8/31: Open Game Thread

a thing now, apparently - Bob Levey

Joe Saunders vs. Dallas Keuchel

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Hot off the excitement of last night, the Mariners will resume their three game series against the Astros, looking to take the series tonight with a win against left hander Dallas Keuchel.

There isn't a whole lot to say about Dallas Keuchel, other than he is pretty emblematic of the entire Astros organization. He's young-ish, pitching in only his second full year of major league baseball, but not a teenager anymore. He is sporting a pretty shiny K/9 of 6.55, and has been worth .4 fWAR on an Astros ballclub that is really not quite as awful as everyone makes them out to be. I mean--yes, they are terrible. But there are little hidden gems in this lineup, and the team is rebuilding the right way. Keuchel is 25 years old, cheap, and has six pitches.

But he also has a BB/9 rate of 3.02 and has only averaged about 90 on his fastball. And he's 25 years old. In addition, Keuchel is sporting a pretty icky HR/FB of 18%. And he has six pitches. He's averaging 1.30 dingers for every nine innings, which isn't wonderful. Of course on a side note, Joe Saunders is only .04 points ahead of him in that statistic, so what are you going to do?

The good news for the Astros is that the Mariners aren't exactly known for crushing left-handed pitching. Speaking of the Mariners...take a look at that lineup. Eric Wedge has finally moved Nick Franklin down into the 6 hole, bringing Guti up to try and drive in Brad Miller. While we can argue about lineup construction until the cows come home, you know Eric Wedge probably believes in it, so it is kind of surprising it took him this long to make a move. Ackley is still batting 7th, and Almonte gets his second career start, this time in left field.

Mariners:

P. Joe Saunders (L) P

Astros:

P. Dallas Keuchel (L) P

The chart and recap will be up later tonight, as I'm going to go see Death Cab for Cutie play Transatlanticism in full in Troutdale, OR tonight. I'm hoping for some outfield highlights to come back to, but I'm trying to not get greedy after one day. See what you do to us, Mariners?
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