Seattle Mariners Vs. Oakland Athletics Series Preview


The Seattle Mariners just lost two of three to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. I’m fairly confident that right now this team could lose two of three to just about anyone. The Oakland Athletics qualify as “just about anyone.” Time to put this theory to the test, right??

After two straight walk-off defeats at the hands of the freaking Angels of all teams, you’ll be fast forgiven if you find this Mariners squad increasingly difficult to believe in. It’s May – creeping up on mid-May, really – and the rotation still has a lot of freakishly high ERAs. Same with the bullpen. Plenty of Mendoza-ish batting lines on the other side of the coin. This team’s been exposed, and now the burden of proof is on them.

Luckily for the M’s, the A’s have been fairing just as poorly. Seattle is 11-17, 7.5 games back of Houston. Oakland is 12-18, 7.5 games back of Houston. The Rangers, who have been as bad as we all thought they’d be, are ahead of both of them. These two teams certainly aren’t living up to expectations, and now they get to attempt to beat up on each other.

Despite their similar records, it seems as if more is going right for Oakland than for Seattle. Stephen Vogt leads all A’s with 1.9 WAR. He’s hitting like Nelson Cruz and playing defense like Mike Zunino. He’s also a 30-year-old getting his first shot at a starting job. What in the world! Stupid A’s.

Oakland is also getting big performances from Josh Reddick, rule five pick Mark CanhaMarcus Semien, and Ike Davis. Billy Butler‘s hitting alright, and Brett Lawrie is just a hot series away from looking good. Coco Crisp is back. Cody Ross is gone. Things are looking up for the A’s.

Of course, it will be even better soon, as Ben Zobrist is expected back from his knee injury around the start of June. M’s fans can take solace in the fact that the A’s big offseason pickup had a 90 wRC+ with terrible defensive metrics before he went down, good for -0.7 WAR – worse than Dustin Ackley!

Oakland’s rotation starts with the red-hot and always awesome Sonny Gray, but quickly gives way to the same kind of performances that have plagued the Mariners in the early going. Jesse Hahn and Drew Pomeranz shouldn’t be this bad, but so far they just… have been. Scott Kazmir can’t keep the ball in the yard, but overall he’s been fine. Good, even. Jesse Chavez is in the rotation now, which is where he probably belongs, given that he’s good and all.

The matchups for this series are, as always, both compelling and terrifying. Tonight we’ve got Sonny Gray and Taijuan Walker, which should be a dream but right now feels fated to be a nightmare. One can only assume Walker’s running low on chances right now. He should be, anyways, given that he’s been some kind of terrible so far. More AAA time seems likely if he can’t start turning his season around as soon as tonight.

Tomorrow it’s Jesse Hahn and J.A. Happ, who’ll look to keep up his whole Chris Young 2.0 thing for at least another day. Don’t take Happ for granted. This could all end in a hurry. King Felix Hernandez gets the Sunday afternoon start against Jesse Chavez, so come out to the ballpark for a pink Mother’s Day Felix t-shirt and a loud afternoon. That’s the one game of the three that they’re going to win, after all!

It’s hard not to fear this series. There’s a lot riding on it, since the M’s have a bit of a climb ahead of them just to get back to .500. Oakland’s in the exact same position, and it’s not like any MLB team is interested in rolling over and handing wins to their direct competition. The M’s don’t feel like they’ve played their best ball lately. Cool, since that’s how everyone feels about them. The solution is in their hands. Play better and win, or don’t and lose. It seems like an oversimplification, except it probably is just that simple.

Next: Seattle Seahawks Post-Draft Depth Chart

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