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Dads and Boats: Mariners (47-67) vs. Padres (51-60) Series Preview

Another two-game pack, this time with a quasi-rivalry twinge.

Seattle Mariners v San Diego Padres Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images

Television announcer: Welcome back to Vedder Cup! A riveting annual tradition that has thrilled fans, players, and beat reporters for years! This year’s face-off is particularly exciting, becau-

*muffled, frantic mumbling*

Television announcer: I’m sorry, I’ve just been informed this is actually an inter-league series between the Mariners and the Padres. My apologies. Sources report that, due to an overwhelmingly apathetic level of interest between these two fanbases, along with some seriously mixed rock (ish) loyalties, this competition has been re-named the Dave Cameron Memorial Series.

*more background mumbling*

Television announcer: My producers would like me to clarify that Dave Cameron is, in fact, still alive. He did, however, play a role in signing Eric Hosmer to an 8-year/$144 million contract last year and thus this series serves as a memorial, not for his corporeal being but for his good sense and commitment to sabermetrics.

At a Glance

Padres Mariners
Padres Mariners
Game 1 Tuesday, August 6 | 7:10 pm
RHP Dinelson Lamet LHP Wade LeBlanc
50% 50%
Game 2 Wednesday, August 7 | 3:40 pm
LHP Joey Lucchesi LHP Yusei Kikuchi
52% 48%

*Game odds courtesy of FiveThirtyEight (Explainer)

Team Overviews

Overview Padres Mariners Edge
Overview Padres Mariners Edge
Batting (wRC+) 99 (9th in NL) 104 (6th in AL) Mariners
Fielding (DRS) 9 (10th) -67 (14th) Padres
Starting Pitching (FIP-) 101 (8th) 116 (14th) Padres
Bullpen (FIP-) 93 (2nd) 112 (14th) Padres

The Padres had reason to think a Wild Card berth was in their reach this year, with one of the stronger young groups of position players in the league at the season’s outset. Their pitching was a question mark, with a multitude of young players expected to fill innings for the first time in their big league careers. That pitching staff has held back what is an otherwise deep position player group, and despite the utter brilliance of closer Kirby Yates the Padres are probably looking at 2020 to break through. That makes for a pair of teams playing out the stretch a bit, looking to get young guys experience while staying healthy.

Baltimore Orioles v San Diego Padres Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images

For San Diego, the focus down the stretch is on the youngsters, lead by Rookie of the Year contender Fernando Tatis Jr. who has been the best newcomer on the scene this year, but may lose out to Peter Alonso due to an abbreviated season. Manny Machado got a lot of press for the massive contract he signed, which he’s responded to by being… a very good player, dang, that’s not spicy or inflammatory. Perhaps most impressive is Austin Hedges testing the limits of what superlative framing and defensive efforts can do for you when you are in no way, shape, or form a major league hitter. For the Padres to overcome the Dodgers they’ll need more from their top-tier farm system than they’ve gotten thus far, but there’s still plenty of cause for enthusiasm.

Padres Lineup

Player Position Bats PA BABIP wRC+ BsR
Player Position Bats PA BABIP wRC+ BsR
Fernando Tatis Jr. SS R 334 0.424 151 3.5
Manual Margot CF R 288 0.289 93 4.6
Manny Machado 3B R 467 0.298 122 -2.0
Eric Hosmer 1B L 469 0.325 104 -3.8
Hunter Renfroe RF R 372 0.242 114 -0.8
Wil Myers LF R 341 0.323 92 -0.9
Francisco Mejía C S 160 0.294 76 -1.0
Luis Urías 2B R 77 0.140 42 -1.7

While Machado has been an excellent addition, the same can’t be said for the three other veterans the Padres have brought on. Eric Hosmer was an eye-raising acquisition at the time, and his odd-year magic has not kicked in thanks to an extraordinary commitment to eschewing the launch angle revolution. Wil Myers has seemingly adopted those principles, yet his uptick in strikeouts and return to the outfield have made his season underwhelming. Ian Kinsler… well, let’s just say we should be seeing a lot more Luis Urias down the stretch. Still, the Padres have a bevy of powerful players, even after dealing Franmil Reyes. Hunter Renfroe and Francisco Mejia retain above-average exit velocities and, like the Rangers, could make things difficult for Seattle’s contact-oriented pitching staff.

