Wednesday, May 29, 2024
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MLB Preview: Seattle Mariners (21-20) at Boston Red Sox (22-20)


TONIGHT’S TILT…the Mariners continue an 11-day, 9-game road trip (3-1) with the 2nd of 3 games against the Boston Red Sox (1-0)…Seattle opened the trip with a 3-game series win in Detroit (2-1) and will also visit the Atlanta Braves (3 G, May 19-21) before heading home to Seattle…tonight’s game will be televised live on ROOT SPORTS with Aaron Goldsmith and Mariners Hall of Famer Dan Wilson on the call and broadcast live on Seattle Sports (710 AM) and with Rick Rizzs and Dave Sims.

ODDS AND ENDS…the Mariners won yesterday’s series opener against the Boston Red Sox by a score of 10-1, tied for Seattle’s largest margin of victory this season (also: 4/4 vs. LAA, 11-2)…the Mariners are 10-4 over their last 14 games dating back to April 30, best record in the American League during that span…Seattle is 10-12 at T-Mobile Park and 11-8 on the road this season…the Mariners are 7-1 over their last 8 road games (4/30-c).

  • Clutch – J.P. Crawford leads the Mariners with a .357 (10×28) batting average with runners in scoring position, ranking ahead of Eugenio Suárez (.351/13×37) and Jarred Kelenic (.296/8×27).
  • Run Differential – The Mariners hold a +33 run differential this season, ranking 6th-best in the Majors… based on their run differential, Seattle holds a Pythagorean Expected Win-Loss record of 24-17.
  • Woo! – Mariners minor leaguer Bryan Woo was named Texas League Pitcher of the Week for May 8-14…Woo made 1 start during the week, carrying a perfect game into the 7th inning…he tossed a career-high 7.0 scoreless innings, while allowing only 2 hits with 7 strikeouts…over 6 starts this season, Woo is 1-1 with a 1.93 ERA (6 ER, 28.0 IP) with 6 walks, 39 strikeouts and a .146 opp. average.

SCORING IN BUNCHES…the Mariners scored 10 runs last night to record their 3rd game this season with a double-digit run total (also: 4/4 vs. LAA, 11-2 and 4/30 at TOR, 10-8)…in each of Seattle’s 3 games with 10+ runs this season, the offense has scored multiple runs in 3 separate innings…last night the Mariners plated 2 runs in the 5th inning, 3 runs in the 6th inning and 4 runs in the 8th inning…Seattle’s 15 hits in last night’s game were their most in a game this season, surpassing 13 hits on April 4 vs. LAA.

ROLLING…dating back to April 30, the Mariners are 10-4 (.714), best record in the American League and tied for 2nd-best winning percentage in the Majors during that span (also: Colorado), trailing only the Dodgers (12-2, .857)…since April 30, Seattle has outscored opponents 74-40, averaging 5.29 runs/game on offense and limiting opponents to 2.86 runs/game…the Mariners have scored 4+ runs in 9 of 14 games during that stretch (4/30-c), including 8 games scoring 5+ runs…overall this season, the Mariners are 16-7 when scoring 4+ runs and 5-13 when scoring 3-runs-or-less.

BIG DUMPER…Cal Raleigh went 3-for-5 with 3 runs scored, 2 home runs and 4 RBI in last night’s game, picking up his 2nd multi-home run game of the season and becoming the 6th player in club history to homer from both sides of the plate in the same game (last: Carlos Santana, Sept. 19, 2022)…overall this season, Cal ranks tied for 3rd among catchers with 7 home runs (also: Shane Langeliers-OAK), trailing only Sean Murphy-ATL (9 HR) and Salvador Perez-KC (9 HR)…dating back to the beginning of the 2022 season, Cal leads all catchers with 34 home runs and ranks 2nd among American League catchers with 5.2 fWAR, trailing only Adley Rutschman-BAL (6.6 fWAR).

