James Paxton, welcome to the 2018 season. After a bit of a small bump to start the season, Paxton caught fire last night against the Blue Jays. He was due for a night like that after paying his dues the last few years in Seattle. Paxton has done nothing but been a consistent force in the Mariners’ rotation since 2013.
He was rewarded with a no-hitter on his home soil in Canada against the Jays last night. It hasn’t been a spectacular overall body of work for Paxton, but he’s been looking sharp in his last two outings. The Mariners ultimately took the ball game by a score of 5-0. Wade LeBlanc is scheduled to get the call for Seattle on Wednesday night.
Jaime Garcia who has been an absolute dumpster fire, will look to put out some of the flames with this start. The Jays have won just two of their last seven games, as they’ve been playing like a lot of people predicted at the beginning of the year. We will see some stretches where the Jays look decent enough, but overall, how the heck are they going to catch the Red Sox and Yankees. The answer to that is they’re not.
Outside of several major injuries happening to each club, the Jays do not have the talent to keep up in the American League East this year. It isn’t like I have to tell any Blue Jays fan that, they are well aware that there are going to be some growing pains with this club. There are a lot of areas on the roster that leave a lot to be desired. Jaime Garcia certainly looks like a big hole right now. Let’s get straight to our Mariners vs. Blue Jays pick below.
Seattle Mariners vs. Toronto Blue Jays Pick
Wade LeBlanc (0-0, 3.57 ERA) vs. Jaime Garcia (2-2, 6.60 ERA)
The Blue Jays may want to consider scoring some runs in this one with Garcia on the hump. Garcia has not hit a rhythm and may want to get it going today. He’s allowed at least 4 runs in his last three outings and at least 3 runs in his past five. We have to go back to April 2nd, his first start of the year, to find a game where he looked good. Falling backwards as a pitcher is not a good sign at all. It could be a number of things, the most obvious that he already has a tired or injured arm. Garcia enters with an ERA of 6.60 and a 9.88 ERA and 1.90 WHIP in his last three showings. He has been struggling the last two years, then with the Yankees, Twins, and Braves. A guy who has been around since 2008, the idea that he is beginning to get a tired arm is no stretch at all.
The Mariners have been fairly successful against Garcia with 57 at-bats. They are hitting .333 vs him and he is playing some of the worst baseball of his career at the moment, so we’ll see how it goes. If I have to venture a prediction, which of course I do, I’m not feeling him coming up big today. LeBlanc is another pitcher who entered the majors in 2008, and another pitcher who hasn’t kept his ERA below 4.00 since 2016.
LeBlanc, a long-time member of the bullpen, got his first start of the year against the A’s in his last outing. LeBlanc came out looking good, allowing 0 runs and just 3 hits across 4 innings. Who knows how his arm is going to react tonight, though. He is not used to getting back-to-back starting jobs. I can’t see the Mariners testing his arm too much, so I’d look for an early appearance from the bullpen. Despite pitching well against the A’s, the Mariners had a short leash on him. After a no-hitter yesterday, I expect to see more runs tonight.