After helping themselves in the standings if not in the run differential column last night, the Mariners look to take the series against the Angels for the second time in a row. I don’t know about you, but I’m getting texts from my more casual Mariners fan friends wanting to talk about the team, so I’m hoping they can keep this wave of good vibes rolling.
Unfortunately, in order to do that, the Mariners will have to get through Alex Cobb tonight, arguably the Angels’ best starter—by FIP, at least. As Jake outlined in his series preview, Cobb has been pitching much better by FIP (2.60) than ERA (4.26), and last time he faced the Mariners he surrendered just two unearned runs over five innings. With the Angels due for a curb-stomping by the Athletics in the next series, it makes sense that Joe Maddon’s squad is desperate to take as many games as possible from the Mariners, leading to an off-week rotation shuffle that has the Mariners seeing the same pitchers who had success against them in the last series. Hopefully the Mariners batters learned their lessons after Cobb and Patrick Sandoval, tomorrow’s starter, stymied them—be patient, work counts, run up pitch counts, and get to that sweet, sweet Angels bullpen, already taxed after starter Andrew Heaney was lifted after just four innings last night. A righty on the mound also means we get to see more of Cal Raleigh batting left-handed, which I think is his better side for power; how about a Beef Boy Bomb for your first pro hit, Calboy?
Tonight’s game starts at 6:07 PT, because the Angels remain monsters with their start times, and is on ROOT Sports NW (TV) and 710 ESPN (radio) as usual; also, for those of you out of area, MLB TV remains free this weekend so you can see the game there even if you don’t have a subscription. As a reminder, MiLB TV is also free this weekend; tonight you can watch Julio Rodríguez in his final game for Double-A Arkansas before he joins Team Dominican Republic for the Olympics, assuming the game happens (it’s currently in a rain delay), as well as Modesto and Tacoma’s games (Everett is sadly not televised).