Mariners will lean on Andrew Albers to Stay Afloat in WC Race

SEATTLE, WA - AUGUST 15: Starter Andrew Albers
SEATTLE, WA - AUGUST 15: Starter Andrew Albers /

The Seattle Mariners sleep walked their way into a 3-0 loss on Sunday, where they were shut down by Seattle native Blake Snell. Despite the dissapointing result, the Mariners still took the series 2 games to 1.

Unfortunately for the Mariners, Kansas City, Los Angeles, and Minnesota all won, pushing Seattle into a tie with KC, both teams now 1.5 games back of the Angels and Twins.

The M’s start a new series tonight in Atlanta, where Andrew Albers takes the ball for the Mariners. Albers hopes to follow up a rather impressive debut with the Mariners, where he allowed just 1 run over 5 innings to the Baltimore Orioles. Tonight, he will face off against his former organization, the Atlanta Braves.

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We got to see Albers at home, and we can safely build a pretty standard profile for him. He is your prototypical “soft tossing lefty”, who’s fastball will rarely break 90 mph. He throws all 4 pitches, backing up his fastball with a changeup, curveball and slider.

In his first start, Albers mostly stuck with his fastball and slider against the righty dominated Orioles. In fact, he threw one of those 2 pitches 92% of the time. What made Albers effective in his first start was a combination of pitch selection and location. He was unafraid to throw his fastball up in the zone, and was willing to throw his slider in all counts.

We didn’t get to see a lot of Albers change up, but when we did, it looks like a solid offering with late fade and good arm action. He throws a slow curveball, but he threw it as more of a “get me over” pitch.

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While Albers stuff is underwhelming, he is a guy who knows who he is and what he needs to do to get outs. What can we expect from Albers tonight? The M’s bullpen is fairly well rested heading into the series. Manager Scott Servais will likely ask Albers to get through the lineup twice. While another 5 inning, 1 run performance would be great, it might not be reasonable. 5-6 innings of 3 run ball is an ideal expectation for the lefty.