The Seattle Mariners and Oakland Athletics square up on Friday to begin a three-game AL West series at the Oakland Coliseum. After last night, fans in Oakland aren’t going to be too focused on baseball today. They’re still licking their wounds after the Warriors were downed in six games by the Toronto Raptors. A 35-34 baseball team is unlikely to get their attention for the moment.
The A’s enter the weekend 11 games back of the Houston Astros. There isn’t anyone who is going to catch them, so it’s best to look for a wildcard. That would be a win for the A’s, though. Getting to the American League play-in game would be a good look for them. There is a lot of competition for those two spots, though, and the odds certainly aren’t in their favor to get into the postseason in any capacity.
Seattle can sympathize, because they are not going anywhere, either. They’ve been under-performers for years, though, and the Athletics generally make it work with a small payroll. The Mariners go into Friday with a record of 29-43, which puts them 18.5 games behind 1st place in the AL West. Ouch. This is a team who went 13-2 to open the season. So much hope and promise was squashed quickly. After that run they went 0-6 and have never been able to recover.
With the season lost for the Mariners, look for them to sell some more pieces at the trade deadline. Most teams like to sell after enjoying success, but the Mariners are stuck in a rebuilding cycle with no evidence of getting out of it. Robinson Cano was a failure in Seattle and Edwin Encarnacion is likely going to be on the block. The Mariners are just treading water. Marco Gonzales will get the starting nod on Friday, while the A’s will turn to Chris Bassitt. Head below for our free Mariners vs. Athletics pick.
Seattle Mariners vs. Oakland Athletics Pick:
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Marco Gonzales settled in and got his season back on track after getting hammered against the Angels two starts ago. He got a do-over against the Angels and made the most of it. Gonzales allowed 9 hits and 10 runs in 4.2 innings before responding with a nice showing, with 2 hits and 2 runs allowed in 5.2 innings.
Gonzalez has been all over the map this season, failing to generate much consistency in 2019. It’s been feast or famine for Gonzales, as he heads into Friday with an ERA of 4.77 and 1.40 WHIP.
It was a horrible stretch for Gonzales before getting on track in his most recent start. He allowed 16 earned runs in 8.2 innings of work against the Rangers and Angels. Gonzalez had to work hard for the nice game he had against the Angels.
He had 109 pitches under his belt after only 5.2 innings. Despite holding the Angels’ offense back, the Mariners couldn’t push him any more than that. Gonzalez opened the season against the A’s, allowing 7 hits and 3 earned runs in a 9-7 win for the Mariners. He will enter with an ERA of 11.30 and 1.74 WHIP in his last three contests.
He has been serviceable for the Mariners, but the bullpen has been a real failure in Seattle. They’ve been struggling to help the starters out, and even if they have a good game, the relievers have done a good job of ruining it. The Mariners are 28th in the majors, with an ERA of 5.45 from their bullpen. Conversely, Oakland are 18th with an ERA of 4.37.
Chris Bassitt has allowed 3 runs in three of his last four outings, so he’s been consistent in that sense. In his last three starts, he posted an ERA of 5.94 and 1.32 WHIP in his last three trips to the bump. He must be focused to slow down a Seattle offense that have scored an average of 7.25 runs per game in their last eight games. The bats have been there, but the pitching, notably the bullpen, haven’t been getting it done. The OVER has gone 5-0 and 8-1 in their last nine games for a season. Expect double digits up on the board tonight in Oakland.