Mariners Look to Repeat Home Opener Success in Next Astros Series
A little over a month ago, the Seattle Mariners took home field for the first time in 2022 and proceeded to take down the defending AL West-champion Houston Astros in impressive 11-1 fashion. Seattle took that series 2-1, but then got swept handily in Houston two and a half weeks later.
This weekend, the M’s will be looking to regain the mojo that had baseball media exalting the Mariners as the next top team in the division.
On Friday night, the Mariners offense will look to stay productive (4.5 runs/game over their last 7 games) against a bona fide Cy Young candidate in Justin Verlander. Verlander has shut the Mariners down twice this season, so look for lefties Jesse Winker, Adam Frazier, and JP Crawford to do their best to drive the ball against the dominant right-hander while the rest of the lineup puts together competitive at-bats.
The Mariners will lean on newfound ace Logan Gilbert on Saturday night, who has yet to face Houston this season. Gilbert will take on an average starter in Jose Urquidy, and will look to flash his dominant fastball-slider combo against a righty-heavy lineup that features Jose Altuve, Alex Bregman, Yuli Gurriel, and star rookie Jeremy Pena.
Rounding out the series on the mound for Seattle will be Marco Gonzales, who has earned the win in the Mariners’ only two wins in their last 10 games. Gonzales has begun to locate his “unsexy” pitches with precision, and, despite surrendering five runs in a win over the Athletics earlier this week, looks to still be worth the long-term investment the Mariners placed in him back in 2018.