For the first time since 2017, the two most commonly confused teams among fair weather baseball fans will meet: the Seattle Mariners and the Miami Marlins.
A mere 3,294 miles apart, there’s a reason the Mariners and Marlins don’t meet too often: it’s the farthest distance between two teams in all of Major League Baseball. Fortunately, the M’s have already been in Florida for a few days taking on the Tampa Bay Rays, so any travel exhaustion should be in the rear view window.
The Miami Marlins are currently on a five-game winning streak, taking two of three from the defending champion Atlanta Braves, then sweeping the lowly Washington Nationals. They currently sit at 10-8, good for second in the National League East at this early juncture of the season.
For the Marlins, exciting young second baseman Jazz Chisholm Jr. has gotten off to a phenomenal start: he’s hitting .308 (1.029 OPS) with four home runs, 15 RBIs, and four stolen bases in the leadoff spot. Jesus Sanchez has been solid in the cleanup hole with a team-leading 19 hits, and utility man Joey Wendle continues to impress with a reliable .851 OPS in several spots of the batting order.
On the pitching side, Sandy Alcantara, Pablo Lopez (a former Mariners prospect), and Jesus Luzardo have been excellent; Lopez is 3-0 with a 0.39 ERA this season, but will not be seen this series. Following along with the theme of former Mariners, relievers Shawn Armstrong and Anthony Bass have both donned the Seattle blues in the past and will most likely be seen out of Miami’s bullpen this weekend.
Game 1 – Matt Brash vs Elieser Hernandez, Friday 4/29 at 6:40pm ET
Elieser Hernandez has been Miami’s least effective starting pitcher this season, currently sitting with a 5.87 ERA and .279 opposing BA. Hopefully, the Mariners bats can start hot (similarly to how they started in Tampa Bay), and help electric rookie starter Matt Brash earn his second win of his campaign.
Game 2 – Robbie Ray vs Jesus Luzardo, Saturday 4/30 at 6:10pm ET
Robbie Ray will look to stay efficient after posting two strong starts in a row against the Rangers and Royals, going six innings with two earned runs allowed in each outing. With Ray on the mound, the Marlins will likely rely heavily on righties Brian Anderson and Jon Berti, who both hit lefties well, to carry the load offensively.
Game 3 – Logan Gilbert vs Sandy Alcantara, Sunday 5/1 at 1:40pm ET
Do you know who holds the best ERA (0.40) in the American League? That’s right, it’s second-year Mariners pitcher Logan Gilbert. Gilbert has worked ahead in counts by locating his fastball and mixing in his slider effectively; he’ll look to continue his All-Star caliber performance against a formidable opponent in Sandy Alcantara, who owns a similarly impressive 1.78 ERA while leading the Marlins with 25.1 innings pitched.