BARELY BARRELING THE BALL…the Mariners pitching staff did not allow a Barrel in last night’s game and has allowed only 55 Barrels this season, fewest in the Majors ahead of Tampa Bay (63) and Philadelphia (72)…Statcast defines a “Barrel” as a batted ball with optimal exit velocity and launch angle, leading to a minimum .500 expected batting average and 1.500 expected slugging percentage…Seattle pitchers have allowed more than 2 Barrels in only 5 games this season, while allowing 1 Barrel-or-less in 25 games and completing 11 games without surrendering a single Barrel.

TY EXTENDS HITTING STREAK TO TWELVE…Ty France went 2-for-5 with 1 run scored, 2 doubles and 1 RBI in last night’s game, extending his hitting streak to 12 games (5/3-c)…he is batting .360 (18×50) with 7 runs, 3 doubles, 1 home run, 5 RBI and 2 walks during the streak, getting on base at a .407 clip and slugging .480 with an .887 OPS since May 3…the Mariners first baseman has 5 multi-hit games in that span…France and Nathaniel Lowe-TEX are the only players with multiple 10+ game hitting streaks this season…France also hit safely in 11 consecutive games from April 2-14…the current 12-game streak by France is tied for 2nd-longest active streak in the Majors, trailing only an active 13-game streak by Jonah Heim-TEX (4/30-c).

BEST PITCHING IN THE MAJORS…the Mariners have the best pitching staff in the Major Leagues by fWAR (8.9), ranking ahead of 2nd-place Minnesota (6.7) by a wide margin…Seattle pitchers also lead the Majors in ERA (3.24), Fielding Independent Pitching (3.20), soft-contact percentage (19.5), swing percentage (49.2), zone percentage (44.4), fewest barrels (55) and barrel rate (5.3%)…they rank T1st in WHIP (1.15) with Minnesota (1.15)…Mariners starting pitchers lead the Majors in fWAR (6.2) ahead of Minnesota (5.6)…Mariners relief pitchers rank 2nd in the Majors in fWAR (2.7) narrowly trailing Baltimore (2.9)…during the month of May, the Mariners pitching staff holds a 2.46 ERA, ranking 2nd in the Majors behind only San Diego (2.41).

TEO IS SHOW…Teoscar Hernández went 2-for-4 with 1 run and 1 walk in last night’s game, and has now reached base safely in 11 of his last 12 games (5/3-c), including 10 games with at least 1 hit during that span…since May 3, Teo is batting .319 (15×47) with 6 runs scored, 2 doubles, 1 home run, 4 RBI, 4 walks and 1 stolen base, while reaching base at a .365 clip and slugging .426 with a .791 OPS in 12 games… during the 12-game stretch, he has reached base multiple times in 6 games, including 4 multi-hit games.

J.K. ROLLING…Jarred Kelenic scored a season-high 3 runs in last night’s game, going 2-for-5 with 1 RBI and 1 stolen base in the contest…overall this season, he is batting .291 (41×141) with 19 runs, 11 doubles, 1 triple, 8 home runs, 21 RBI, 6 stolen bases and 10 walks, getting on base at a .340 clip, slugging .553 with a .893 OPS…the 23-year-old outfielder ranks 5th among American League outfielders with a 148 wRC+, trailing only Brent Rooker-OAK (186), Randy Arozarena-TB (171), Yordan Alvarez-HOU (165) and Aaron Judge-NYY (157).

AS YOU KNOW…the Mariners have the best starting rotation in MLB according to FanGraphs WAR, having accumulated 6.2 fWAR this season, ahead of Minnesota (5.6) but…DID YOU KNOW?…the Mariners have 3 of the top 12 pitchers in the Majors according to FanGraphs WAR?…George Kirby leads the Mariners and ranks T5th in the Majors with 1.8 fWAR, narrowly ahead of Luis Castillo (T8th, 1.6 fWAR) and Logan Gilbert (T11th, 1.5 fWAR)…Minnesota is the only other team with multiple pitchers in the top 12: Sonny Gray (4th, 1.9 fWAR) and Joe Ryan (T9th, 1.6 fWAR)…Mariners rookie Bryce Miller has already reached 1.0 fWAR in 3 starts this season, tied for 26th in the Majors (18th in AL).

