Seattle Mariners Vs. Los Angeles Angels Of Anaheim Series Preview


The Seattle Mariners are in need of a fresh start. At 10-15, they haven’t gotten off to the blazing start that would have made the rest of the season a little easier for them. At -28, they’ve got the run differential you’d expect from a team near the bottom of a middling division. Time to spice things up. A winning streak sure would be nice right about now.

Luckily for the M’s, a great chance to make up some ground is right around the corner. Starting tonight, the Mariners are in Anaheim for a three game series against the Los Angeles Angels. Of Anaheim. Worst name. Is there any possible way for a name to be worse? Look at all those words. Look at the false claiming of a neighbor city. How do you think that makes Anaheim feel, Angels? Shoulda stuck with California.

Happy Felix Day! Felix Hernandez pitches today against Matt Shoemaker. Shoemaker was a ROY candidate last year, but this year he’s got a 6.00 ERA. Which basically makes him an honorary Mariner. This is just the first of three compelling pitching matchups in this series, as tomorrow is James Paxton vs. Garrett Richards and the day after is Roenis Elias vs. C.J. Wilson.

Notably absent from that group of Angels arms in Jered Weaver, who the M’s won’t have the pleasure of facing this time around. Last we saw of Weaver he was looking awful on Opening Day. How’s he been since? Worse! 6.29 ERA! He’s striking out half as many batters as usual and allowing twice as many homers as usual. I hope he’s not hurt. I hope he’s just like this now.

Another guy we won’t see during this series is Josh Hamilton. Now that the Angels have officially traded Hamilton (but not his contract!) to Texas, let’s consider what they actually got for their $125 million investment – two (one and a half, really) seasons of offensive production just above the league average and 3.1 WAR. Considering the money Texas (and Hamilton himself!) is covering and this cost the Halos just over $105 million. For three wins. That’s half of what Felix was worth last year, and more than half of what The King will make over the course of his seven year deal. L.A. gave it to an outfielder over two years.

Look, this series is important. L.A. is a game ahead of Seattle, and whoever loses this series will be in an uncomfortable position. Both teams are off to poor starts, and both have reasons to believe there may be long-term cause for concern. Whoever wins more games probably played better, and if that’s not the Mariners, then things are going to be looking pretty bleak. Also, it’s the Angels. Most hateable team, right? Hamilton or no Hamilton, there’s no team quite like LAAOA.

Unsurprisingly, Mike Trout has been the best player in the American League – if not all of baseball. Aside from him, Kole Calhoun has been playing at a superstar pace in the early going. Albert Pujols is hitting .212/.287/.388. Chris Ianetta: .098/.200/.115, good for a wRC+ of 1. Matt Joyce: .141/.181/.179, good for a wRC+ of 0. One! Zero! The Angels, ladies and gentlemen.

It would suck worse than anything to lose this series. The Mariners really ought to sweep the Angels right here. Are you listening, Mariners? Sweep the Angels! It’s good to win games, better to win games against the Angels, and best to win all the games against the Angels. That’s the goal, of course, and I for one will do cartwheels down the street if and when it is achieved. Beat ’em. Beat ’em bad.

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