Will a superstar's departure help the Mariners dominate an AL Rival?

Shohei Ohtani has been the Angels' headline for several years. His departure should allow the Mariners to focus better on other members of the team.

Texas Rangers v Seattle Mariners
Texas Rangers v Seattle Mariners / Steph Chambers/GettyImages
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Mariners vs Angels: Pitching Matchups

While the Angels and Mariners have brought in some new arms, many starters and relievers remain the same. I used Baseball Reference's statistics (Earned Runs and Innings Pitched) from 2023 and their projected stats for 2024 to arrive at these projections.

The Starting Rotation

The Mariners look to start with the five right-handed pitchers that were rotating in the second half of the 2023 season: Luis Castillo, Logan Gilbert, George Kirby, Bryce Miller, and Bryan Woo.

The Angels had a six-man rotation when Ohtani was pitching. Washington says that they will have a five-man rotation in 2024. I anticipate that these five will be LHP Reid Detmers, LHP Patrick Sandoval, LHP Tyler Anderson, RHP Griffin Canning, and RHP Chase Silseth. The Mariners starters ERA on the season was 3.89 while the Angels were at 4.47.

Relief Pitching

Meanwhile, the Mariners' cumulative bullpen ERA was 3.48 in 2023 while the Angels' cumulative ERA was 4.88.

Seattle traded several of their relief pitchers from 2023: Paul Sewald, Isaiah Campbell, Trevor Gott, and Justin Topa. We still have some great arms in Andrés Muñoz, Matt Brash, Tayler Saucedo, Gabe Speier, and Trent Thornton. Austin Voth (a former Oriole) is also on the Seattle Depth Chart. Gregory Santos from the White Sox is seen as a major addition but has suffered an injury in Spring Training. There is also former Diamondback, Collin Snider, who is available. I believe that we will have a better idea of who will be in the bullpen after Spring Training.

The Angels added Puyallup native Adam Cimber (TOR), Luis Garcia (SDP), Jose Cisnero (DET), Carlos Espinosa (HOU), and Robert Stephenson (PIR). (The Angels made a three-year deal with Stephenson.)

Interestingly, Baseball Reference projected that the Angels' relief pitchers would improve and the Mariners' bullpen's performance would decline. I resist agreeing with that assessment.