Mariners Preview: Dodgers coming to town… a Seager Preview?

SEATTLE, WASHINGTON - AUGUST 19: Brothers Kyle Seager #15 of the Seattle Mariners and Corey Seager #5 of the Los Angeles Dodgers have a conversation at second base in the seventh inning at T-Mobile Park on August 19, 2020 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images)
SEATTLE, WASHINGTON - AUGUST 19: Brothers Kyle Seager #15 of the Seattle Mariners and Corey Seager #5 of the Los Angeles Dodgers have a conversation at second base in the seventh inning at T-Mobile Park on August 19, 2020 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images) /
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It’s not a sentence you thought that you would hear, but the Seattle Mariners are going to be involved in the first matchup of the year between two teams with double-digit wins as they take on the Los Angeles Dodgers in a quick two-game series in Seattle.

If anything, Mariners fans likely thought that if the team was going to be the first to do something like this, it would’ve been as the first double-digit losing matchup between two teams. Here we are though, with the Mariners in first place in the midst of a tough early-season stretch against a lot of good teams.

Even though it’s a short series, it’s going to be a good test against the top team in all of baseball, especially for the Mariners pitching staff.

Rotation Matchups

Justus Sheffield vs. Dustin May

Marco Gonzalez vs. Julio Urias

Sheffield got roughed up a bit in his first start of the year, giving up four through five innings against the White Sox during a shutout loss. He looked much better in his second start, making it six innings, while just giving up two runs. Dustin May, on the other hand, has been dealing so far, 10.1 innings with 14 K’s and a 1.71 ERA. If the Mariners are going to find success against him, their best hope is making him work for it.

May only went 85 pitches and 71 pitches in his two starts, respectively. The Mariners are an odd team when you look at the combination of how often they strike out paired with how often they walk. It’s almost as if they can tell you when it’s going to be a ball or a strike, it’s just that they can’t seem to do much with that information. If they can work counts often and early, they should be able to chase May somewhere around the fifth inning.

Julio Urias, the young lefty, has been slowly getting worse with each start this year. Seven innings and one run, 5.2 and three, six and four. He hasn’t struck out a ton either, notching 15 K’s in 18.2 innings.

For the Mariners, it will be interesting to see if Marco Gonzales can continue pitching well after success in Baltimore, other than his two-out struggles in the first inning where he went walk-home run-single-single before retiring 13 of the next 14 batters.

The good news? The Mariners don’t have to face the top of the Dodgers rotation, headlined by Walker Buehler and Clayton Kershaw.

Injury News

There’s some good news with the Mariners outfield, as well as some bad. For the bad, it’s that we haven’t really heard any updates on when Jake Fraley is supposed to be back. For outfielders not named Haniger, the team has been struggling, and it will be good once we are able to get him back to spell time in left field.

The more impactful player, and the one that comes bearing good news, is that Kyle Lewis is supposed to be back for this series. The team has been miserable in centerfield so far this season, batting in the .140s without the reigning Rookie of the Year.

For the Dodgers, they are going to be missing some important names as well. Cody Bellinger is out with a hairline fracture in his leg that he is rehabbing through. Gavin Lux just went on the ten-day IL, and AJ Pollock is dinged up, although he will likely see playing time. Tony Gonsolin is out with shoulder soreness, and everyone’s favorite pitcher, Joe Kelly, is out without a timetable to return.

Seager Showdown

It’s a ways off but makes for a good time as any to talk about it. Corey Seager is coming to town this week to play against his brother Kyle… and could it possibly be a preview of a Seager/Seager infield for 2022? Corey is going to be a free agent, and although it is unlikely to happen due to the youth of the team, it would be neat to see the Mariners sign Corey Seager in the offseason to play alongside his brother.

It would likely involve Kyle re-signing as well, meaning that the Mariners would be paying somewhere between 40-50 million for the left side of their infield, depending on the type of deals that were signed, and if the Seagers gave the Mariners some kind of brotherly discount. Even though JP Crawford has been doing his best lately to show that he deserves to stick around at shortstop.

The first game is Monday at 7:10 PM, followed by an afternoon game on Tuesday at 1:10 PM. I’m looking forward to easily their biggest test of the season to see what the Mariners can do.

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