In case you haven’t noticed, the Angels start times have been pushed back 2 minutes and now end in “7” instead of “5”. I guess this means you get an extra 2 minutes to get to the stadium, or grab some beer and snacks if you are watching at home.
Also - We’re #2!!! Yes, we are tied for second place with the Oakland A’s while the Mariners, who roll into town today, are coming off a rough series against Houston where they only won one game in their set of 4. The Mariners have yet to score more than 4 runs in a game this season
The last time these two teams met, the Mariners swept the Angels in 3 games last September. However - both teams went through a lot of changes this past off season.
Question: Are the Mariners actually any good this year after Dipoto made about 42 trades?
Jessie Chavez v. Yovani Gallardo
Friday, April 7th @ 7:07PM
Chavez gets to show his stuff for the home opener
Pitchers vs. Batters:
Jesse Chavez will be making his first non-spring start since the 2015 season. This spring he pitched to the tune of a 3.06 ERA but has a career ERA of 4.54 in big league games. Nelson Cruz has chewed up Chavez’s pitches over the years to a ridiculous 50% home run rate in 14 at bats.
Gallardo’s ERA went up 2 full points from 2015 to 2016. The last time he faced the Angels was July of 2016 when he got the win by allowed 2 ER through 5 IP. Spring wasn’t much better on him and he was beat by the Royals and Padres. He did finish strong with 6 scoreless innings in his last two spring starts.
Verdict: Neither pitcher is a huge standout so expect an offensive game to open this series. Runz!!
Ricky Nolasco v. Felix Hernandez
Saturday, April 8th @ 7:07PM
Angel killer alert (unless your name is Mike Trout)
Pitchers vs. Batters:
The list of Angels hitters batting a buck something in their career of Felix Hernandez includes Calhoun, Escobar, and Pujols. Marte, Revere, and Simmons are a combined 0 for 16 as well. Hernandez left the Mariner’s home opener after 5 innings due to groin tightness but he seems good to go for this start. He struck out 6 in that game and earned the loss despite giving up only 2 runs.
Nolasco had a pretty decent outing in his opening day start, allowing 3 runs over 5.2 innings. In 2016 he was 0-2 against the Mariners as an Angel, giving up 7 runs over 11 innings. Cano and Cruz have a combined 5 home runs in 21 ABs against Nolasco so that’s something to keep an eye on.
Verdict: Should be some dingers in this game and the edge goes the the Mariners with King Felix on the mound.
Matt Shoemaker v. Hisashi Iwakuma
Sunday, April 9th @ 12:37PM
Both pitchers have allowed 7 HRs to opposing team players
Pitchers vs. Batters
Matt Shoemaker got the short end of the stick again on Tuesday when he ended up with a no-decision after giving up only 2 runs in 5 innings. He was 1-2 against the Mariners last year and had a 5.40 ERA in 18.1 innings. The Mariners Kyle Seager is the dude who ended Shoey’s season early last year with that horrible line drive. Have they both put that past memory behind them enough for a “normal” matchup?
Hisashi Iwakuma, who is coming off a down year in 2016 had a solid 6 inning start on Tuesday in which he allowed just 2 runs (both homers). He had a 2-3 record against the Angels last year with a 3.12 ERA.
Verdict: Iwakuma has pitched really well against the Angels but the lineup has changed enough that this game could go either way.
Overall Verdict: I don’t think either team will sweep. One of these teams end sup with 2 wins and it could go either way.