Mariners @ Yankees Series Preview

I would have liked to take all three games from the Athletics this weekend, but with two weak teams coming into New York next, I guess I can put it behind me.  The first of the two teams will be the Seattle Mariners, who will stay for three games.

(Courtesy of The Seattle Times)

The Mariners head into Monday 14.5 games out of the American League West and in last place.  They were a .500 team just three to four weeks ago, but have lost a ridiculous fifteen straight games to effectively ruin any chances of them contending or making the playoffs. It’s sad because they were starting to become something of a good story before the implosion.

(AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

On offense, the Mariners are basically the worst in the American League. They are in cellar in batting average, on-base percentage, slugging percentage, wOBA, wRC+, and runs scored.  They really are just the worst offense.  Here’a s projected lineup:

  1. Ichiro Suzuki, RF
  2. Brendan Ryan, SS
  3. Dustin Ackley, 2B
  4. Miguel Olivo, C
  5. Justin Smoak, 1B
  6. Mike Carp, LF
  7. Adam Kennedy, 2B
  8. Jack Cust, DH
  9. Franklin Gutierrez, CF

The M’s have had some very good pitching despite their inept hitting.  Their starters have pitched to a 3.44 FIP over a league most 667.2 innings while striking out more than seven per nine innings and walking almost two and a half per nine.  They do have the second lowest ground ball rate though at 41.4%.  Here are the pitching match-ups:

Monday

Jason Vargas (6-8, 3.94 ERA) vs. Freddy Garcia (8-7, 3.21 ERA)

Tuesday

Doug Fister (3-11, 3.30 ERA) vs. CC Sabathia (14-5, 2.62 ERA)

Wednesday

Felix Hernandez (8-9, 3.47 ERA) vs. Phil Hughes (1-2, 9.47 ERA)

In the bullpen, Seattle has four guys that they rely on pretty heavily.  David Pauley, Jeff Gray, and Chris Gray all have FIPs below 3.60, along with Jamey Wright and closer Brandon League.  Aaron Laffey is their lefty specialist, but threw a lot of pitches yesterday and the day before so he’ll probably be unavailable tonight.

The players to watch on the Yankees are Russell Martin who is now five for his last ten and starting to heat up and Phil Hughes who was awful in his last start and is looking to rebound.  We may also see Eric Chavez and Rafael Soriano in this series so look out for that.  My prediction is that the Bombers will take two out of three in this week.

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