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Seattle Mariners series preview: Servais’s men

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They are who you think they are?

MLB: Seattle Mariners at Minnesota Twins
The eagle has landed.
Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

The Mariners come to Kauffman Stadium with a 4-3 record, the only team other than the Royals and Twins to have only played seven games thus far. Their record puts them in the middle of the American League West standings, 2.5 games behind the first-place Houston Astros and 1.5 behind the Anaheim Angels.

The game times and pitching matchups are as follows:

  • Monday, April 9, 2018, 7:15 PM CDT - Marco Gonzales (L) versus Jake Junis
  • Tuesday, April 10, 2018, 7:15 PM CDT - Felix Hernandez versus Eric Skoglund (L)
  • Wednesday, April 11, 2018 1:15 PM CDT - James Paxton (L) versus Danny Duffy (L)

*All stats used on the tables herein courtesy of FanGraphs and Baseball Reference and are players’ 2017 numbers

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
Marco Gonzales (L) 11 40.0 32 17.3 11 6.0 6.08 5.06 4.46 4.48 0.1 -0.2
Jake Junis 20 98.1 80 19.0 25 5.9 4.30 4.55 4.77 4.49 0.9 1.4
Felix Hernandez 16 86.2 78 21.2 26 7.1 4.36 5.02 4.03 4.19 0.4 0.8
Eric Skoglund (L) 7 18.0 14 15.1 12 12.9 9.50 5.05 6.17 5.83 0.1 -0.6
James Paxton (L) 24 136.0 156 28.3 37 6.7 2.98 2.61 3.25 3.45 4.6 3.8
Danny Duffy (L) 24 146.1 130 21.4 41 6.7 3.81 3.46 4.39 4.31 3.4 3.3

Marco Gonzales is clearly the easiest draw of the series for the Royals, but he did eke out a win in his first start of the season thanks in largely to the BABIP fairy and the giving spirit of the LOBster. Félix Hernández is comfortably removed from the days in which he was a perennial contender for the Cy Young Award, but he’s probably not as awful as he was in his last start against the Giants in which he allowed eight runs in four innings. King Félix’s rotation-mate eagle tamer James Paxton seems like the only thing keeping him from being in the conversation for the Cy Young Award will be health. He was worth 4.6 fWAR in just 24 starts last year, so there’s little question of how good he can be.

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
Dee Gordon (L) CF 695 2 114 33 60 .308 .341 .375 .312 92 3.4 3.1
Jean Segura SS 566 11 80 45 22 .300 .349 .427 .334 111 2.9 3.2
Robinson Canó (L) 2B 648 23 79 97 1 .280 .338 .453 .334 112 3.1 3.4
Mitch Haniger RF 410 16 58 47 5 .282 .352 .491 .360 129 2.5 3.0
Kyle Seager (L) 3B 650 27 72 88 2 .249 .323 .450 .326 106 3.6 2.5
Dan Vogelbach (L) DH 31 0 0 2 0 .214 .290 .250 .248 53 -0.3 -0.5
Ryon Healy 1B 605 25 66 78 0 .271 .302 .451 .320 100 0.2 1.0
Ichiro Suzuki (L) LF 215 3 19 20 1 .255 .318 .332 .287 75 -0.2 -0.3
David Freitas C 17 0 2 2 0 .235 .235 .353 .248 48 0.0 0.0
Mike Marjama C 9 1 1 1 0 .333 .333 .778 .454 194 0.2 0.2
Taylor Motter IF 280 7 29 26 12 .198 .257 .326 .254 57 -0.6 -0.6
Andrew Romine (S) Util 348 4 45 25 6 .233 .289 .336 .274 65 -0.2 -1.2
Guillermo Heredia OF 426 6 43 24 1 .249 .315 .337 .288 80 -0.1 1.1

As a squad, the Mariners have gotten out to a strong offensive start despite playing without Nelson Cruz and Mike Zunino. On the whole, they’re slashing .277/.340/.420 with a .336 wOBA and 122 wRC+. They’re tenth in fWAR, despite having played just seven games. The offense has been fueled largely by the hot starts of Robinson Canó and Mitch Haniger, whose respective 220 and 213 wRC+ would have anyone salivating.

Poll

How will the Royals fare against the Mariners?

This poll is closed

  • 8%
    Royals sweep
    (16 votes)
  • 30%
    Royals take two of three
    (58 votes)
  • 41%
    Mariners take two of three
    (78 votes)
  • 7%
    Mariners sweep
    (14 votes)
  • 11%
    Entire series postponed due to weather
    (22 votes)
188 votes total Vote Now