Series Preview- M’s vs. Tampa 5/4-5/6

So, fun season so far, right?  While we wait for the Mariners to score a run, we get to watch Tampa Bay, owners of baseball’s best record and possibly most exciting team.  Most people would be worried about facing the best team in baseball, but can it really get any worse than that series against Texas?  If we get blown out, we don’t have the pain of losing in extra innings on passed balls.  If we lose in extra innings on passed balls, at least it was to a good team.  If we win, hey, we won!  I see nothing but good things coming!

Who Would You Rather Have?

(Picks in bold. Line-ups from tonight’s game.)

C:  M’s Adam Moore  vs. Ray’s Dionar Navarro.  Navarro hasn’t been anything great the last year or so, but does it matter?

1B: M’s Kotchman vs. Ray’s Carlos Pena

2B: M’s Figgins vs. Ray’s Sean Rodriguez

3B: M’s Lopez vs. Ray’s Evan Longoria.  He’s pretty good, if you haven’t heard.

SS: M’s Jack Wilson vs. Ray’s Reid Brignac.  Brignac’s a top prospect who was the object of many Seattle blog-desires last year.  We got Jack Wilson instead.

LF:  M’s Bradley vs. Ray’s Carl Crawford

CF:  M’s Gutierrez vs. Ray’s Ben Zobrist

RF:  M’s Ichiro vs. Ray’s Gabe Kapler

DH:  M’s Griffey vs. Ray’s Pat Burrell.  Is it that hard to find a good DH?  Burrell wins easily over Griffey, but he’s not too scary anymore.

That’s 6-3 Rays.  They aren’t quite as scary a line-up as I anticipated.  Longoria, Pena, and Crawford would probably put the Mariners in the World Series, but overall they’re not the Yankees.  Minus those big bats, they’re in some ways what the Mariners hoped to be: a fast team who presses the issue, with some moderately talented younger guys and older guys who they’re hoping will contribute enough.   The only problem is that the Rays are getting production and the Mariners are getting anti-production.  And they have Longoria, Crawford and Pena, anyone of whom is a thousand times scarier than our non-Ichiro hitters.  Pena’s not even as scary anymore, and I’ll still stand by that statement.

Pitching Match-ups

Tuesday:  M’s Vargas vs. Ray’s James Shields

Wednesday:  M’s Cliff Lee! vs. Ray’s Matt Garza.  Can I have Garza too, though?

Thursday:  M’s Rowland-Smith vs. Ray’s Jeff Niemann.  Neither one of these guys are too exciting, but both have a tiny bit of potential. 

Closer:  M’s Aardsma vs. Ray’s Rafael Soriano.  Hey, Rafael Soriano!  I remember you.  Kind of similar pitchers.  Aardsma’s been a touch better so far, giving up more home runs but striking out about 3 more per 9 innings. 

That’s even on the pitching.  The first two could be pretty good match-ups.  We’ll see how Vargas does against a good offense, and whether the team can score any runs off two good pitchers and one mediocre pitcher.  It’s never too late to get started!

-Matthew

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Filed under M's Series Previews, Mariners

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