Seattle Mariners get Prime Chance to Spoil Angels

Steven Bisig-US PRESSWIRE - Presswire

With three series to go in the regular season, the Angels need to gain ground to make the playoffs and have six games against the Mariners.

MARINERS (72-81) Δ Ms ANGELS (84-69) EDGE
HITTING (wOBA) -119.0 (30th) 0.2 90.4 (2nd) Angels
FIELDING (RBBIP) 48.3 (3rd) -0.4 38.3 (4th) Mariners
ROTATION (tRA) 8.4 (16th) 1.6 10.5 (15th) Angels
BULLPEN (tRA) -1.3 (16th) 1.1 -22.3 (29th) Mariners
OVERALL (RAA) -63.7 (22nd) 2.4 116.8 (3rd) ANGELS
Explainer

Current Wild Card standings:

Team Record GB Plays
Orioles 88-66 --- TOR (2), BOS (3), @TB (3)
Athletics 86-67 --- @TEX (3), SEA (3), TEX (3)
Angels 84-69 2.0 SEA (3), @TEX (3), @SEA (3)
Rays 83-70 3.0 @BOS (2), @CHW (4), BAL (3)
Tigers 81-72 5.0 KC (3), @MIN (3), @KC (3)

The Athletics face the Rangers and the Mariners face the Angels. Six times out of the final nine, with the Angels sitting two games out of a playoff berth. The Mariners cannot singlehandedly prevent the Angels from making the playoffs, but they can come pretty close. Practically speaking, the Mariners do not have to sweep. That would be wonderful of course, but assuming the Athletics, Orioles, Rays and Tigers do not all collectively collapse, the Mariners holding serve against the Angels will likely be enough to keep the Angels from playing any more games than the Mariners will this season.

Which would be all the more hilarious given how well the Angels have played of late and how they, above, rate as one of baseball's best teams.

This will be my last series preview of the season. I'll be traveling over the course of the next series. I'm not sure if Jeff has plans to write his own previews or not. Thanks for reading.

Batter PA P/PA Slash line nBB K (sw) 1B/2B/3B/HR Sw% Ct% Qual+
J Smoak^ 37 3.6 .455/.526/.727 4 5 (4) 10 / 3 / 0 / 2 42 80 182.1
M Saunders* 51 4.3 .279/.392/.558 8 15 (12) 7 / 1 / 1 / 3 47 75 184.4
K Seager* 53 3.3 .340/.352/.509 0 4 (3) 11 / 6 / 0 / 1 54 88 113.3
J Jaso* 25 4.6 .238/.360/.429 4 3 (3) 3 / 1 / 0 / 1 45 90 102.0
D Ackley* 44 4.2 .250/.333/.475 4 4 (4) 5 / 3 / 0 / 2 43 88 124.2
M Olivo 29 4.3 .154/.241/.500 3 7 (7) 1 / 0 / 0 / 3 50 75 186.9
F Gutierrez 52 4.2 .229/.308/.375 4 11 (8) 7 / 2 / 1 / 1 46 77 99.2
B Ryan 31 3.5 .167/.226/.267 1 8 (8) 4 / 0 / 0 / 1 59 78 121.8
J Montero 42 3.2 .205/.238/.231 2 4 (4) 7 / 1 / 0 / 0 51 87 55.0

P/PA = pitches per PA [avg~3.8], nBB = uBB + HBP, Sw = swinging [avg~45%], Ct = contact [avg~81%], Qual+ = a measure of quality of batted balls [avg=100, higher is better]

On a positive note, using the totally arbitrary dividing line of the All-Star Break* Dustin Ackley's strikeout rate in the first half of this season was 21% and is down to 15% in the second half. I'd really like to see his walk rate get into double digits like we thought was feasible. And I'd like to see a whole bunch of other stuff too, but hey, progress is progress.

* note: doesn't this label imply that only the "stars" get breaks? More realistically it's that the stuff happening over the break will only involve "stars" which is also pretty funny when you look at the people involved.

