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Series Preview - Angels V. The Mariners (Dipoto Duel)

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Jerry Dipoto's retooled Mariners come to town to play the Angels, who were mostly built by Dipoto.

Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports

To be fair, Eppler put his hands in this current roster and Dipoto only re-tooled so much, what he was given in Seattle.  But in some ways it's a like a homecoming of sorts to the team that essentially kicked him to the curb (or rather made it so difficult he had to leave).  I'm sure there are not many on the current Mariner's payroll that want to win this series more than Dipoto, whether he would every admit it publicly or not.

It's difficult to say who the worst team in the AL West actually is right, however, the Angels, Mariner's, Astros, and A's are all pretty much in the running.  This matchup of would be cellar-dwellers will make for some fun baseball this weekend (I hope).

Former Halo backstop, Chris Iannetta started out strong for the Mariners and was batting around .300 with 2 HR after their first 9 games but is cooling off fast and is currently 0 for his last 11 with a .222 AVG on the season.

Biggest question:  Which version of Dipoto will win?

Dipoto v. Dipoto

Game 1
Nick Tropeano vs. Felix Hernandez
Friday, April 22, 2016 @ 7:05PM

Tropeano hopes to continue his good start to the season, but faces one of the toughest pitchers in the West.  Our offense is sure to back up NiTro right?   Too bad it's not opening day when Mike Trout is the true King.  Note that the sample size of Mariner's vs. Tropeano below is VERY small, so take it with a grain of salt.

Nick Tropeano v. Seattle Mariners (2014-2015)
AB H AVG BABIP K% HR
29 9 .310 .320 8.8 1
Felix Hernandez v. Anaheim Angels (2015)
G IP W/L HR SO BA ERA
6 40 3-1 1 43 .193 1.80
Players/Stats to watch:
Mike Trout v. Felix Hernandez (Career)
AB H RBI HR BA
65 23 13 4 .354
The bad news is that Calhoun, Cron, Escobar, Gentry, Giavotella, and Pujols are all batting .208 or less in their careers vs. Hernandez.  The good news is that Mike Trout pretty much owns him with back to back seasons of first at bat homeruns on opening day, and one of the highest career averages off Hernandez in all of MLB.  Carlos Perez is 3 for 6 off Hernandez and Cliff Pennington has a very respectable .346 with 26 at bats.  Let's hope he gets the start over Giavotella on Friday if Mike Scioscia looks at the analysis at all.
NiTro got the win last time he faced the Mariners in September, 2015, and guess who he was facing?  None other than Felix Hernandez.  So Friday's series opener will  be a re-match of that game which the Angels won 4-3 and Mike Trout homered.
VERDICT: Unless Mike Trout can get to Hernandez, this is going to be a rough game.  NiTro has a good shot at the win if he can get some run support.  I don't expect a lot of runs in this game (sounding like a broken record)

Game 2
Hector Santiago vs. Hisashi Iwakuma
Saturday, April 23, 2016 @ 6:05PM

Santiago looks to stay hot against a dude that failed his physical and almost ended up on the Dodgers.  Iwakuma is 0-2 to start the season witha .301 BAA.

Hector Santiago v. Seattle Mariners (2015)
G IP R HR SO BA ERA
2 14 2 0 13 .216 1.29

Hisashi Iwakuma v. Anaheim Angels (2015)
G IP R HR SO BA ERA
4 27.1 9 3 19 .242 2.63
Players/Stats to watch:
NONE.  The few starts that are significant enough are not pretty ones - like Pujols hitting .154 in 39 at bats and Trout batting .222 in 36 at bats.  Johnny G has a .429 average but that sample size is only 7 at bats.  Not much to speak up in the vs. Santiago side either, but he has done well at shutting down Seager, Cano, and Cruz.
Hoping Santiago can bring win #2 in here and send Iwakuma to an 0-3 start.  I'm also glad to see that MLB.com read my article since they noted Santiago's speed increased in the game preview.
VERDICT: I hate to curse things but Santiago SHOULD get the win on this one.  Anything can happen of course, but the odds ARE in his favor.

Game 3

Matt Shoemaker vs. Wade Miley
Sunday, April 24, 2016 @ 12:35PM

Miley is off to a horrible start (much like our offense), while Shoemaker has been unpredictable, but it coming off a strong couple of starts.

Matt Shoemaker v. Seattle Mariners (2015)
G IP R HR SO BA ERA
4 20.1 9 6 18 .237 3.98
Wade Miley v. Anaheim Angels (2015)
G IP R HR SO BA ERA
2 15 1 0 8 .102 0.60
Players/Stats to watch:
Seth Smith v. Matt Shoemaker (2015)
AB H SO HR BA
8 3 2 2 .375
Leonys Martin v. Matt Shoemaker (2014-2015)
AB H SO HR BA
13 6 1 0 .462

The Mariners loved hitting homeruns off Shoemaker last year and 3 of those came in one game where they won 3-2.  Seth Smith, Nelson Cruz, and Logan Morrison took him deep in that game.  Thankfully at least Morrison has moved on to Tampa Bay.  Smith and Martin have done well off Shoemaker the past few seasons, but he's pitched well to Seager (.143) and Cano (.231).

Miley hasn't been around much, so there isn't much to speak of with our current roster vs. him and he shut us down pretty well last season, so there are a lot of averages with a 0 or 1 as the first number.

VERDICT: Considering Shoemaker has been on lately and Miley has a 8.04 ERA, I don't see how the Angels can lose this one.  Or wait - I know how.  BUT - they shouldn't.