BASEBALL IS BACK! The Mariners kick off the 2024 by welcoming the Boston Red Sox to town

Baseball. Is. BACK! The Mariners are set to kick off the 2024 season as they welcome the Boston Red Sox to town. Now that it's finally here, let's preview the series
Seattle Mariners v New York Mets
Seattle Mariners v New York Mets / Dustin Satloff/GettyImages
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Mariners vs Red Sox: Players to watch

Starting lineups for the day aren't out yet, and as Mariners fans we aren't as familiar with the Red Sox team, we can't give you what the lineup should be. As you scroll around, there is one name that you are going to notice (if you forgot he was now there) that used to be a Mariner, and has long been a topic of conversation amongst us as fans.

Tyler O'Neill now plays for the Red Sox, and is likely going to see a lot of time for them in Left Field this season. He's the one to watch for me. Before the Mariners acquired Raley and Haniger, there were a lot of conversations and thoughts about whether or not the Mariners should try and get O'Neill. Now, he gets to deal with the Green Monster (in Boston), and will be in a bigger spotlight in Boston.

Outside of that, I'm excited to watch Jarren Duran and Masataka Yoshida. Duran started to see consistent playing time last year, and really performed well at the plate with a 121 OPS+ while hitting .295/.346/.482 in 332 ABs. Now the full-time Center Fielder for the Sox, it'll be interesting to see how he does in a full season. The big thing to watch is his Batting Average. .295 sounds great, but he also had a .381 BABIP, meaning there is a good chance that BA drops into the 240-250 range.

Yoshida was a "rookie" for the Sox last year, coming from overseas for his age-29 season. He hit .289/.338/.445 with 15 HR, playing exceptionally well though his first 88 games, but struggled to the finish line in his last 47 games with a slash line of just .233/.255/.337 with only three homers. Which Yoshida will show up against the Mariners?

Oh, and I'm nervous about Trevor Story. Maybe you've tried to block it out of your memory banks, but back in 2022, the Mariners were swept in a four-game series by Boston, and it was punctuated by a historic game by Story that saw him finish with four hits, hit three homers, drive in seven, and steal a base. That would be a great series... and he did it in a game.

The game kicks off tonight at 7:10 PM, and the Mariners have a great chance to get off on the right foot against a Boston team that seems unsure about the direction it is taking. The 2024 season is finally here, and all I have left to say, is Go Mariners!