Mariners look to start the second half strong against the Tigers

Tampa Bay Rays v Seattle Mariners
Tampa Bay Rays v Seattle Mariners / Steph Chambers/GettyImages

Fresh off of the All-Star festivities, the second half of the 2023 season is upon us. The Mariners finished the first half on a strong run, taking 3 of 4 from the Houston Astros. The M's will welcome the Detroit Tigers into T-Mobile Park this weekend for a 3 game series.

The Tigers (39-50) are not having a good season. Their -86 run differential is the 3rd worst in the American League, only beating the Kansas City Royals and the Oakland Athletics. But somehow, someway, they are only 5.5 games behind the 1st place Cleveland Guardians in the AL Central. The Tigers are not out of their division race at all. They are one hot streak away from being in that conversation come October.

Game 1: Eduardo Rodriguez (4-5, 2.64 ERA) Vs. Luis Castillo (6-6, 2.85 ERA)
Game 2: Michael Lorenzen (3-6, 4.03 ERA) Vs. George Kirby (8-7, 3.09 ERA)
Game 3: Reese Olson (1-2, 4.05 ERA) Vs. TBA

Detroit's game 1 starter Eduardo Rodriguez has been solid this year. His ERA speaks for itself. E-Rod's FIP is 3.34, so maybe he has been a bit lucky so far. But if you look at his H/9 (7.0) and his BB/9 (2.0), both are career lows. He will no doubt be a tough pitcher to face Friday night. Teoscar Hernandez may be the only hitter excited to face E-Rod. In 19 career at-bats, Teo is hitting .421 with 3 home runs and 7 RBIs.

Game two will be a matchup of 2023 All-Stars. Michael Lorenzen was the Tigers' only All-Star representitive. He came into the Mid-Summer Classic as an injury replacement in the 7th inning. He walked a batter and gave up a hit, but he got out of the inning without giving up a run. George Kirby gave up a run on two hits in his inning of work.

Game 3 will feature the Tigers #11 prospect, according to MLB Pipeline. Reese Olson. He is just 23 years old, and has only pitched 33.1 innings in his Major League career. As of writing this, the Mariners have not named their starter for Game 3. If I had to guess, it will probably be Logan Gilbert. Bryce Miller is still on the IL due to his blister issue. Bryan Woo could be pushed back into the next series to give his arm as long of a break as they can.

T-Mobile Park Promotions

Friday Night's game will feature a post game fireworks show. The theme is "All-Star After party" , so I am sure you will not want to miss this. On Saturday, the first 10,000 will receive a Mariners Aloha Shirt! After Sunday's game, all kids 14 and under will be able to run the bases! I remember getting to do that as a kid, and it is such a blast.

We are less than 3 weeks away from the Trade Deadline. The Mariners have a record of 45-44. They are currently 4 games back of the last Wild Card spot. This is a must win series, no doubt. They have shown that they can compete with any team over the last few weeks. With series wins against the Rays, Giants and Astros, They will need to keep that trend going. Winning will only increase the chances that the front office will be "buyers" rather than "sellers" come the deadline. As always, Go Mariners!