We all might still be buzzing after a thrilling season series win against the Yankees, but for the Mariners, today is a day of travel and rest. Our favorite baseball men will be back in action tomorrow against the Rangers, so today is the perfect time to follow the other teams in the Wild Card chase. The Rays, Blue Jays, and Twins are also idle, but there are still several matchups to keep an eye on today.
Guardians at Tigers, 10:10am PDT
Good morning! Here’s some baseball! The Guardians find themselves in first place in the AL Central after their victory yesterday and a Twins loss to the Dodgers, and are guaranteed to stay there for at least another day with Minnesota off. They’ll hand the ball to Zach Plesac, who will look to right the ship after getting off to a pretty lousy start of the second half. Ten walks across three starts where he didn’t make it past five innings in any of them? Yikes. Rookie right-hander Garrett Hill will take the mound for Detroit. Through six starts since being calling up in early July, though, he hasn’t had a scintillating first year in the bigs, with a K/BB of just 1.21 and a FIP in the mid-fives. This iteration of breakfast baseball could wind up a slugfest, or we could find ourselves in a surprising pitcher’s duel. Anything is possible! Go Tigers… but for more wild card chaos go Guardians.
White Sox at Royals, 11:10am PDT
Thiiiiis one doesn’t look so great on paper for Mariners fans. Dylan Cease is up for the South Siders, their unquestioned ace who is having a brilliant season. Although he leads the league in walks allowed, his blistering strikeout numbers and ability to go deep into games has more than offset that - in fact, his walk rate is a still-high-but-not-that-high 10.4%. Old man Zack Greinke will continue his solid, if unspectacular homecoming with Kansas City, and he’s been Cease’s polar opposite - both his strikeout and walk rates are less than half of his dozen-years younger counterpart. KC isn’t going anywhere and Cease is a buzzsaw, but hey, maybe the chance to play some early spoiler will motivate them against a division rival. Go Royals.
Orioles at Red Sox, 4:10pm PDT
Birdland was supposed to finish off their series with the Blue Jays yesterday, but a storm in Baltimore had other plans, blessing the Mariners with a half a game up on both teams. Instead, the O’s kick off a four-game set with the Red Sox at Fenway. Dean Kremer will be starting for them, coming off of a sterling outing of 6.1 scoreless innings against the Pirates last Friday. Boston will be sending young right-hander Josh Winckowski to the mound. Winckowski’s first ten starts in the Majors have been pretty mid, with a FIP just north of five and uninspiring K/BB numbers, but he’s mostly been a solid bet to go five innings, and interestingly enough, has factored into the decision in each of his outings at 5-5. It’s been nice seeing the Sawx fade further and further behind in the race, but with the Orioles continuing to breathe down Seattle’s neck, it would be in Marinerland’s best interest to get a little more separation between the two clubs. Go... sigh... Red Sox.