Probable Pitchers

Atlanta Braves v San Diego Padres Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

Stuff+ Explainer

RHP Dinelson Lamet

23 29.1% 8.7% 16.0% 35.5% 5.09 4.17

Placed on the DL (back when it was the DL) in March of 2018, it took until Independence Day of 2019 for Dinelson Lamet to be activated off the IL in his recovery from Tommy John surgery. The freshly 27-year-old power righty has been every bit the strikeout artist he was during his rookie campaign of 2017, but a few extra dingers and some bad BABIP numbers have hurt him in his first five starts of the year. Still, Lamet has impressive velo for a starter despite what is functionally a two-pitch profile of fastball-slider. The bullpen is probably in his future with his long-standing command limitations and lack of third pitch, but so long as he’s healthy and striking guys out all day long he’ll probably keep getting rotation work.

LHP Joey Lucchesi

117 22.8% 7.8% 12.8% 47.6% 4.23 3.98
Pitch Type Frequency Velocity Spin Rate Stuff+ Whiff+ BIP+
Sinker 49.3% 90.9 2234 86 121 98
Cutter 12.7% 91.3 2251 132 93 84
Changeup 37.5% 79.5 2120 147 139 99

Last year, with the Mariners fighting for their dimming playoff hopes, Joey Lucchesi stifled Seattle over 6.2 IP with just one run, two walks, and nine strikeouts. He’d have a bit less success two weeks later in a rematch at Safeco, but still came away with two wins. While he’s not the near-ace he’s shown against Seattle, Lucchesi has been a pleasantly average starter for San Diego in 2019. A 4.23/3.98 ERA/FIP is healthily above-average even in the NL this year. His stuff is nothing to write home about, with a sinker that can miss bats despite its low velocity but mostly sets up his excellent changeup.

The Big Picture:

The AL West

AL West

Team W-L W% Games Behind Recent Form
Team W-L W% Games Behind Recent Form
Astros 73-40 0.646 -- L-W-W-W-W
Athletics 64-49 0.566 9.0 L-W-W-W-L
Rangers 58-54 0.518 14.5 W-W-W-W-W
Angels 56-58 0.491 17.5 L-L-L-L-L
Mariners 47-67 0.412 26.5 W-L-L-L-L

The AL Wild Card

AL Wild Card

Team W-L W% Games Behind Recent Form
Team W-L W% Games Behind Recent Form
Cleveland 66-46 0.589 +2.0 L-W-W-W-L
Rays 65-49 0.570 -- W-W-W-W-L
Athletics 64-49 0.566 0.5 L-W-W-W-L
Red Sox 60-55 0.522 5.5 L-L-L-L-W
Rangers 58-54 0.518 6.0 W-W-W-W-W

As though it were in any doubt, the Astros continue to creep away from the rest of the AL West. They’ll give Zack Greinke his first start as an Astro tonight as well at 5:10 PM PT, if you’re into that sort of thing. Oakland got out-dingered on ESPN by the Cubs last night but they continue to threaten the Wild Card race. They’re just a half game back of the Rays and two games behind the WC1 Cleveland holds. That puts them 5.0 full games ahead of the Red Sox, so it may be a three-horse race for the two Wild Card spots. Texas is just 5.5 back of the WC2 after a five-game winning streak, and they face Cleveland with a chance to narrow the gap again tonight. Things could not be going much worse for the Angels, whose pitching injuries are approaching apocalyptic proportions. They will hope for better luck than they had against Luis Castillo and the Reds last night.

2020 Draft Position

2020 Draft Order

Team W-L W% Games Behind Recent Form
Team W-L W% Games Behind Recent Form
Tigers 32-76 0.296 -- W-L-L-L-L
Orioles 38-74 0.339 4.0 L-L-W-W-L
Royals 40-74 0.351 5.0 L-L-L-L-L
Marlins 42-69 0.378 8.5 W-L-L-L-L
Blue Jays 46-69 0.400 10.5 W-W-L-L-W
Mariners 47-67 0.412 12.0 W-L-L-L-L
Pirates 48-64 0.429 14.0 L-W-L-L-L
White Sox 49-61 0.445 16.0 L-W-L-W-W
Padres 51-60 0.459 17.5 L-L-W-L-L
Rockies 52-60 0.464 18.0 L-L-W-L-W

Promising news in both directions for the wayward Mariners and their draft position. It’s difficult to imagine Seattle slipping below the Marlins, but the Blue Jays have experience a mild moost lately with their Sequel Squad putting the offense on their backs. The White Sox have also had some fight in them lately, giving the M’s some cushion in the top-8. They remain, as they have for some time, at the 6th pick spot with a little under two months to go.