Mariners Game Preview: Felix Aims to Return to Form as M’s face Royals

Apr 24, 2015; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Mariners pitcher Felix Hernandez (34) looks in toward the plate during the sixth inning against the Minnesota Twins at Safeco Field. Mandatory Credit: Jennifer Buchanan-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 24, 2015; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Mariners pitcher Felix Hernandez (34) looks in toward the plate during the sixth inning against the Minnesota Twins at Safeco Field. Mandatory Credit: Jennifer Buchanan-USA TODAY Sports /
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The Mariners summon their King to face the Royals as they look for their 5th consecutive series win.

The Seattle Mariners (11-10) will take on the Kansas City Royals (12-9) at Safeco Field tonight with first pitch scheduled for 7:10 pm PT. Felix Hernandez (1-2, 1.80) will take the mound tonight, only one win shy of tying Jamie Moyer for the franchise lead in wins with 145. Facing the King will be Kris Medlen (1-1, 6.00).

Felix has been great this season as expected, but there is room for improvement. He has walked 15 batters this season compared to his 14 hits allowed. He needs to cut down on the free passes he issues so he won’t have to keep escaping jams. Other than his walk rate, Felix has been stellar. Through his 4 starts he has thrown 25 innings, striking out 24 and allowing 5 earned runs on 14 hits.

Medlen will be making his 4th start of the season and has also struggled with walks. Through 15 innings, he has allowed 11 runs on 11 walks and 17 hits while striking out 13. In his last start against Baltimore, Medlen lasted just 3.2 innings while giving up 7 runs on 9 hits and walking 3. This game will most likely be decided on which pitcher can control their walks allowed. I think the Mariners lineup could have a big day.

Here are your starting lineups as announced by Mariners skipper Scott Servais and Royals manager Ned Yost:

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Pick to Click

This might be the cliché pick, but I’m going with King Felix as my pick to click. Coming off a couple of outings you know he wasn’t happy with, Felix is going to come out with a vengeance in this one, which is bad news for Royals hitters. I predict he will go 8 innings, striking out 10 and walking only 1 while allowing 1 run on the way to his 145th career win, tying the Mariners record.

Final Score Prediction

Taking the pitching matchup into account, I can’t bet against Felix here. I think he will turn around his early walk trouble and come out pounding the strike zone. Medlen on the other hand will continue his struggles and give up 5 runs as the Mariners take this one 6-2.

Next: Top 5 First Round Picks in Mariners History

You can watch tonight’s game locally on Root Sports Northwest, and MLB.tv subscribers can watch worldwide on connected devices. Fans can also 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!