Mariners look to sink Pirates ship in loaded weekend series
The Mariners are coming off of a 4 game sweep of the Oakland Athletics. Starting pitching was the key to the sweep. Castillo, Gonzales, Miller and Gilbert all had quality starts. The Mariners will need to keep that streak alive going into the series with the Pittsburgh Pirates. The Pirates come in fresh off of losing their series with the Texas Rangers, 2 games to 1. At 25-24, losers of 6 of their last 10, the Pirates are coming back to Earth after a strong month of April. Below are the probable pitching matchups for the weekend series against the Pirates.
Game 1: 7:10 PM
Mitch Keller (5-1, 2.44 ERA) vs George Kirby (5-3, 2.62 ERA)
Game 1 will feature the premiere pitching matchup of the entire series. You see Mitch Keller's ERA above. But what you don't see is that his FIP is 2.67. He has punched out 77 batters in just 62.2 innings so far this season, while boasting a NL leading 0.97 WHIP. His strikeout to walk ratio is also leading the National League, at 5.50k/walk.
On the flipside, George Kirby is leading the American League in walks per 9 innings (0.8) and strikeouts per walks (9.40). If Kirby had enough innings to qualify, his career K/BB ratio of 6.67 would be the BEST OF ALL TIME. You read that right. Rangers starter Jacob deGrom atop that list at a K/BB of 5.38. Simply put, this game could be one of those 2 hour, 2-1 or 1-0 games. Whatever the total runs for this game is, go ahead and bet the under.
Game 2: 1:10 PM
Roansy Contreras (3-4, 4.50 ERA) VS Luis Castillo (3-2, 2.97 ERA)
Contreras comes in taking the L in 3 of his last 4 starts. He has walked 11 over those 4 starts, while also giving up 5 home runs. For the good guys, Luis Castillo carved up the Athletics in his previous start. 6 shutout innings, only giving up 4 hits and 2 walks, while striking out 8. The Mariners will need La Piedra to be in typical ace form against the Pirates.
Game 3: 1:10 PM
Luis L. Ortiz (1-2, 4.02 ERA VS Marco Gonzales (4-1, 5.68 ERA)
Luis L. Ortiz will take the bump for the Bucco's for game 3. Ortiz will be making his 5th start of the season. His K/9 (4.6) is way below his career average so far, so that will hopefully benefit the Mariners offence who strike out as much as anybody. Marco turned things around in his previous start against Oakland. He pitched 6 innings giving up only 2 runs. Another start like that and the Mariners will be in business.
The weekend is full of promotions. Friday night is the first of seven planned Fireworks Nights, with it being a sing-a-long type show. It also happen to be College Night, with discounted tickets available. For the first 20,000 fans on saturday, you will get an awesome J.P. Crawford Funko POP! collectible! And finally, Sunday is Little League Day! All kids 14 and under will recieve a special Julio Rodriguez poster!
2 time former Mariner Carlos Santana returns for the first time since the playoff run in 2022. He brings with him fellow offensive weapons Bryan Reynolds, Andrew McCutchen and Ke'Bryan Hayes. Unfortunatley, their budding star shortstop Oneil Cruz will not be making the trip after he broke his ankle sliding into home back in April.
The Pirates ship is sinking. The Mariners will need to take advantage of them to keep the momentum going in the right direction. Winning 2 of 3 would do just that. This should be a great series, and i hope to see all of you at the ballpark this weekend! Go Mariners!