After scuffling a bit on the road, the Mariners return home for a series against a bad team. Now, why does this sound familiar? We've said it time and time and time again—and then at least fifteen more times: the Mariners need to take advantage of their games against the Astros. Maybe it starts tonight.
And, really, it kind of needs to. I know the Astros aren't as bad as last year. Or I think so. Maybe they're just as awful. Because, with them sporting a -57 run differential, there's no question that they are, indeed, awful. That's the worst in the American League. The thing is, after the Astros, it's the Angels and the Tigers—second and third in the AL in run differential respectively.
This is a big home stand. And not just in the sense that it's 11-games long and includes some zany promotions. The Mariners need to win some ballgames.
Now, let's be less serious. It's Roenis Elias on the mound for what should be a pretty nice night in Seattle. I'm glad I'm headed over to the ballpark. Oh, and if you haven't read it, you should read Jeff's piece on Elias. Fascinating dude.
This gimmick should really be retired, but because I've never done one, here:
Player B—as you might suspect because these things are so damn predictable—is Roenis Elias. Player A, now, is 2010 Jason Vargas, who notched a 2.7 fWAR season. That was good for the best year of his career. Roenis Elias has 0.6 fWAR thus far, 86 percent of the way to his 2014 Steamer projection. That's actually the same as 2014 Vargas too. You know who else is in the same spot, right at 0.6? Ubaldo Jimenez. Bartolo Colon has half that. Baseball's the best.
Oh, and Nick Franklin's starting at shortstop. That's kind of a big deal, because if he hits, it's going to be hard to pry him out of there. Now, that's not an easy thing to do, but have you seen his Tacoma triple-slash? Mercy. So NSFW I can't even look it up here at the office without getting in trouble.
- Mariners vs. Astros, 7:10 p.m. PDT
- Tonight's game will be televised on ROOT Sports, broadcast on 710 ESPN, and available to out-of-market fans at MLB TV here.
- Robinson Cano has been, like, really good lately. Did you know, that over the last two weeks, he has a 147 wRC+? That's wouldn't even be considered a hot streak for him, as he posted a 142 last year and 149 the year before that.
|HOUSTON ASTROS||SEATTLE MARINERS|
|Jose Altuve - 2B||James Jones - CF|
|Dexter Fowler - CF||M. Saunders - RF|
|Matt Dominguez - 3B||Robinson Cano - 2B|
|Jason Castro - C||Kyle Seager - 3B|
|Chris Carter - DH||Justin Smoak - 1B|
|Jesus Guzman - 1B||Dustin Ackley - LF|
|L.J. Hoes - LF||Stefen Romero - DH|
|Henry Villar - SS||Nick Franklin - SS|
|Alex Presley - RF||Mike Zunino - C|
|Jarred Cosart - RHP||Roenis Elias - LHP|