Mariners vs Athletics: Why overlooking this year's Athletics could be dangerous

The Mariners are back home to take on the Athletics in a three-game series, and overlooking this years team could prove dangerous to the Mariners
Los Angeles Angels v Seattle Mariners
Los Angeles Angels v Seattle Mariners / Aaron Doster/GettyImages
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Mariners vs Athletics: Final thoughts and predictions

This isn't the Athletics team that we are used to, and the Mariners have to focus up against their divisional foe to get back on track after losing the four-game series to the Twins. The Mariners are still a bit above .500 with a 20-18 record, but are only 2.5 games ahead of the Twins entering Friday's action.

While Oakland has outscored the Mariners this season by a tally of 154 to 139, they've also given up a ton more runs, allowing 182 compared to the Mariners 137. Do the math, and you'll see the Mariners have a run differential spread of +30 over what Oakland has (+2 compared to -28).

Even with Oakland looking better this season, it is a series that the Mariners should win. I'm not calling for a sweep, but a series win sure seems doable here. If the Mariners can get a strong showing from Woo in his debut, that will be huge for the morale and momentum going forward.

The offense really should have a good chance to rough up Stripling a bit, and they should feast on Alex Wood and his struggles. If Wood makes it out of the 4th inning, then the Mariners offense has failed. Even though this isn't the garbage staff that Oakland had last season, they are still struggling, and the Mariners have another opportunity to get the offense cooking.