Seattle Mariners Game Preview: M’s welcome Rockies to town


The Seattle Mariners (68-73) will welcome the Colorado Rockies (58-82) to Safeco Field on Friday night. First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 pm from the corner of Edgar & Dave. Hisashi Iwakuma (7-3, 4.03 ERA) will get the ball for the M’s in the opener, and Chad Bettis (6-5, 4.95 ERA) will toe the rubber for the Rockies. Root Sports Northwest will carry the game live locally, and subscribers can watch worldwide on connected devices.

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The Mariners are winners of 7 of their last 9 games, and shockingly, sit just 5 games under .500. Seattle is currently 8.5 games back of the American League West leading Houston Astros, and 6 games out in the wildcard race. I still do not believe the M’s have a realistic chance to make the playoffs in 2015, but at least they are playing some decent ball right now.

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

Pitching Preview

Hisashi Iwakuma has had a rollercoaster of a season in 2015. The 34-year-old right-hander enters play with a record of 7-3 and a 4.03 ERA. ‘Kuma went 0-1 with a 6.61 ERA though his first 3 starts of the season before being placed on the disabled list at the end of April. Since being activated from the DL in early July, Iwakuma is 7-2 with a 3.50 ERA across 12 outings. Tomorrow will mark the one month anniversary of Kuma’s no-hitter, and hopefully we get to see a repeat performance tonight!

Chad Bettis will make his first career start against the Mariners on Friday night. The 26-year-old right-hander has not fared well with Colorado in 2015. Bettis is 6-5 on the season with a 4.95 ERA. Since being recalled from triple-A in late August, he is 1-1 with a 5.28 ERA. Bettis has been awful during inter-league play, losing both of his starts and allowing 13 runs in 8 innings pitched.

Aug 17, 2014; Detroit, MI, USA; Seattle Mariners center fielder James Jones (99) in the dugout before the game against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Pick to Click

James Jones is making his first start for Seattle since July 5, and I am going with the speedy center fielder as my pick to click. Jones has yet to record a hit in 12 at bats this season with the Mariners, but he posted a .272 batting average across 72 games this year in Tacoma. He is a very enthusiastic player, and gives opposing pitchers headaches on the base paths. I predict the 26-year-old Brooklyn, NY native will get his first two hits of the season tonight, and steal a pair of bases hitting out of the leadoff spot.

Final Score Prediction

For the first time all season, the M’s are having fun and playing with confidence. Everyone in their lineup is hitting, and the pitching has been superb as of late. Hopefully they can continue playing this way over the final few weeks of the season. Colorado enters play having lost four of their last six games. The Mariners took two of three against the Rockies last month in Denver, and I expect Seattle to start this series with another victory. Look for the M’s to win 7-2 on Friday night at Safeco Field.

Next: Mariners Game Recap: King Felix Blanks Rangers to Split Series

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