Mariners host the First Place Rays in toughest matchup yet

Washington Nationals v Seattle Mariners
Washington Nationals v Seattle Mariners / Steph Chambers/GettyImages

Unfortunatley, the Mariners are at a low point of the season so far. Fresh off of a series loss to the lowly Washington Nationals, The boys from Sodo will welcome the best team in baseball for a 3 game weekend series.

The Tampa Bay Rays (56-28) have the best record in baseball. They also have the second best run differential (+152). Their offense is 3rd in OPS (.796), 3rd in home runs (125) an 1st in stolen bases (99). Their pitching staff as a whole has the 2nd best ERA (3.59). They are literally doing everything at a high level.

As for the Mariners, their season long skid may continue through the weekend at least. The M's quiet bats will get to face the brunt of the Rays rotation, starting with game one.

Game 1: Shane McClanahan (11-1, 2.23 ERA) Vs. Bryce Miller (5-3, 3.88 ERA)
Game 2: Tyler Glasnow (2-1, 4.45 ERA) Vs. George Kirby (6-7, 3.26 ERA)
Game 3: Taj Bradley (5-4, 4.58 ERA) Vs. Luis Castillo (5-6, 2.86 ERA)

Game 1 starter, hane McClanahan, is off to an amazing start. You see the record and ERA, an they both lead the American League. As of today, you can probably expect him to be the American League starting pitcher for the All-Star Game at T-Mobile Park in July. Other Rays you could see again in a few weeks are 1st baseman Yandy Diaz, OF Randy Arozarena and 3B Isaac Parades.

On the Mariners side, They will need the pitching staff to be at their best to try and stop the Rays high powered offense. The Bullpen has been lights out for the most part, and I still expect that to continue into this series. However, the offense has me nervous. The power outage has continued, and the strikeouts continue to pile up. All 3 Rays starters are strikeout specialists, and all 3 have plus breaking pitches. That mix has not been friendly to the Mariners this year.

T-Mobile park Promotions

After Friday Night's game, the Mariners will host their 3rd fireworks night of the season. This Show will be a patriotic theme. The Mariners will give out a patriotic Cal-Boy hat to the first 10,000 fans on Saturday Night, as well as a patriotic fanny pack on Sunday to the first 10,000 fans 21 and over.

Saturday's game will be a Nationally Televised game on FOX. Root Sports will not be carrying the game.

Hopefully, The Mariners come out swinging and win the series. If they were to do that, it could be the catalyst to turn the season around. If they come out and lay an egg, it could be time for the front office to think about throwing in the towel on 2023. As always, Go Mariners!