Mariners vs Rockies Preview: Looking to right the ship back at home in Seattle
The Mariners first trip to Chicago did not go as planned. Check that. The First 14 games of the season haven't really gone as planned. The Mariners are struggling so far, but all hope is not yet lost. There are still reasons to be optimistic, and some internal reinforcements may be coming soon.
Let's jump right in and preview the Mariners vs Rockies series as the Mariners continue their stretch of 5 straight series against National League teams.
Mariners vs Rockies Preview: Trying to right the ship back at home in Seattle
Mariners vs Rockies: Pitching Matchups
Friday, April 14th @ 7:10 PM - Marco Gonzales vs Austin Gomber
Saturday, April 15th @ 6:40 PM - George Kirby vs Ryan Feltner
Sunday, April 16th @ 1:10 PM - Luis Castillo vs TBD
Gomber and Feltner have both struggled for the Rockies so far. Each of them has given up eight runs over their two starts, with Gomber going 10.2 IP and Feltner going 9.2 IP. The Mariners should be able to get to Feltner if they are patient, as he has already walked eight batters on the season. Gomber has done better, but has also been catching too much of the plate having already given up 3 home runs.
On the Mariners side, Marco has actually been doing pretty good, giving up 5 runs across 10.2 IP, all against Cleveland. He's struggled with accuracy though, already giving up 5 walks. Kirby looked much better in his recent start, and will look to build off a strong 6 IP outing against the Guardians. Castillo "struggled" giving up his first two runs of the season against the Cubs, increasing his ERA from 0.00 to 1.05. Hopefully you can sense the mild sarcasm there.
We don't yet know who La Piedra will be facing, but I feel fairly confident in saying that the Mariners hold the upper hand in each pitching matchup.
Mariners vs Rockies: Hitters to Watch
For the Mariners, we are going two different routes. Jarred Kelenic has been on fire lately. He's hitting .351/.415/.703, and just hit a ball 1,000 feet in Chicago. Okay, it was 482 feet, but it was a place that few have gone to before. His K rate is down, he's got a couple of steals, and seems to have better discipline at the plate and more control on using the whole field. On the flip side, it's time for Kolten Wong to do something. I was a huge fan of the signing of Wong, but he is hitting a paltry .105/.205/.105 to start the year. I'm calling his first multi-hit game, homer, and steal all occurring in this series.
For the Rockies, they have a handful of batters who have been hot to start the season. All the way from longtime vet Charlie Blackmon down to the relative unknowns of Elias Diaz and Elehuris Montero. They are hitting .341, .342, and .333, respectively. They've also combined for 4 HR, 15 RBI, and just 24 Ks in 118 ABs. If the Mariners pitchers can keep control over those three, it's going to fall to the likes of Kris Bryant, Ryan McMahon, and CJ Cron to produce. All of them can hit but have been struggling with either average or power this year.
Mariners vs Rockies: Final Thoughts
The Mariners have more talent in their lineup than we have seen in arguably decades. There are plenty of early struggles, but also glimpses of that turning around. Teo and Kelenic went back-to-back in the finale at Wrigley, Geno is hitting above .300, and France and Kelenic are above .350.
On paper, the Mariners are easily the better team. An early slash line difference of .271/.320/.430 compared to .236/.301/.389 says otherwise, and the Mariners need to start hitting more consistently. Luckily, the Rockies have a team ERA of 5.26, 25th in baseball. Pairing that with the 24th WHIP and 26th BAA, the Mariners are in a great position to get back on track.
The Mariners are going to win this series, but won't get the sweep. The offense will show up big for 2 games, falter in one of them, and the Mariners will end up outscoring the Rockies 22-12 throughout the series.