Will the Mariners Knock the Sox Off of Boston this Week?
By Christine Navarro
With some nice weather gracing Boston this week, the Mariners (20-20) will compete well against the Red Sox (22-19). With the Mariners’ pitching strength and their increased hitting, they should dominate. I would prefer not to have an added advantage due to injuries, but Boston has four members of their bullpen on the injured list; four players at second base listed; three shortstops unavailable; and one outfielder out.
Mariners vs Red Sox: The Hitters
While the Mariners are currently listed 27th out of 30 in MLB for hitting, the Red Sox are third. Seattle has played several of the other teams, however, in the BA top ten: the Cubs, Rangers, Phillies, Angels, Cardinals, and Blue Jays. This is an overall ranking which may or may not be relevant in a given game.
The Mariner pitchers have thrown beautifully since the beginning of the season. The Seattle lineup will need to continue their upward batting trend to take advantage of the starting and bullpen pitchers’ success. I observed that in the first two Detroit games, the number of hits from the Mariners was close to the number of runs.
In Friday’s game, the Mariners had nine runs out of 11 hits, and on Saturday, they had five runs out of six hits. This means that they are not stranding guys on base and are maximizing the hits they make. Good signs! Sunday’s game differed in that they left more men on base and had a greater differential between hits and runs,10 hits for three runs. Julio Rodriguez looked more comfortable batting later in the lineup.
These players will likely make up the Boston lineup.
Alex Verdugo (RF) .299
Masataka Yoshida (LF) .298 or Refsnyder (LF) .258
Justin Turner (DH) .265 or Masataka Yoshida (DH) .298
Rafael Devers (3B) .255
Jarren Duran (CF) .345
Triston Casas (1B) .192
Emmanuel Valdez (2B) .292
Pablo Reyes (SS) (.500 for 6 AB) or Hernandez (SS) .234
Connor Wong (C) .238 or Reese McGuire (C) .292
Mariners vs Red Sox: The Pitchers
In the pitching category, the Mariners are currently fourth in MLB while the Red Sox are 27th out of 30. Nearly a complete reversal from the hitting rankings, which is sort of funny.
Boston has said that RHP Tanner Houck (5.26 ERA,33 Ks) will pitch on Monday against George Kirby; RHP Nick Pivetta (6.23 ERA, 36 Ks) will throw against Luis Castillo on Tuesday; and RHP Brayan Bello (5.01 ERA, 24 Ks) will pitch the final game against Marco Gonzales on Wednesday.
Brennan Bernadino moved to the Red Sox one month ago after time with the Mariners so it is probable he will be a relief pitcher in one or more of the games. No James Paxton though, as he threw Friday and is scheduled to pitch the first game after the Mariners series ends.