Coming off of a 3-3 homestand against the Athletics and Astros, the Seattle Mariners will now head to the East Coast for the second time in as many weeks. Seattle, sitting at 20-28 and in 4th place in the AL West, will take on the 21-29 Baltimore Orioles for the first time this season in a three-game series starting on Monday night.
The Seattle Mariners will look to put their 3-11 record against the AL East this season in the past this week against the Baltimore Orioles.
Tonight, Mariners rookie George Kirby will take the mound for Seattle in search of his first major league win. Kirby has been hit around a bit in his last three starts since shining in his debut against the Rays on May 8th, but he’s consistently given the Mariners a chance to win on his start days; he’s shown impressive command, sporting a stellar 20:2 K/BB ratio so far this season.
The Orioles will opt for a bullpen game tonight, with reliever Bryan Baker taking the hill to start the contest. Seattle should have a good opportunity to get to Baker (and his 1.50 WHIP) early, but they’ll need to stay disciplined with quality at-bats against the rest of Baltimore’s relief crew over the course of the game.
Game 2 will feature top Mariners free agent acquisition Robbie Ray against rookie right-hander Kyle Bradish, who was a top-10 prospect for the Orioles last season. Bradish was a primary piece in the 2019 trade that sent Dylan Bundy to the Angels, but he’s been roughed up to the tune of a 7.31 ERA in 28.1 innings pitched so far this season. Ray will look to continue a streak of four straight starts with at least eight strikeouts and avoid the big inning, a feat that could be tough against an Orioles lineup that can find the gaps from top to bottom.
Former Ranger Jordan Lyles has been the Orioles’ lead dog on the bump this season, and will take on an inning-eating machine in Seattle’s Chris Flexen in the final game of the series on Thursday night. Flexen is 0-4 in road games this season (an oddity after going 7-1 in road games last season), but a matchup with a relatively righty-heavy Orioles lineup could play to his advantage.
Of course, the primarily storyline in this series will likely be the matchup between two of the top three prospects in baseball: Seattle’s Julio Rodriguez and switch-hitting Baltimore catcher Adley Rutschman. Keep an eye out for Rodriguez (MLB’s stolen base leader) to be extra hungry for swiped bags with his fellow phenom behind the plate.