Previewing Mariners Upcoming Battle with the Royals

The last Royals and Mariners series was a true battle for the Mariners. They have won 8 of the last 10 and are back home. We preview the series ahead and what the Mariners have to do to win the series.

Seattle Mariners v Chicago White Sox
Seattle Mariners v Chicago White Sox / Jamie Sabau/GettyImages

Looking back to last week when the Mariners played a 4-game series in Kauffman stadium, they couldn't have been happier to walk out of there with a series win, taking 3 straight after dropping the opener. The Royals gave the Mariners a run for their money. They hit the 3 Mariners stud pitchers, Castillo, Gilbert, and Kirby hard and were just pesky all around. Their offense has been impressive with the highest batting average in the AL since July 27th. The Mariners will look to take advantage of their recent hot streak and pick up another series win against the feisty Royals.

In game 1 it will be a battle of the young starting pitchers with Bryce Miller taking the mound against Brady Singer. Miller hit a rough patch at the end of July and the beginning of August but has bounced back in his last 3 starts combining for 17 IP, 3 BB/18 Ks and a 1.06 ERA.

Singer had one of the worst starts to the year a pitcher could have this year with an 8.49 ERA in the month of April and a 5.47 ERA in May. He has really bounced back since then to a 3.49 ERA in June, a 4.35 ERA in July and a 3.16 ERA in August. He threw 7 ⅓ IP with 2 ER and 8Ks against the Mariners on August 14th. The offense will need to stay hot and score early to give Miller some breathing room.

Game 2, Logan Gilbert will look to get revenge after the Royals were able to get Gilbert out of the game after 4 ⅓ IP and putting up 4 runs off of him. That was Gilbert’s shortest outing since a 3-inning 6-run start against the Angels. Gilbert went on a tear after that start, and I look for him to build off of his 6-inning 2-run start against the Astros this past weekend.

The Mariners will face Jordan Lyles who has been hit or miss. He is 3-14 with a 6.20 ERA this year, and the Mariners were able to put up 6 runs in 5 innings off of Lyes in their series last week. The Mariners offense needs to score early and take advantage of Lyles and force the Royals to go to their weak bullpen. 

“The Rock” aka Luis Castillo will take the bump in Game 3. He will look to build upon his recent hot streak (20 IP, 3 BB, 20 K and a 2.7 ERA). He dominated the White Sox and it looks like we are seeing the Ace that Castillo is. He is dominating and giving the Mariners bullpen rest when he is called upon.

With the Royals most likely going to a reliever to start and a guy like Alec Marsh, who is their “bulk guy” who threw 5 innings and limited the Mariners to just 1 run, Castillo may need to be as good as he has been. Hopefully, this go around the offense can produce more against some pitchers who have struggled, like Marsh has, and give Castillo and Scott Servais the comfort of letting Castillo get deep into this game. 

With the offense scoring 24 runs against the White Sox and being back at home, I look for them to give the Mariners pitching the same run support that they gave them in the last series against the Royals (28 runs in 4 games). Pretty much everyone in the Mariners lineup is swinging the bat well at this point and hopefully the bats can stay hot as they return home.

The pitching has been as dominant as they have all year, and with the pitching matchup heavily favoring the Mariners, I expect this time around to be a lot better for the staff. The Royals hitters will still put together quality at-bats and give the Mariners tough outings, but I think the Mariners pitchers will bounce back and want to stick it to the Royals.

At this point, winnings series is all the Mariners need to focus on. If you can sweep teams (Houston Astros) then great. But winnings series will put you in a position to solidify a playoff spot come the end of September. The Mariners have won their last 3 series, losing their last series against the Orioles in Seattle, and I don't expect that to change as the Mariners take on the Royals.