Mariners Game Notes: Roenis Elias Toes the Rubber for Seattle

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The Seattle Mariners (59-68) are in Chicago tonight to open a four game weekend series against the White Sox (59-66). First pitch is scheduled for 5:10 pm from U.S. Cellular Field in the Windy City. The weather reports calls for 70 degrees and mainly sunny skis tonight. Root Sports Northwest will broadcast the game live locally, and MLB/tv subscribers can watch worldwide on connected devices.

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The M’s come to town riding high as winners of their last two games. Unfortunately, the recent hot spell has done little to help Seattle’s standing in the American League West. The Mariners still trail the division leading Houston Astros by 11.5 games, and currently sit 6.5 games back in the wildcard.

Mariners’ skipper Lloyd McClendon and White Sox manager Robin Ventura have released the following lineups for tonight’s series lid-lifter:

Starting Pitching Preview

Roenis Elias (4-6, 4.22 ERA) will make his first start for Seattle in nearly two months on Thursday night in Chicago. Elias has made 1 appearance out of the M’s bullpen since being recalled last weekend. The 27-year-old southpaw started hot this season, going 2-1 and posting a 2.58 ERA through his first 38.2 innings. However, he has gone 2-5 with a 5.80 ERA since May 30. The Guantanamo product relies heavily on a fastball/curveball combo. Locating his fastball early in the count will be key tonight.

Carlo Rodon (5-5, 4.22 ERA) will get the ball for the home side this evening. At just 22-years-old, Rodon represents one of the most intriguing young arms in the game. Mariners’ fans witnessed his immense upside when he limited Seattle to 1 earned run in 7 innings of work on August 22 at Safeco Field. Rodon enters play with a 2.36 ERA through 4 starts in the month of August.

Aug 18, 2015; Arlington, TX, USA; Seattle Mariners shortstop Ketel Marte (4) during the game against the Texas Rangers at Globe Life Park in Arlington. The Mariners defeat the Rangers 3-2. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Pick to Click

Nelson Cruz and Robinson Cano have carried the Mariners’ offense this summer, but Ketel Marte has been a spark plug at the top of the lineup. The 21-year-old shortstop has hit .333 with 8 doubles, 1 triple, 4 RBI and 3 stolen bases since being promoted to Seattle on July 31. Marte has also provided quality defense up the middle of the diamond. He has posted a .500 batting average with 3 doubles, 1 triple, 1 RBI and 2 stolen bases over his last 4 games. Marte finished just a home run short of completing the cycle on August 25 against the A’s. I am boldly predicting the Marte will tally at least 2 hits tonight, with one being his first career big league home run.

Final Score Prediction

The White Sox took two of three against the Mariners last weekend, but I expect Seattle to put forth a better effort tonight. Obviously, Seattle is not an overly good team this season, but neither is Chicago. I hope we see the early May version of Elias tonight, and he shuts down the powerful Sox attack. The M’s are a much better team away from home this season, and hopefully that trend continues this weekend. I predict the Mariners will win the series opener 5-3 on Thursday night.

Next: Cano Makes History in M's Comeback

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