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Royals series preview: The Seattle Mariners

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MLB: New York Mets at Seattle Mariners
That’s what speed do.
Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

One game over .500 and 1.5 games behind the Royals for the last Wild Card spot, the Seattle Mariners come to Kauffman Stadium with a chance to close the gap on or even pass a Royals squad that just scored three runs in a three-game series in Baltimore against the Orioles struggling starting pitching staff. This series has playoff implications and will feature a starter from each team who was acquired at the deadline to shore up weaknesses.

Alex McDonald over at numberFire sent their projections over and they are as follows:

In our numberFire Power Rankings, we have the Royals as the 19th ranked team in the MLB with a 27.7% chance to make the postseason. We also project them to finish with a 82-80 record.

Additionally, here is a quick preview for the four games against Seattle. In the first game of the series, we give the Royals a 53.84% chance to win tonight. In the second game, a 44.3% win probability. In the third game, a 51.26% win probability. And in the fourth game, a 45.8% win probability.

The series game times and pitching matchups are as follows:

  • Thursday, August 3, 7:15 PM CDT - Yovani Gallardo versus Trevor Cahill
  • Friday, August 4, 7:15 PM CDT - James Paxton (L) versus Jason Hammel
  • Saturday, August 5, 6:15 PM CDT - Felix Hernandez versus Danny Duffy
  • Sunday, August 6, 1:15 PM CDT - Erasmo Ramírez versus Ian Kennedy

Mariners at Royals pitching matchups

Pitcher G IP K K% BB BB% ERA FIP xFIP SIERA fWAR rWAR
Pitcher G IP K K% BB BB% ERA FIP xFIP SIERA fWAR rWAR
Yovani Gallardo 20 97.2 72 16.9 42 9.8 5.34 4.87 4.94 5.08 0.7 0.1
Trevor Cahill 12 65.0 74 26.2 26 9.2 4.15 3.82 3.51 3.75 1.1 0.7
James Paxton (L) 18 107.1 125 28.7 31 7.1 2.68 2.38 3.24 3.44 3.9 3.5
Jason Hammel 21 119.1 93 17.6 36 6.8 4.75 4.31 5.08 4.79 1.6 1.3
Felix Hernandez 13 73.2 69 21.7 21 6.6 4.28 5.21 4.03 4.12 0.2 0.7
Danny Duffy (L) 17 108.0 85 19.2 29 6.6 3.42 3.34 4.66 4.56 2.7 3.2
Erasmo Ramírez 27 72.2 60 20.1 16 5.4 4.83 4.35 4.04 3.98 0.5 -0.1
Ian Kennedy 20 107.2 92 20.7 42 9.4 4.60 4.99 5.08 4.76 0.6 1.2

Clearly, having to face James Paxton this time around is unfortunate for the Royals. If you are unfamiliar with Paxton’s success, take a gander at Jeff Sullivan’s article from yesterday. Paxton’s 3.9 fWAR have been accrued in roughly 20-30 fewer innings than the bulk of the rest of the starters atop the leaderboard. The other three starters are less intimidating than Paxton, but mediocre pitchers are the Royals’ kryptonite. Felix Hernandez has been undone by the dong. Yovani Gallardo has been undone by being Yovani Gallardo. Erasmo Ramírez is probably a nice guy.

Seattle Mariners position players

Player Pos PA HR R RBI SB AVG OBP SLG wOBA wRC+ fWAR rWAR
Player Pos PA HR R RBI SB AVG OBP SLG wOBA wRC+ fWAR rWAR
Kyle Seager (L) 3B 441 14 45 55 1 .261 .333 .445 .330 109 2.4 2.0
Jarrod Dyson (L) CF 337 5 53 26 24 .244 .319 .358 .296 86 2.1 2.6
Ben Gamel (L) LF 364 6 56 36 3 .313 .364 .449 .349 122 2.1 1.8
Jean Segura (L) SS 352 6 48 32 12 .322 .368 .439 .346 120 1.8 1.7
Robinson Canó (L) 2B 425 19 54 73 1 .269 .329 .469 .334 112 1.7 2.1
Mike Zunino C 275 16 34 43 0 .228 .305 .480 .332 110 1.6 1.3
Nelson Cruz DH 426 22 52 80 1 .275 .362 .504 .362 131 1.5 1.8
Guillermo Heredia OF 274 6 35 19 1 .273 .339 .373 .315 99 1.2 1.9
Carlos Ruiz C 107 1 11 9 1 .231 .330 .341 .300 88 0.3 0.2
Danny Espinosa (S) IF 263 6 28 30 4 .161 .237 .271 .225 38 -0.8 -1.4
Leonys Martin (L) RF 71 1 6 5 4 .164 .211 .254 .205 23 -0.2 -0.1
Danny Valencia 1B 401 11 45 53 1 .264 .317 .409 .312 96 -0.2 1.3

With nine players worth at least 1.0 fWAR, the Mariners are deeper than every team in the American League other than the Astros (who also have nine such players). Slashing .259/.328/.416 with a .319 wOBA and 102 wRC+, their above-average offense and passable defense have combined to make them the 10th-most-valuable unit in the game. Fueled by his sterling defense, Jarrod Dyson is arguably the Mariners’ best position player.

Poll

How will the Royals fare against the Mariners?

This poll is closed

  • 7%
    Royals sweep
    (18 votes)
  • 39%
    Royals take three of four
    (89 votes)
  • 31%
    Split
    (71 votes)
  • 15%
    Mariners take three of four
    (35 votes)
  • 6%
    Mariners sweep
    (14 votes)
227 votes total Vote Now

All stats courtesy of FanGraphs and Baseball Reference through action on Tuesday, August 1.

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