Fresh off of a 3-7 road trip, the floundering Seattle Mariners are set to take on the Oakland Athletics for a three game series in Seattle starting on Monday night. The Athletics are the lone team trailing Seattle in the American League West standings, currently sitting 1/2 game behind the 17-25 Mariners.
The new-look A’s are coming off of three lost series in a row (to the Angels, Twins, and Angels again), and are clearly reeling from the loss of star players Matt Olson, Matt Chapman, Sean Manaea, and others this past offseason.
For the Mariners, a team with lofty expectations before the season, this week’s series with the Athletics will be a much-needed opportunity to separate themselves from the bottom of the standings.
After coming through with clutch starts against the Mets and Blue Jays on the road trip, Marco Gonzales will take the bump for Seattle in Game 1 in hopes of ending their current four-game skid. Rookie George Kirby will seek his first major league win in Game 2, and ace Robbie Ray will aim to avoid the big inning (his Achilles heel so far this season) in his start in Game 3.
The Athletics will throw Zach Logue on Monday night, a 26-year-old lefty who started the season as a reliever, but was transitioned to the starting rotation shortly thereafter. He’s only started three games, but his 1.19 WHIP is nothing to scoff at. An average arm in James Kaprielian will take Game 2 for Oakland, while ace Paul Blackburn will round out the series.
Oakland has not been impressive offensively this season: Sheldon Neuse has been their best bat with a .675 OPS and 15 RBIs, but middle-of-the-order cogs Sean Murphy and Seth Brown have struggled to find the gaps. At the end of the order, Tony Kemp and newly acquired center fielder Cristian Pache haven’t been able to consistently get on base.
Despite the A’s struggles, if Mariners fans have learned anything about Oakland over the years, it’s that they’ll certainly put up a fight; we should be set for a competitive series in Seattle to start the week.