2023 MLB Breakdown:
Overall 2-1 2.70 8/8 46.2 37 14 14 9 52 3
Home 2-1 2.52 6/6 35.2 25 10 10 5 43 2
Road 0-0 3.27 2/2 11.0 12 4 4 4 9 1
vs. BOS 0-0 0.00 0/0 0.0 0 0 0 0 0 0


  • The 30-year-old right-hander is set to make his 9th start of the season, 1st against the Red Sox…he is also making his 157th Major League start and 2nd career start against Boston.
  • Has been named an All-Star in 2019 and 2022.
  • Originally signed as an international free agent by the San Francisco Giants on 12/23/11.
  • Made MLB debut on 6/23/17 vs. Washington (w/ Cincinnati)
  • Signed a 5-year contract extension with the Seattle Mariners on Sept. 24, 2022 after being acquired in a trade with Cincinnati on July 30, 2022.

LAST TIME OUT…L#1 in last start on 5/10 vs. Texas…allowed 8 hits, 3 runs, and 1 home run in 5.0 innings pitched while striking out 9.

KEEPING THE BASES CLEAN…has only allowed 47 runners to reach base safely through 8 starts this season which is tied for 5th fewest in the Major Leagues, he also ranks among American League leaders in opponents average (11th, .213/37×174) and WHIP (5th, 0.986).

STILL ROLLING…has only allowed 9 walks while striking out 52 batters in 8 starts this season…his 9 walks are tied for the 7th fewest in the American League with teammate Logan Gilbert and JP Sears-OAK…his 52 strikeouts on the season ranks 16th in the American League…Castillo’s 5.78 strikeout-to-walk ratio ranks 6th in the American League behind Logan Gilbert (6.00).

OFF TO A GOOD START…his 111 strikeouts through his first 16 Mariners starts are the most in Mariners history through a pitchers first 16 starts, ranking ahead of Robbie Ray’s 105 and Félix Hernández’s 103 strikeouts through their first 16 Mariners starts.

MAKING THEM EARN IT…has only allowed 14 earned runs through 8 starts this season which is tied 11th in the Major Leagues…his 2.70 ERA (14 ER, 46.2 IP) ranks 9th in the American League behind Drew Rasmussen-TBR (2.62).

DOMINATE THE ZONE…had 38 strikeouts in 6 starts in March/April which is the second most strikeouts to start a season in his career…his career-high in strikeouts for March/April is 50 which he achieved in 7 games to start the 2019 season.

KEEPING THEM IN THE YARD…gave up his first home run of the season on 4/28, breaking a 5-game span of allowing no home runs…this was his longest span of games to start a season without giving up a home run in his career.

NEARLY PERFECT…carried a perfect game into the 7th inning in his start against Colorado on 4/16…earned his second win of the season after pitching 7.0 scoreless innings and allowing only 2 hits while striking out a season-high 9 batters…the last pitcher to throw a perfect game in the Majors was Félix Hernández on 8/15/12.

HOT START…did not allow a run in either of his first 2 starts to begin the season, becoming just the third Mariners pitcher to do that, joining Félix Hernández (2007) and James Paxton (2017).

PREVIOUSLY ON OPENING DAY…became just the 3rd Mariners starter to hold the opponent scoreless in an Opening Day start, joining Félix Hernández (2007, 2013 & 2018) and Randy Johnson (1995)…he is the first player in franchise history to toss 6.0+ scoreless innings while allowing 1-or-fewer hits on Opening Day…his game score of 76 was the highest of any Opening Day starter this season.

