Mariners Weekly Preview: Rays and Indians

Seattle Mariners vs. Tampa Bay Rays

Monday, May 25th vs. Tampa Bay Rays 4:10 PM PST
Roenis Elias (LHP) 0-1 vs. Jake Odorizzi (RHP) 3-3

Tuesday, May 26th vs. Tampa Bay Rays 4:10 PM PST
J.A. Happ (LHP) 3-1 vs. Nathan Karns (RHP) 3-1

Wednesday, May 27th vs. Tampa Bay Rays 10:10 AM PST
Felix Hernandez (RHP) 3-1 vs. Chris Archer (RHP) 4-4

The Mariners are coming through Tampa Bay at a possibly inopportune time as the former AL East champs are picking up steam. Their patchwork offense has struggled behind fearless leader, 3rd baseman Evan Longoria, and the starting rotation has been thinned out by injuries, yet here they are at 24-22, 1st place in the AL East.
What started out as a large question mark (thanks to the team’s decision to not fill the voids left by former aces David Price and James Shields over the past few seasons) has become a full blown vacuum, devouring good starts and good health with a vengeance. Yet, the Rays are still afloat and doing well, thanks to the continued growth of starters Jake Odorizzi and Chris Archer, a solid bullpen and the emergence of closer Brad Boxberger.
History does not bode well for the Mariners as they have not performed well over the years of visiting Tropicana Field. Offensively, Seattle usually pulls up lame, especially against no-name or rookie starters. If I had a dollar for every time Seattle was shut down by a Rays starter most fans had never heard of, I could buy the team myself. Or at least enough cheeseburgers to wallow with.

Seattle Side Up Pick to Click: Robinson Cano – the once long time Yankee, Cano has extensive experience against all his former rivals. And of little surprise, he has found extended success. Since 2012, Cano has lit up Rays pitching to the tune of a .316 batting average, to go along with 5 homeruns and 24 runs batted in across 126 at-bats.

 

Seattle Mariners vs. Cleveland Indians

Thursday, May 28th vs. Cleveland Indians 7:10 PM PST
James Paxton (LHP) 2-2 vs. Corey Kluber (LHP) 1-5

Friday, May 29th vs. Cleveland Indians 7:10 PM PST
Taijuan Walker (RHP) 1-4 vs. Trevor Bauer (RHP) 2-1

Saturday, May 30th vs. Cleveland Indians 7:10 PM PST
Roenis Elias (LHP) 0-1 vs. Shawn Marcum (RHP) 0-0

Sunday, May 31st vs. Cleveland Indians 1:10 PM PST
J.A. Happ (LHP) 3-1 vs. Danny Salazar (RHP) 4-1

Cleveland continues to roll on, despite a litany of issues that would keep a less talented team down. At 20 – 24, 4th in the AL Central, the Indians are looking to get hot, go on a run and close the gap between themselves and respectability.
As a Mariners fan, I will be ecstatic to watch our team try and keep that from happening. They will have their hands full trying so though as the Indians throw out their best starters, including current as Corey Kluber and ace-in-waiting Danny Salazar (and his Cliff Lee-like career trajectory).
The biggest hurdle towards a series win will be how well Seattle pitches, as their opposition is ice cold. The Indians are struggling mightily with the bats, with well-paid veterans like outfielders Brandon Moss and Nick Swisher and 3rd baseman Carlos Santana failing to carry their weight. Outfielder Michael Brantley and 2nd baseman Jason Kipnis are the only players showing significant life.
On paper, this looks like the perfect ingredients to blend into a bowl of wins. As long as the Mariners perform adequately, this should be a fun series to watch.

Seattle Side Up Pick to Click: J.A. Happ – with so many of the Cleveland bats struggling, Happ stands a decent chance to take advantage and continue his hot start. Since 2012, he has appeared in 3 games (2 starts) against Cleveland, compiling he a 2-0 record and 1.29 ERA over 14 innings, with the team hitting .200 off of him.

Where to Watch/Listen to the Mariners:

Radio – 710 ESPN Radio in Seattle. Check listings for alternates.

TV – Root Sports Network or via MLB.tv if located outside the blackout region.

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