Against the Cubs, the Seattle Mariners shoot for their first series win of 2024

Still in search of their first series win of the 2024 season, the Seattle Mariners will host the Chicago Cubs for a three-game series.
Cleveland Guardians v Seattle Mariners
Cleveland Guardians v Seattle Mariners / Alika Jenner/GettyImages

The Seattle Mariners have yet to win a series during the 2024 season. They split the season opener against Boston but took just one game in each three-game series after. Sitting at 5-8, the Mariners now return to T-Mobile Park to take on the 7-5 Chicago Cubs.

While Seattle did lose the series against Toronto despite matching up well with the Blue Jays, the last game of the series was encouraging. The Mariners scored more than five runs for the first time this season during the 6-1 victory.

Cal Raleigh's two-run homer in the tenth inning was instrumental to the win, and the awakening of the Mariners' core hitters needs to happen soon for this team to get back on track. The Cubs are in the bottom half of the MLB in team ERA, so perhaps hitters like Raleigh, Julio Rodriguez, J.P. Crawford, and Jorge Polanco can begin to rebound from their slow starts.

Chicago has scored the fourth-most runs in baseball, which is concerning with Emerson Hancock and Luis Castillo set to take the mound in games two and three of this series. Both are looking to heat up after very rough starts to the season.

Cubs vs. Mariners Pitching Matchups

Jordan Wicks (0-1, 4.15 ERA) vs. Bryce Miller (1-1, 3.00 ERA)
Shota Imanaga (1-0, 0.00 ERA) vs. Emerson Hancock (1-1, 11.42 ERA)
Javier Assad (1-0, 1.64 ERA) vs. Luis Castillo (0-3, 6.89 ERA)

Bryce Miller gets the call to open the series, and he has had a very solid start to 2024. His ERA ranks second in the Seattle rotation behind Logan Gilbert, and his 3.96 FIP is almost identical to last season. Chicago is throwing the lefty rookie Jordan Wicks, who has posted a 13.50 K/9 this season and is set to face a very strikeout-happy lineup. The former first-round pick has a BB/9 of 4.15, however, which may get him into trouble if he can't continue to generate strikeouts.

Shota Imanaga vs. Emerson Hancock is not a great draw for Seattle. Imanaga has dominated his first two MLB starts, generating 12 strikeouts during his ten scoreless frames. Hancock, on the other hand, unfortunately, proved the prediction I made after his first start correct. Unless the Mariners find another gear on offense, this is a hard game to imagine them winning.

It has not yet been announced by the Cubs who is starting the third game of this series. Regardless of who takes the mound for Chicago, Seattle will need a seasons-best performance out of Luis Castillo. After struggling at the end of last season, Castillo has been bleeding runs. However, his FIP of 3.34 is still lower than his mark from 2023, providing hope that his luck will begin to turn around. A strong Castillo game would go a long way toward Seattle's first series win of 2024.

A few promotions are happening with the Mariners returning to T-Mobile for this series. Friday, April 12, the first game of the series, is Mariners Hoodie Night for the first 15000 fans. Saturday, April 13 is Salute to Armed Forces Night, where the first 10000 fans will receive a Mariners cap. Sunday is, in my opinion, one of the best promotions of the year: Little League Day. All fans 14 and under will get a Mitch Haniger poster after the game.