Mariners need offense to wake up with red-hot Guardians coming to Seattle

After splitting the first series of the season, the Mariners will look to right the ship against the Guardians.

Boston Red Sox v Seattle Mariners
Boston Red Sox v Seattle Mariners / Alika Jenner/GettyImages

The 2024 baseball season is finally under way. The Mariners split a four-game series against the Boston Red Sox, but for some reason if felt like a loss. The M's lost the bookends of the series, while winning the middle games 1-0 and 4-3, and it took Julio Rodriguez walking off Game 3 to win that contest.

The Cleveland Guardians are flying in after taking three out of four against the Oakland Athletics. The Guardians may have thought they were playing in 2020 again, not in 2024 with the lack of fans at the Coliseum. They have scored 29 runs so far this season, including an 8-0 win on Opening Day.

For context, the Mariners have scored 10 times all season. It is time for the offense to wake up.

Mariners vs Guardians pitching matchups

Game 1: Triston McKenzie (0-0, 0.00 ERA) Vs. Emerson Hancock (0-0, 0.00 ERA)
Game 2: Shane Bieber (1-0, 0.00 ERA) Vs. Luis Castillo (0-1, 7.20 ERA)
Game 3: Logan Allen ( 1-0, 5.40 ERA) Vs. George Kirby (1-0, 0.00 ERA)

Emerson Hancock is the next man up because of the Bryan Woo injury. Hancock missed most of last season after making his debut because of a shoulder injury, but the former first-round pick should be ready to go. He pitched well during spring training, and the M's expect more same while he fills in for Woo.

The Mariners will throw their two best pitchers in the second and third games of the series, and the Guardians will do the same. Triston McKenzie might be their fifth starter, but he is not to be overlooked. He missed most of 2023 with an injury, but was electric in 2022. Shane Bieber won the Cy Young Award in 2020 and is off to a great start after a resurgent 2023 campaign. The Mariners have an uphill battle coming while they try to get their offense going.

The Guardians, however, are not a home run-hitting team. They have hit just two so far this season, but do not let that fool you either. They still have guys like Jose Ramirez, Andres Giminez and Josh Naylor, all of whom boast power. They still get their extra-base hits, too. So far, they have hit 12 doubles and three triples, while also swiping eight bases. The Guardians are a sound team, and a tough matchup for the Mariners.

As for the M's, they're hitting just .178/.226/.271 as a team. They have hit just three doubles, three home runs and one stolen base through the first four games. The front office made a ton of moves to try and cut down on strikeouts, but that has not seemed to be the case so far. The offense has struck out 45 times vs just six (!!!) walks. Their strikeout rate as a whole is just under 35%. That will need to change if this team wants to find success moving forward.

The Guardians are a tough matchup for the Mariners because they do everything the Mariners don't. The pitching will need to be on point again if the Mariners are to win this series. Look for Julio, Mitch and Co. to turn things around. We all know they are better than they are showing, and they know they are. It is just time to put in the work.

The Mariners are giving away Julio Rodriguez bobbleheads to the first 10,000 fans in each of the three games in this series, so get the park early if you plan on attending! This is the last series of this homestand before the team heads out on the road for the first time.

As always, go Mariners!