Mariners Game Preview: Iwakuma and M’s to take on Tanaka and Yankees


Former teammates Iwakuma and Tanaka set to face off for first time.

The Seattle Mariners (5-6) will take on the New York Yankees (4-7) looking for the series sweep. The Mariners will send Hisashi Iwakuma (0-1, 4.09) to the mound against Masahiro Tanaka (1-1, 3.38). First pitch is scheduled for 10:05 am PT.

Iwakuma has made 2 starts so far this season and has allowed 5 runs on 14 hits over 11 innings of work. In those 2 games, he has walked 2 and struck out 12, but opposing hitters are batting .318 against him. If Iwakuma can throw more quality strikes, especially with how the Yankees offense has struggled lately, he should be able to take care of this lineup pretty easily.

Tanaka has been very effective at this early point of the season. Going into his 3rd start of 2016, he has pitched 10.2 innings and allowed 4 runs on 7 hits while striking out 10. His last outing, Tanaka faced the Blue Jays in Toronto going 5 innings and allowing 2 runs on only 3 hits, but walked 4.

Here are today’s lineups as announced by Mariners skipper Scott Servais and Yankees manager Joe Girardi:

Pick to Click

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Seth Smith is off to a great start so far this season, hitting .278 with 5 hits in 18 at-bats. Smith also has an OBP of .458 this season, with a homerun and 3 RBI. Facing the righty Tanaka today, Smith has a good shot at getting a hit or two, especially since Smith has a career slash of .274/.357/.478 against right handed pitchers. I expect Smith to tally a pair of hits and both score a run and drive one in.

Final Score Preciction

I see this as being a close, low scoring game. Tanaka is a talented pitcher who can shut down a lineup on any given day. Iwakuma is an above average starter, who going up against a struggling lineup, could have his best start of this young season. I think the Mariners will take advantage of Tanaka’s mistakes more than the Yankees pounce on Kuma, especially if Tanaka walks as many as he did in his last start. I see the Mariners winning this one 4-2 and finishing off the sweep in New York to get back to the .500 mark.

Next: King Felix Ties Big Unit on M's All-Time K List

You can catch the game on Root Sports or you can stream it on your devices connected with Pacific Northwest fans can listen to the game live on 710 ESPN. And be sure to follow SoDo Mojo on twitter for live updates throughout the game, and check back after the final out has been recorded for a full recap. Go Mariners!