers for over a week now, and I expect that trend to continue tonight with Taijuan Walker on the mound. Walker has been brilliant during his career against the Houston Astros, and he is my pick to click tonight for Seattle. Prince Tai is 3-0 with a 2.67 ERA in 5 career outings against the ‘Stros. Seattle will need a dominant performance from the 22-year-old to win tonight, and I think that is exactly what they will get. I expect Tai will hurl 8 innings of 1 run ball with 10 strikeouts. Those are lofty expectations, but I have faith in the Prince.

Final Score Prediction

There is no point in sugar coating it, the Mariners will be hard pressed to win tonight against Collin McHugh and the Houston Astros. McHugh has not been defeated since August 1st of last season, and he has won 3 times during that stretch against the M’s. The Astros are the hottest team in baseball, and enter tonight’s game riding an 8-game winning streak. Seattle will need a great outing from Taijuan Walker, and I think they might just get it. The odds are stacked against the M’s, but I believe they will win 3-1 on Saturday night at Minute Maid Park.

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