Mariners Game Notes: Happy Felix Day!


The Seattle Mariners (48-58) are in Denver on Monday night to battle the Colorado Rockies (44-59) at Coors Field. First pitch is scheduled for 5:40 pm from 5,000 feet above sea level. Felix Hernandez (12-6, 3.02 ERA) will get the ball for the Mariners in the series lid-lifter. Eddie Butler (3-7, 4.82 ERA) will toe the rubber for the home side tonight night. Root Sports Northwest will carry the game live locally, and subscribers can watch worldwide on connected devices.

With yesterday’s win, Seattle remains in the 4th place in the American League West. The M’s currently trail the division leading Houston Astros by a whopping 12 games. Hopefully the Mariners can continue to compete down the stretch in what has essentially turned into a lost season.

Mariners’ skipper Lloyd McClendon and Rockies’ manager Walt Weiss have released the following lineups for tonight’s series opener:

Ketel Marte to Make First Career Start in CF

Jul 31, 2015; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Seattle Mariners second baseman Ketel Marte (4) in the dugout in the second inning against the Minnesota Twins at Target Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

After starting his first 3 big league games at second base for Seattle, Ketel Marte is getting a look in center field tonight. Marte had just begun the conversion from shortstop to center field before getting the call to join the Mariners last week. Tonight will be the 21-year-old’s 5th career start in the outfield, so it could be an interesting night for Marte. However, he needs to be in the lineup everyday to justify his callup, and center field may present him with the most opportunities moving forward. Marte is hitting a cool .333 since making his debut on Friday, and he has the potential to be the M’s best leadoff hitter since the departure of Ichiro Suzuki.

Pick to Click

I do not typically like picking an obvious candidate here, but I am going to select Felix Hernandez as my pick to click tonight. King Felix is fresh off allowing 7 runs to cross the plate in his last outing, and I expect him to rebound tonight. Hernandez is the Mariners’ ace, and he needs to set the tone for the starting rotation. This season he has not always done that, but I look for him to work deep into tonight’s game while allowing 2 runs or less.

The main reason I am picking Felix is because he gets the chance to swing the bat tonight. While he has only posted a .118 batting average across 41 career plate appearances, he does have a double and a grand slam on his resume. Hernandez is constantly holding a bat in the dugout, and he finally will get an opportunity to use it tonight. Coors Field is a hitters’ paradise, and I hope we get to see King Felix launch his second career home run on Monday night.

Final Score Prediction

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The Mariners went 2-5 last week, and we discussed their recent struggles in depth here. The pitching staff has generally let this team down as of late, but I expect that trend to end tonight. King Felix may not be having his best season in 2015, but shutting down the Rockies should not be much of a challenge for the perennial All-Star. Eddie Butler is an intriguing young arm, but I look for the M’s bats to come alive tonight in the thin air. I predict Seattle will hit 3 home runs en route to winning 8-2 in the series opener.

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