The Seattle Mariners hope to stay hot on Saturday against the Tampa Bay Rays. The Mariners are providing the Astros with some competition thus far in 2018 in the AL West. It’s far too early to say that they’re going to be threatening, or even close to the Astros come September.
The Mariners have accepted the challenge of playing without Robinson Cano and have handled it quite nicely. Cano is of course gone for 80 games thanks to a PED violation. You would think after the A-Rod cheating scandal that these guys would know better, but there will always be players trying to exploit the system. Cano is probably a guy no one would be surprised to find was juicing, though.
His absence hasn’t hindered the Mariners at all. In fact, as a team, they’re playing some of the best baseball we’ve seen from them this year. There might come a time where they would really love to have his bat in the lineup, though. If the offense goes silent all of the sudden, Mariners’ fans are going to really wish Cano was available.
As far as last night is concerned, he couldn’t have done much to prevent a blown save. The Mariners still preserved a win in extras as they advanced to 35-22. If they can’t keep pace with the Astros, the wildcard is always there to contend for. Chris Archer and Marco Gonzales will get the starting duties in this one on Saturday. Head below for the rest of our writeup and free Rays vs. Mariners pick.
Tampa Bay Rays vs. Seattle Mariners Pick
Chris Archer (3-3, 4.29 ERA) vs. Marco Gonzales (5-3, 3.60 ERA)
Tough start to the year for Chris Archer, but he’s been trying to find a way out of the hole lately. Archer enters with an ERA of 4.29, which is looking better than his early season numbers. In three of his first four starts, Archer allowed at least 4 runs per game. He was hammered for 7 runs against the Phillies on April 14th. He also allowed a long ball in six straight games to open the year. However, there are indications that he is beginning to flip the switch, though. Note that in four of his last five starts, he’s allowed 1 or no runs. In his last three outings, he posted an ERA of 0.48 with a 1.02 WHIP and .286 OBA. When his change-up is working for him, Archer can be a difficult pitcher to hit. It’s currently ON at the moment.
In 71 at-bats, the Mariners have hit just 1 homer against Archer. Additionally, they are hitting only .211 with 4 RBI’s. Marco Gonzales may have to be sharp in this one with Archer heating up. Sharp he has been, as Gonzales hasn’t allowed 1 run in his last three starts. He’s been perfect across 19 innings of work. His ERA in his last three outings stands at 0.00 with a 0.93 WHIP and .257 OBA. Impressive stuff from a guy that looked like his career was in the tubes last season. He was one of the best pitchers in spring training with the Mariners, finishing with a 2.08 ERA, so signs were there that he was going to contribute in 2018. I like a low-scoring contest between two hot pitchers in Seattle on Saturday night.