Series Preview: Seattle Mariners @ Minnesota Twins

Seattle: 0-0
Twins: 0-0

GAMES

Game 1: Felix Hernandez vs Francisco Liriano*
Game 2: Erik Bedard* vs Nick Blackburn
Game 3: Carlos Silva vs Kevin Slowey
Game 4: Jarrod Washburn* vs Glen Perkins*

The last time Felix Hernandez started an Opening Day game for us, the Mariners won 88 games that season. Correlation?

Baseball Prospectus' depth charts currently lists both the Mariners and Twins at 77-85 for this upcoming season. CHONE's projected standings had the Twins at 79-83 and the Ms one game back at 78-84. So these look like evenly matched teams on paper before the first whistle. It might be funny to come back to this after the final pitch of the season and see where the two teams respectively finish.

For a while there, Francisco Liriano's career appeared to be whirlpooling away with injury issues, but he managed to right the ship and start blowing away minor league hitters again; eventually forcing his way back into the Major League rotation and giving the boot to Livan Hernandez. Still, the Liriano of 2006 never reappeared and he might be gone forever. That Liriano threw strikes 66% of the time and posted a ridiculous 56% ground ball rate while striking out 30% of all batters that he faced. In 2008, those rates dropped to 61.5%, 41% and 20%.

Nick Blackburn was the picture of average last season. What he does do is throw strikes and miss enough bats to get away with it. He's pretty uninteresting from a writing standpoint. From a baseball point, I would gladly take several Nick Blackburns under team control. This match up is going to be all about Erik Bedard and our guess the first injury contest. I'm calling gingivitis.

Kevin Slowey is Nick Blackburn except with fewer groundballs and more strikeouts. One of these days, MLB is going to uncover Minnesota's secret cloning factory where they keep Brad Radke on ice and churn out this stream of like-styled hurlers.

Glen Perkins is left-handed. So is Jarrod Washburn. Lefties are neat.

Series Previews 2.0 are still in beta. That is, I'm still trying to figure out how I want to format these and what kind of information I want to put together.

THIS SERIES BROUGHT TO YOU BY:

Surly Darkness
Surly Brewing Company Brooklyn Center, MN

This would be a dark enough beer to match the mood of yesterday. Pretty much everything made by Surly Brewing is fantastic. They jostle with Town Hall as the best prolific brewers in the state of many lakes.

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