Mariners host Blue Jays as the Canadians visit T-Mobile Park for the Toronto series!

The Blue Jays have been struggling this year, but the AL East is incredibly tough, so the Mariners won't have
Baltimore Orioles v Seattle Mariners
Baltimore Orioles v Seattle Mariners / Stephen Brashear/GettyImages
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A series between the Mariners and the Blue Jays provides a great opportunity for our neighbors to the North to watch their team play. You may have breathed a sigh of relief as I did when batters made it on base and hit some great balls yesterday.  If you haven’t purchased tickets for games through Sunday, you may want to so that the crowd makes noise for the Mariners too!

The Blue Jays have finished a four-game series against the Houston Astros, losing three games and winning one. What will happen next?

Mariners vs Blue Jays: Pitching

Friday, July 5: RHP Kevin Gausman will pitch. He is in his twelfth MLB season and third with Toronto. Gausman has a 4.75 ERA and a 1.34 WHIP. In 91 innings pitched, he allowed 55 runs, walked 25 batters, and struck out 31 players. This past Sunday, starting against the Yankees, Gausman allowed seven runs and five walks but struck out seven batters in a loss.

RHP Luis Castillo will pitch for Seattle. He has pitched 104.2 innings. He has an ERA of 3.87 and a 1.21 WHIP. He has allowed 47 runs, walked 30 players, and struck 103 batters out. In the team’s series with the Twins, Castillo had to bat because the DH, Mitch Garver, was hurt. (Garver seemed better in the July 4th game against the Orioles.)

Saturday, July 6: RHP Yariel Rodríguez, a rookie, will take the mound. Rodriguez has a 4.63 ERA and a 1.54 WHIP. In 23.1 innings pitched, he allowed 14 runs, walked 13 players, and struck out 23 batters. In his most recent outing against the Astros, the Blue Jays’ lineup did not deliver runs though Rodriguez had a perfect game into the fifth inning.

As of Friday morning, Seattle had not posted who will pitch for the Mariners.

Sunday, July 7: RHP José Berríos will start. He has played with Toronto for several years. Berríos has a 3.63 ERA and a WHIP of 1.12. In 109 innings, he allowed 44 runs, walked 28 players, and struck out 77 batters. Though reportedly inconsistent of late, Berrios got the win against Houston Tuesday even though he allowed five runs due to the strong performance of the Toronto batters.

RHP George Kirby will pitch for the Mariners. Kirby has an ERA of 3.32 and a .98 WHIP. He has pitched 105.2 innings and struck out 101 batters, allowed 40 runs, and walked 10 players. In a recent game versus Tampa Bay, Kirby allowed one run over six innings.

Mariners vs Blue Jays: The Offense

2024 All-Star Vladimir Guerrero, Jr. leads the Blue Jays in several key areas. He has the highest batting average at .296. He has the most runs at 42 with 13 of these home runs. He has a team-high of 50 RBIs as well. George Springer has the most stolen bases with nine.

Several other Toronto players have been batting successfully. Isiah Kiner-Falefa has a batting average that almost matches Vladdy’s. Justin Turner and Bo Bichette have .250 and .229 BAs respectively.

Although the Blue Jays have a record of 39-48, I anticipate that the players will have a battle on their hands.

Yesterday’s game against the Orioles increased my faith that our guys can offer a competitive offense to support our excellent pitching, Some trades may still be necessary as the team's power rankings have declined. Go, Mariners!