Series Preview: Seattle Mariners @ Anaheim Angels

MARINERS (58-81) Δ Ms ANGELS (76-64) EDGE
HITTING (wOBA) -142.8 (30th) -9.2 -9.7 (16th) Anaheim
FIELDING 20.5 (7th) -1.1 6.2 (12th) Seattle
ROTATION (tRA) 15.5 (11th) 0.5 34.1 (5th) Anaheim
BULLPEN (tRA) -17.2 (27th) -2.3 -7.0 (20th) Anaheim
OVERALL(RAA) -124.0 (26th) -12.0 23.6 (12th) ANAHEIM

Mariners current draft spot: 4th

The Angels are down to a 11% chance at the playoffs and the Mariners could metaphorically stick a fork in them by taking this series. The Diamondbacks have opened up a sizable lead on the Giants, who also happen to have a negative run differential and so don't seem a threat to suddenly break stride and go on a massive winning streak. The Angels-Rangers is legitimately the only playoff spot left to be decided and it's Labor Day and even this is a stretch to call it a contested spot at the moment.

If the Mariners prevail then it's all but over and the entire month of September becomes a waiting game for October. Put another way, the Mariners can play spoiler not just against the Angels, but against every single person who wants interesting and consequential baseball this month. Seize the opportunity, Mariners! Make more people have to deal with baseball as we do, without thoughts of the playoffs.

Mon 05 Sep 18:05

ANTHONY VASQUEZ* DAN HAREN

Anthony Vasquez began the 2010 season in A-ball Clinton. Reaching the Major Leagues just one season later is some fast organizational movement that he's deserved. At every stop along the way, Anthony has posted well above average tRAs predicated mostly on low walk, fly ball and home run rates. Can he transfer those at the highest level? That's still in question. And that's a good question to attempt to figure out in a month such as this one.

Tue 06 Sep 19:05

FELIX HERNANDEZ ERVIN SANTANA

Felix has lost a lot of his once vaunted ground ball rates. When Felix Hernandez first broke onto the scene he combined strikes and ground balls at an almost otherworldly pace. It's weird to see the difference between 2007 Felix (20% K, 6% BB, 60% GB) and 2011 Felix (24% K, 8% BB, 48% GB) trend toward the league average in both walks and ground balls. What's driving such a major loss in ground balls? Is he pitching higher in the zone, thus generating more strikeouts, but also more fly balls? I'm not sure, but it's worth looking further into at a later date when the season is completed.

Wed 07 Sep 19:05

CHARLIE FURBUSH* JEROME WILLIAMS
Error, error, error

Exact revenge, tepid Mariner hitters! Please do not let the Jerome Williams lightning strike you twice.

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