At this point in the season, I don't know that many fans would've predicted the Mariners and the Angels to be sitting within 0.5 games of each other. The Angels have been in perpetual mediocrity despite the likes of Mike Trout and Shohei. The Mariners were supposed to be better in 2023 than they were the last two seasons. Instead, we are seeing two teams flirting with a playoff berth, and with a four-game series on the horizon, there is a lot on the line.
I don't know that we will see anything as feisty as last season when the Mariners brawled with the Angels, but i wouldn't be surprised to see a handful of people get hit and a warning or two get handed out.
Let's get to it and see what we can expect in this series between the Mariners and the Angels, the final series in Anaheim before they head to Seattle near the end of the season.
Mariners vs Angels: Pitching Matchups
Thursday, August 3rd @ 6:38 PM - Bryan Woo vs Shohei Ohtani
Friday, August 4th @ 6:38 PM - Luis Castillo vs Reid Detmers
Saturday, August 5th @ 6:07 PM - George Kirby vs Tyler Anderson
Sunday, August 6th @ 1:07 PM - Bryce Miller vs Chase Silseth
Ohhhhh man. Ohtani on the bump to start the series? In case you missed it, he was pretty good in his last outing. How good? Well, he threw a Complete Game Shutout, allowing just one hit and three walks while striking out 8. He's been pretty darn good against the Mariners, throwing 49 innings in 8 outings, with just a 2.02 ERA, a 1.00 WHIP, and striking out 62. He will go up against Woo, who has done well in 8 of his 10 starts. tallying a 3.09 ERA in those 8 starts. He did face the Angels in his second outing, going 4.2 IP and allowing two runs.
Castillo and Detmers should be a fun matchup, as Detmers can be really hard to hit when he is feeling it, as evidenced by the no-hitter he threw his rookie year. Castillo has been chugging along, quietly pitching pretty darn good. He has a 2.88 ERA and is averaging a touch under 6 IP per start. It'll be his third start against the Angels this season, and he has gone 11.2 IP, giving up 8 hits, 3 ER, 3 BB, and struck out 16.
Old friend Tyler Anderson will go against Kirby in game three, followed up by Chase Silseth against Bryce Miller in the finale. Silseth has moved into the starter role, showing good command and stifling stuff. 10.2 IP, 14 Ks, and just one walk amidst 2 ER in his last two outings.
Mariners vs Angels: Hitters to Watch
For the Mariners, we are going star power vs star power. It's Julio Rodriguez this series. He's gotten on base safely in each of the 27 games since July 1st, and he is hitting .287/.344/.452 over that span with 7 2B, 4 HR, 16 RBI, and 7 SB. If Julio can keep it rolling and get hot like he did at the end of last season (he hit .394 in September) the Mariners are going to be in a great place as the race really heats up.
Oh, keep an eye on Geno as well. Dude has been hitting really well lately, to the tune of .333/.361/.485 with RBI in 8 straight games.
For the Angels, is it really ever anyone other than Shohei? He is the most exciting person in baseball, and arguably the greatest baseball player of all-time! (Which, I think I agree with, actually). He is throwing in the opener, which I talked about a bit up above. Those are just his pitching stats though. If you've been under a rock (of just refuse to look at Angels stats), check what he has done at the plate.
.307/.408/.676. 189 OPS+, 271 TB, 13 IBB, 7 3B, 39 HR, 68 BB, 81 R, 82 RBI
Do you know why all those are Bold? Becuase he leads the league in all of those stats!!!!!!
Ohtani can easily win a series on his own. Which is crazy to think about. He leads hitters in WAR (5.2) on baseball reference, and that doesn't even include his 2.9 WAR on the mound. If he pitches good and has a good game at the plate, thats 2 wins of the 4 games right there.
The Mariners are going to need to keep Ohtani in check, obviously. If they can do that, then they are going to have a great chance to win the series.
Lastly, it's worth mentioning that the Angels are still without Mike Trout. He's been out for quite a while now, and hasn't given an update on when he will be back. Sucks to have one of the greatest players ever not playing, but it makes me happy to know he won't be in the box against the Mariners.
Mariners vs Angels: Final Thoughts
It's the battle of the Superstars, and a battle between two teams and two fanbases that don't like eachother. Regardless of whatever name the Angels feel like calling themselves (California, LA, Anaheim, Los Angeles of Anaheim formally California from Orange County), we just don't like the Angels. If, and it's always a big if, the Mariners can keep Ohtani quiet, they are going to have a great opportunity to win a series and keep trekking towards a second straight postseason berth.