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Series Preview: Mariners (79-70) vs Blue Jays (81-68)

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Gotta win the series.

Kevin Sousa-USA TODAY Sports

At a Glance:

Monday, September 19 | 7:10p PT

Away Team

vs.

Home Team

Blue Jays

Mariners

Marco Estrada

Taijuan Walker

49%

51%

Tuesday, September 20 | 7:10p PT

Away Team

vs.

Home Team

Blue Jays

Mariners

J.A. Happ

Hisashi Iwakuma

48%

52%

Wednesday, September 21 | 12:40p PT

Away Team

vs.

Home Team

Blue Jays

Mariners

Aaron Sanchez

Felix Hernandez

49%

51%

*Game odds courtesy of FiveThirtyEight (Explainer)


Mariners

Blue Jays

Edge

Batting (wRC+)

107

102

Somehow us (park effects)

Fielding (FanGraphs Defense)

-26

+19

Yeah, not us

Starting Pitching (FIP-)

107

97

Still not us

Bullpen (FIP-)

97

91

This isn't going to end well

Hello there; the Mariners don't suck, but they play a team that also doesn't suck for a chance to go to the playoffs. Life is awful. If the M's can't take two-of-three against the Jays, their playoff chances are effectively nil.

The Blue Jays:

The Blue Jays have been struggling recently. Their playoff odds were 95% as of August 29, but today they sit at 67%. At this point, they won't even host the one-game Wild Card play-in.

Key Players

Jose Bautista is pretty good, as is Edwin Encarnacion, Michael Saunders, Josh Donaldson, Troy Tulowitzki, Kevin Pillar, Devon Travis, and Russell Martin. It's almost like this dumb Canadian team is super talented or something, and I blame socialized medicine.

Marco Estrada

IP

K%

BB%

HR/FB%

GB%

ERA

FIP

157

22.5%

8.9%

10.8%

33.7%

3.78

4.29

Estrada works with a fastball-changeup combo and isn't afraid to attack the top of the zone. He'll groove one every once and awhile, which the Mariners will have to capitalize on.

J.A. Happ (aka Not Adrian Sampson)

IP

K%

BB%

HR/FB%

GB%

ERA

FIP

176.1

21.2%

7.4%

12.4%

41.9%

3.27

4.02

Remember bad J.A. Happ? He's not that anymore.

Aaron Sanchez

IP

K%

BB%

HR/FB%

GB%

ERA

FIP

173

19.6%

7.7%

11.6%

55.9%

3.17

3.60

Sanchez has figured out how to be a starter, and there was some mid-season Cy Young buzz surrounding him that has since largely flown away.

The Big Picture:

The AL West

Team

W-L

W%

Games Behind

Recent Form

Rangers

88-62

58.7%

--

Bastards

Mariners

79-70

53.0%

8.5

Not ideal

Astros

78-71

52.3%

9.5

Heck ‘Em

Athletics

66-83

44.3%

21.5

Not Important

Angels

65-84

43.6%

22.5

Ha!

The Wild Card Race

Team

W-L

W%

Games Behind

Recent Form

Orioles

82-67

55.0%

--

Cool

Blue Jays

81-68

54.4%

--

Divebombing

Tigers

79-70

53.0%

2.0

Rawr

Mariners

79-70

53.0%

2.0

Bleh

Astros

78-71

52.3%

3.0

Screwed Us