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2020 Series Preview: Seattle Mariners @ Houston Astros

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The Astros (8-10, 3rd in AL West) welcome the Mariners (7-13, 5th in AL West) to Minute Maid Park for the second time this season

MLB: Seattle Mariners at Houston Astros Thomas Shea-USA TODAY Sports

Mariners Quick Notes

The Mariners will arrive in Houston after a stretch of 20 games in 20 days that culminated with a loss against the Rangers in Wednesday’s series finale. Firmly entrenched in a rebuilding year, the team’s 7-13 record to start 2020 isn’t much of a surprise, but that doesn’t reflect the bright spots that the M’s have.

The team is currently defined by a young lineup that features multiple rookies that are getting a chance to prove themselves in the big leagues. Speed is also a calling card of this team so expect some action on the base paths when the kids get on base. Unfortunately for Seattle, pitching has struggled this season and obfuscated some of the better batters in the lineup.

The Mariners’ lineup is anchored by some young studs and veteran third baseman Kyle Seager, who leads the team with 18 RBI and 6 doubles. Rookie center fielder Kyle Lewis has looked legit since the opening series against the Astros and currently has a team-best .338 batting average and is tied for most homers with 4. He’s joined by Dylan Moore as two of Seattle’s hottest hitters. Moore is slashing .294/.379/.608 and is the other Mariner with 4 home runs.

J.P. Crawford has been impressive as well, slashing .296/.405/.366 with 3 stolen bases in 4 attempts. Crawford has been in the league since 2017 but was never really a full time starter, topping out at 93 games last season. The youth movement in Seattle is also joined by Austin Nola, who currently has OPS over .900 to start the season.

While the young bats have been making noise for the M’s, the pitching has certainly been much more worrisome. The team owns the highest ERA in the AL with a 5.66 mark. The starters have shown some improvement in the past week or so, but they still sport a 4.75 ERA, which is 20th in MLB.

Like the Astros, the Mariners’ bullpen is full of inexperienced players getting their first real taste of the majors. Unlike the Astros, this more by design than injuries. With no real clear hierarchy, the back end of the bullpen is working on a committee situation as the team tries to stitch together innings.

Taylor Williams, Matt Magill, and Dan Altavilla seem like the more regular late game choices for Seattle, but at this point it’s hard to pinpoint who is the most trusted. Magill has yet to give up a run across seven innings so his stats seem the strongest, but he has yet to get the call for a save opportunity. Carl Edwards might also be a candidate for higher leverage as he has flashed some talent, but has only seen 4.2 innings of work this season.

The Astros will square up against three lefty starters this series with Yusei Kikuchi, Nick Margevicius, and Justus Sheffield all slated to appear. Kikuchi is still seeking his first win of the season and will need to overcome the Astros for the first time in his career if he hopes to find it tonight. He got slapped around in his season debut against Houston earlier this year, giving up 5 runs in just 3.2 innings.

Nick Margevicius will get the ball in the second game after replacing the injured Kendall Graveman the last time through the rotation. He started the year in the bullpen for the Mariners so he’s still getting a little stretched out, only going 61 pitches in his first start. He owns a career 6.34 ERA in 65.1 innings.

The final Mariners starter will be Justus Sheffield, who Seattle acquired from the Yankees in the James Paxton trade. He just logged his first career MLB win in 10 tries his last time out, and has a 5.40 ERA in that time.

For Your Viewing and Listening Pleasure

Game 1: Friday, August 14th @ 8:10 pm CDT
Listen: Mariners - 710 ESPN, Mariners Radio Network / Astros - KBME 790 AM/94.5 FM HD-2, La Ranchera 101.7 FM/850 AM
Watch: Mariners - ROOTNW / Astros - ATT SportsNet-SW

Game 2: Saturday, August 15th @ 6:10 pm CDT
Listen: Mariners - 710 ESPN, Mariners Radio Network / Astros - KBME 790 AM/94.5 FM HD-2, La Ranchera 101.7 FM/850 AM
Watch: Mariners - ROOTNW / Astros - ATT SportsNet-SW

Game 3: Sunday, August 16th @ 1:10 pm CDT
Listen: Mariners - 710 ESPN, Mariners Radio Network / Astros - KBME 790 AM/94.5 FM HD-2, La Ranchera 101.7 FM/850 AM
Watch: Mariners - ROOTNW / Astros - ATT SportsNet-SW

Poll

Who wins this series?

This poll is closed

  • 46%
    Astros Sweep 3-0
    (51 votes)
  • 35%
    Astros Win 2-1
    (39 votes)
  • 10%
    Mariners Win 2-1
    (11 votes)
  • 7%
    Mariners Sweep 3-0
    (8 votes)
109 votes total Vote Now