Batter PA P/PA Slash line nBB SO (sw) 1B/2B/3B/HR Sw% Ct% Qual+
E Aybar^ 46 3.5 .372/.435/.465 3 2 (2) 12 / 4 / 0 / 0 55 92 53.6
K Morales^ 30 4.2 .222/.300/.667 3 6 (5) 2 / 0 / 0 / 4 48 70 231.0
M Trout 52 4.5 .262/.404/.381 10 14 (9) 8 / 2 / 0 / 1 36 82 103.5
T Hunter 50 3.3 .304/.360/.457 4 14 (10) 11 / 1 / 0 / 2 48 65 123.3
A Pujols 45 3.4 .286/.370/.452 3 2 (2) 7 / 4 / 0 / 1 43 86 86.2
A Callaspo^ 45 4.1 .262/.333/.381 3 7 (3) 8 / 2 / 0 / 1 44 90 100.1
V Wells 42 3.5 .263/.333/.342 3 6 (4) 9 / 0 / 0 / 1 45 88 61.9
C Iannetta 35 4.1 .250/.314/.250 3 8 (7) 8 / 0 / 0 / 0 48 63 77.2
H Kendrick 44 3.8 .186/.227/.279 1 10 (9) 4 / 4 / 0 / 0 53 84 84.0
M Trumbo 29 3.8 .179/.207/.286 1 9 (7) 4 / 0 / 0 / 1 55 67 94.0

Remember how totally unfair it was that Mark Trumbo got all amazing for the Angels this year? His OPS is down to .804 now (.768 last season while the league went from .720 up to .725) as he's been atrocious in September. It would be swell for that to continue.

MARINERS Δ Ms ANGELS EDGE
INFIELD 19.0 (7th) 0.7 21.9 (5th) Angels
OUTFIELD 29.3 (3rd) -1.1 16.4 (9th) Mariners
RBBIP 0.294 (2nd) -- 0.294 (1st) --
OVERALL 48.3 (3rd) -0.4 38.3 (4th) MARINERS
Explainer

I have not thought of the Angels as such a good defensive team. And for good reason. Just three weeks ago, the Angels were good but nowhere near fantastic at turning batted balls into outs. Over the past 22 games, the Angels have allowed a BABIP of .226 and a RBBIP of .238.

25 SEP 19:05

ZACK GREINKE ERASMO RAMIREZ
chart chart

Erasmo Ramirez has been fantastic with the strikeouts and walks, but I am eagerly awaiting for the return of the ground balls that he showed much more of in the minors.

26 SEP 19:05

C.J. WILSON* FELIX HERNANDEZ
chart chart

The Mariners will, at least by schedule, start Felix Hernandez twice among the final six games against the Angels, as will Hisashi Iwakuma presumably. Erasmo is no slouch either so the Mariners don't appear to be rolling out a Hector Noesi-colored carpet for the Angels. Meanwhile, no Jered Weaver this series.

27 SEP 12:35

DAN HAREN HISASHI IWAKUMA
chart chart
Reliever BF Str% nBB Ct% K(sw) GB% HR Qual- LI
C Capps 64 69.6 3 76.5 16 (14) 46.7 0 100.3 0.5
T Wilhelmsen 57 62.9 7 74.0 11 (7) 61.5 0 63.3 2.5
J Kinney 47 67.4 4 72.0 14 (12) 53.6 2 110.0 1.8
S Pryor 35 62.9 6 81.2 7 (4) 31.8 1 117.5 1.0
L Luetge* 34 65.3 3 79.0 5 (3) 42.3 1 144.3 1.4
S Kelley 30 62.7 2 72.4 6 (6) 50.0 0 83.2 1.2
O Perez* 27 69.7 2 78.8 2 (2) 21.7 1 106.6 0.9

Str% = strike rate [avg~63%], Ct% = contact rate [avg~78%], GB% = groundball rate [avg~45%], Qual- = a measure of quality of batted balls [avg=100, lower is better], LI = leverage [avg~1.2]

Reliever BF Str% nBB Ct% K(sw) GB% HR Qual- LI
G Richards 50 66.7 5 80.4 7 (6) 42.1 1 75.3 1.1
K Jepsen 47 60.8 3 84.7 8 (8) 30.6 0 100.2 1.2
E Frieri 38 70.1 3 77.2 12 (10) 26.1 3 187.5 1.8
J Williams 25 66.7 1 75.6 7 (6) 58.8 0 59.4 0.5
S Downs* 23 70.4 2 79.5 6 (5) 66.7 0 55.9 0.9

As the Angels are facing much higher leverage games, the usage pattern in the bullpen shrinks down.

Series Drink: Readers' pick
Favorite drinks you've had for the first time this year?

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