Despite my outward pessimism about the homestand as a whole as being a chance for the Mariners and their poor run differential to get exposed, I thought the Mariners might, at best, split the series against Oakland; I clearly underestimated Lady Chaos and her Grand Ball, which was foolish of me. But as enjoyable as it was seeing the Mariners seize control of the means of luck dragons and turn them back on the A’s, it’s hard to see that style of play succeeding agains the fearsome Astros and their MLB-leading wRC+ offense.
Rookie Darren McCaughan, who probably deserves the moniker “Sunshine” much more than Mike Clevinger thanks to his shock of white-blonde hair and constant grin, gets the tall task of trying to hold Altuve, Correa, and the rest of the Astros’ Monstars down, while the Mariners’ Nerdlucks contend with ROY candidate Luis García. It doesn’t feel great.
The good news: Jarred Kelenic will get to see not one, not two, but three right-handed starters this series, giving him a little break against the interminable slate of lefties he’s been facing. Even better, the Astros only have three lefties on their pitching staff total: starter Framber Valdez, who they miss this series, plus two in the bullpen. One is Brooks Raley, who admittedly has been much better than his bad-luck ERA of almost 6 would suggest, and the other is Blake Taylor, who has been worse than his ERA would suggest and can get wild at times.
Tonight’s game starts at 7:10 PT and can be found wherever you get your podcasts, on 710 ESPN on the radio and on ROOT Sports NW on TV. If you’re out of area, tonight’s game is MLB TV’s free game of the day.