The Mariners are Back to the Wild AL West with a Series in Oakland
By Christine Navarro
Before discussing the game between Seattle and Oakland, I want to say how sorry I am that the Athletics will likely move to Las Vegas rather than remain in the East Bay. Seattle sports fans still feel the sting of the Sonics' departure to Oklahoma City.
Coming back to the West with the dynamic comeback against the Blue Jays, the Mariners are in a good place to play well against Oakland. The Athletics are at the bottom of the AL West and the Mariners are one spot above them in 4th place. Their wins have been against competitive teams like the Angels, the Guardians, and the Rangers. The Mariners and Athletics have played several teams in common: the Angels, the Guardians, and the Cubs. Our record resembles theirs but is better.
1 W, 3 L
1 W, 2 L
1 W, 2 L
1 W, 3 L (home)/ 2 W, 1 L (away)
0 W, 3 L
1 W, 2 L
It would be a mistake for the Mariners to think that the games with the A's will be easy. Offensively, the Athletics have players who hit well. Oakland is currently 24th out of 30 MLB clubs for their cumulative batting average. Guess what? Right now, the Mariners are 30th out of 30 for their cumulative batting average.
Look for good at bats for Brent Rooker who has a .353 BA, 21 RBIs, and 9 HRs this season. His teammate, Carlos Perez, has a .333 BA with 5 RBIs and 1 HR. Mariners pitchers should throw strategically for both. For context, Jared Kelenic has a BA of .308 with 14 RBIs and 7 HRs. Jesus Aguilar, Conner Capel, and Esteury Ruiz have also hit well this season.
I feel confident that the Mariners have the stronger starting and relieving pitchers. The game today will be a contest between two pitchers named Miller: Mason Miller for Oakland and Bryce Miller for the Mariners. Mason Miller has an ERA of 6.48. In 8.1 innings pitched, he allowed six runs. Tomorrow, JP Sears and George Kirby pitch. JP Sears has an ERA of 6.23. In 26 innings pitched, he allowed 18 runs. On Thursday, Drew Rucinski and Luis Castillo pitch. Rucinski has an ERA of 4.76. Over 5.2 innings, he allowed 5 runs.
While I do not think that the Mariners will encounter a team like the Phillies or the Blue Jays, they need to stay sharp for the Athletics. We will be glad when they come home!