Tonight, the Mariners break with the season’s trend and will have no career debuts, but a season debut for Justin Dunn will have to suffice. The first start of the season for the blonde-tufted Boston College product comes with a familiar backstop, as Joe Odom gets his second career start behind the dish, perhaps hoping to provide a comfort blanket for Dunn. The young righty has had a more mixed camp experience, showing his usual biting slider and working in the changeup at times, as well as a two-seam, but he’s been touched up as well, especially when he’s lost his command. He’ll have no lack of cause for jitters tonight, with the best player in baseball this year, the best player in baseball every year, the best position player free agent from this winter, and arguably the most fascinating player in the league at his best staring him down at the top of the Angels lineup. It’s not expected to be a full length start, however, as the Mariners intend to piggyback him with LHP Nick Margevicius. Both players have a bit of big league experience, but between the abbreviated build-up and their mixed results at the higher levels, the club seems to want to ease both players into more significant work.
Moreover, tonight’s game is a national broadcast, receiving the ESPN treatment for those of you outside of the Mariners home market. That can be nice, if you want to watch it and don’t have MLB.TV, but also may mean being subjected to contrived storylines imaginable from aloof and ill-informed broadcasters. Ah, fame!
For the M’s, this lineup features Shed Long Jr.’s first off day, giving Dee Gordon a start at second base against Angels ace Andrew Heaney. J.P. Crawford slides into the leadoff role, which is one he could claim longer term if he manages to maintain his exceptional on-base percentages. Dylan Moore and Tim Lopes will flank Kyle Lewis in the outfield, with Daniel Vogelbach sitting yet again in favor of José Marmolejos. Vogelbach pinch-hit last night but is supposedly still working on some things with the Mariners coaching staff, but every day is that much more of a missed opportunity.
Mariners-Angels lineups, 7:10 pm PT at Angel Stadium. pic.twitter.com/8dBibuVnu2— Greg Johns (@GregJohnsMLB) July 29, 2020
Game Time: 7:10pm PDT
TV: ROOT Sports, ESPN (out of market)
Radio: 710 ESPN