Oh great and powerful Oz! We have but one wish - to end our 6 game losing streak. Can you make that happen? We aren't heading all the way to the Emerald City for just coffee.
Top billed cast:
Mike Scioscia as the Tin Man
Albert Pujols as the Cowardly Lion
Arte Moreno as the Great and Powerful Oz
Jerry Dipoto as the Wicked Witch of the West
Billy Eppler as Glinda the Good Witch
C.J. Cron as the Scarecrow
Mike Trout as Dorothy
Mariner's fans as the Winged Monkeys
In this episode of "try not to get swept again", the Tin Man leads his crew into the den of the first place Seattle Mariners. Can he find is heart? Will Dorothy make it home (more than once)? Can the Lion find his courage and and admit he's not good anymore? Stay tuned - it will be fun weekend! And by fun, I mean, just slightly better than getting a root canal.
The Wicked Witch of the West made a flurry of mostly small changes to his team over the off season, and here they are in first place. I think the fact they are in first, speaks more to the weakness of the West than of how good the Mariners really are. However, the Mariner's off-season Korean pickup has hit 5HR with a .321 OBP and the free agent bullpen dude they signed has 11 saves and a 0.98 ERA. I'm pretty sure Dipoto will be laughing on the inside all weekend long, since he can see the aftermath of the dysfunctional organization he left behind in 2015.
The Mariners' batting stats are really not drastically different from the Angels, until it come to homeruns and runs scored, along with the dreaded GDP. Of course, the Angels closed the gap on some of these stats CONSIDERABLY with their surprise slugfest last night.
When it comes to pitching, the Mariners have the best staff in the American League right now and are leading all teams in ERA, BAA, and WHIP.
Biggest question (that we already know the answer to): What happens when the best pitching staff collides with the worst offense? Hint: It's probably gonna look like the Wicked Witch when Dorothy threw water on her.
Nick Tropeano vs. Nathan Karns
Friday, May 13, 2016 @ 7:10PM
Both pitchers sport an almost identical ERA and K rate.
Jhoulys Chacin vs. Hisashi Iwakuma
Saturday, May 14, 2016 @ 6:10PM
It's the debut of new Angels pitching savior, Jhoulys Chacin!
Hector Santiago vs. Felix Hernandez
Sunday, May 15, 2016 @ 1:10PM
Hector Santiago vs. Felix Hernandez
Mike Trout owns the would-be king and Santiago owns the Mariners
This game brings a pitching rematch from April 23rd in Anaheim, where Santiago bested Hernandez in a 4-2 victory. Santiago has faced Hernandez twice in the past year and the Angels have won both games. Given Hernandez's stats over the past 2 years agains the Angels, it's a bit of a surprise that he's only 3-2 in 7 games. Some of that damage has come from home runs, and some from Mike Trout (mostly both).
Mike Trout loves going yard off Hernandez. Among active players, Mike Trout has more home runs off him than anyone over the past 5 years. Trout also boasts a .400 OBP, but a very high 31% strikeout rate. Hernandez challengesTrout and does get the Ks, but Trout also makes him pay. Always a fun matchup to watch.
VERDICT: Trout will hit another homerun and he will strike out at least once. Santiago will bounce back and continue to dominate the Mariners. Angels pull off a series win if they take game 1.
OVERALL VERDICT: We need a series win here, or for the love of all things holy - at least one win. The Angels face the Dodgers next week, and will have a challenge pulling a win against Maeda or Kershaw.