Mike Fiers (0-0, 9.00 ERA) vs. Yusei Kikuchi (0-0, 12.27 ERA)
The Oakland Athletics and Seattle Mariners will meet again on Saturday following a 5-3 win for the home side. The Mariners chipped away at Sean Manaea to chase him out of the game after 4.1 innings at the office. He allowed 6 hits and 3 earned runs for a respectable outing. More is expected out of Manaea, though, so I can’t say that it was a start to remember for him. It was the fourth win of the season for the Mariners. They are hanging tough at .500 with a record of 4-4. The AL West has been nothing to write home about thus far, so that puts them a half game back of the Astros for first.
The Astros head into Saturday with a record of 4-3. A win for the Mariners and loss for the ‘Stros today would mean that Seattle are the only team in the division with five wins. I wouldn’t get too excited over the Mariners. They’re projected to be one of the worst teams in the majors, so with that in mind, you can’t knock their start in 2020.
Whether they can stay afloat in the AL West remains to be seen. At the end of the day, though, I just hope that this season can stay afloat. Another team with an outbreak this weekend might just kill things. However, I’m trying to stay positive and hope for the best. If that were to happen, the only memorable thing is going to be the Joe Kelly incident with the Astros. While I like the KBO, I’d prefer to stay on course with the major leagues.
There are three games scratched at the moment for today. It could be a fourth if more tests come back as positives for the St. Louis Cardinals. They are scheduled to play the Brewers today after two Cards tested positive for the virus. A widespread breakout in the locker room would prompt a postponement. The Athletics and Mariners will go on as scheduled, with neither team receiving the bad news this season.
Mike Fiers is heading into Saturday seeking a bounce back performance after getting roughed up against the LA Angels. He’s a much better pitcher than he looked like in his opener of the 2020 season. We’ll see if we can respond after the Angels pushed him around. The Mariners will counter with Yusei Kikuchi, who I’d say has been a major disappointment in Seattle. He didn’t look strong in his opener this season either. Head below for our free Oakland Athletics vs. Seattle Mariners pick for August 1, 2020.
Oakland Athletics vs. Seattle Mariners MLB Baseball Betting Odds:
Oakland Athletics vs. Seattle Mariners Prediction:
Mike Fiers didn’t have an ideal start to 2020, but I’m not going to lose faith in him just yet. The Angels tagged Fiers with 7 hits and 4 earned runs in 4 innings. The only positive for Fiers, if you can find one in that game, is that he didn’t issue a walk. However, his WHIP of 1.75 suggests he struggled to keep runners off the bases.
Fiers is coming off two productive seasons with the Tigers and Athletics. He was traded to the A’s at the trade deadline in 2018. Fiers recorded an ERA of 3.56 and 1.18 WHIP between Detroit and Oakland that season. He followed up last year with an ERA of 3.90 and 1.19 WHIP. Fiers may not be elite, but he’s a much better pitcher than his performance against the Angels to open the 2020 campaign.
He’s been able to limit the damage done in previous meetings against the Mariners. Kyle Seager is the only member of the roster that has connected for a home run against Fiers. The Mariners have scored 6 runs on Fiers in 68 at-bats to go with a .233 batting average. Don’t expect Fiers to be perfect here, and he’ll likely have to work himself out of trouble in an inning or two, but he should be much better than last week.
Yusei Kikuchi on the hill for the Mariners should be a welcome sign for Fiers. He should see ample run support on Saturday. Kikuchi came over from Japan with promise, but his success with Seibu in the Japanese league hasn’t translated to the US. In his first season in the majors, Kikuchi posted a 5.46 ERA and 1.52 WHIP in 2019. He had a complete game shutout last season, but not much else to speak of.
His first outing this season was a struggle against the Astros. He was knocked around for 5 hits and 5 earned runs in 3.2 innings for a 12.27 ERA and 2.45 WHIP. Kikuchi was topping out at 98 mph, but his control was all over the place. The A’s have had success against him in the past, with a .283 average and .317 OBP in 71 at-bats. They’ve swatted 5 home runs and 10 runs with him on the bump. The Athletics should be able to get back on the right track tonight in Seattle.