Mariners Game Preview: King Felix Goes for Win #19


The Seattle Mariners (74-80) will try and slow down the surging Los Angeles Angels (79-74) on Saturday night in Anaheim. First pitch is scheduled for 6:05 PM from Angel Stadium. Felix Hernandez (18-9, 3.54 ERA) will get the ball for the Mariners, and Andrew Heaney (6-3, 3.30 ERA) will be on the bump for the home side. Root Sports Northwest will carry the game live locally, and subscribers can watch worldwide on connected devices.

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Last night’s game did not go according to plan for Seattle, as they lost 8-4 in the series opener. With the loss, the M’s are now officially eliminated from contention in the American League West. The Mariners are 10 games back of the division leading Texas Rangers, and sit 6.5 games out in the wildcard.

Mariners’ skipper Lloyd McClendon and Angels’ manager Mike Scioscia have released the following lineups for tonight’s game:

Pitching Preview

Felix Hernandez has had a bit of a peculiar season with the M’s in 2015. The 29-year-old right-hander enters play tied for the American League lead with 18 wins, but his 3.54 ERA is his worst mark since 2007. King Felix’s 3.30 strikeout to walk ratio is his lowest since the 2009 season, and his 3.72 FIP is his highest since 2008. Hernandez has finished in the top-10 in Cy Young voting in each of the last three seasons, but I expect that streak to come to an end this year. Felix was forced to leave his last start after experiencing stiffness in his right elbow, so that will be something to keep an eye on tonight.

Andrew Heaney was acquired by the Halos this offseason from the Los Angeles Dodgers in exchange for Howie Kendrick. The 24-year-old southpaw has showed well in his debut campaign in Anaheim, going 6-3 with a 3.30 ERA through 16 starts. Heaney has struck out 72 and walked 21 over the course of 95.1 innings pitched. He scattered 5 hits across 7 shutout frames en route to picking up the victory in his lone outing against the Mariners in 2015.

Aug 11, 2015; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Mariners designated hitter Mark Trumbo (35) runs the bases after hitting a three-run homer against the Baltimore Orioles during the first inning at Safeco Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Pick to Click

Mark Trumbo spent the first four seasons of his big league career with the Angels, and I am hoping for a memorable homecoming. Trumbo is hitting .289 in September, and has posted a .316 batting average over his last 6 games. He has done a great job against left-handed pitching in 2015, hitting .289 with 11 home runs and 25 RBI across 74 games. I am predicting the 29-year-old will club a pair of home runs and drive in 3 runs tonight.

Final Score Prediction

The Mariners postseason chances are quickly slipping away, and some might suggest the final outcome of tonight’s game does not matter. However, King Felix has a chance to reach the 20 win plateau for the first time in his career if he can win his last two starts. So, despite the fact that the M’s are not going to make the playoffs, tonight’s game is a must win. Felix has been the face of the franchise for over a decade, and he deserves to have a 20-win season. I expect the Mariners to even the series with a 4-1 victory tonight in Anaheim.

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