FOR OPENERS…made his 3rd career Opening Day start on 4/30 vs. CLE and his first with the Mariners, becoming the 18th different pitcher to start on Opening Day in franchise history.

THE STONE WAS ROLLING…began his start on 9/7/22 vs. Chicago-AL by striking out the first 7 batters he faced, setting a franchise record for most strikeouts to begin a start, passing Michael Pineda (5 on 7/9/11 at LAA)…the 7 strikeouts also tied the AL record for most strikeouts to begin a game (done 4x, last: Blake Snell-TB, 6/3/18 vs. SEA).

A PERFORMANCE FOR THE AGES…ND on 8/9/22 against New York-AL in his home debut after being acquired by the Mariners on 7/30/22…tossed 8.0
scoreless innings allowing just 3 hits and 2 walks while striking out 7 on 110 pitches, 72 for strikes…marked the 5th time in his career he has thrown 8.0+ innings, and just the 2nd time he has tossed 8.0+ scoreless innings (also: 9/21/18 at MIA)…induced 20 swings-and-misses, the third most he has induced in a game this season.

MAIDEN VOYAGE…struck out 8 in his first start with the Mariners on 8/3/22 at New York-AL…8 strikeouts are tied for the 3rd-most in a Mariners debut (also: Cliff Lee), trailing Andy Benes and Enrique Romo who struck out 9…Benes and Castillo both made their Mariners debuts on Aug. 3, after being acquired by the Mariners at the trade deadline.

NOW THAT’S QUALITY…recorded 8-consecutive quality starts from 6/28-8/15/22, a career-best streak (previous: 5, 2x (8/14-9/5/21 and 6/15-7/6/21 w/CIN)…tossed a quality start in each of his first 3 starts with Seattle (8/3-8/15/22).

LA PIEDRA…tossed 7.0 innings and allowed 1 run in 3-consecutive starts from 7/3-7/14/22, striking out 22 batters over the 3 starts…3-consecutive starts of 7.0+ innings while allowing no more than 1 run was tied for the longest streak in the Majors with 7 other pitchers…marked the 1st time in his career he has tossed 7.0+ innings in 3-consecutive starts.

SEASON-HIGH PUNCHIES…struck out a season-high 11 batters on 6/28/22 at Chicago-NL over 6.0 scoreless innings (with CIN)…marked the 2nd-time he struck out 10+ in 2022, and the 14th time in his career…induced 23 swings-and-misses according to Baseball Savant, tied for the 6th-most he has induced in a game in his career (most: 26, 2x 7/15/19 and 8/5/19).

COMPLETELY DOMINANT…threw his first career complete game on 9/11/20 at St. Louis with the Reds…allowed just 1 run on 2 hits and 3 walks with 6 strikeouts over 9.0 innings, earning the win for his efforts.

RARE AIR…from 3/28-4/9/19, Castillo became the 3rd pitcher in MLB history to record 3+ consecutive starts with at least 8 strikeouts and no more than 2 hits allowed, joining Rube Marquard for the 1911 New York Giants and Randy Johnson for the 1997 Mariners.


STATE OF THE SOX: The Red Sox have lost 4 consecutive games, tying their season-long losing streak (also 4/10-13). The Sox have lost 6 of their last 7 games following a season-long 8-game winning streak from 4/29-5/6. The Sox are 1.5 games out of the AL’s 3rd Wild Card spot and 5th in the AL East…Their record (22-20, .524) would rank no lower than 3rd in any other division.

Rk. Team W-L Pct. GB

  1. Baltimore 26-15 .634 +3.0
  2. Toronto 24-17 .585 +1.0
  3. New York-AL 24-19 .558 –
  • Houston 22-19 .537 -1.5
  • Boston 22-20 .524 -1.5

SERIES BUSINESS: With a loss today or tomorrow, the Red Sox would be winless in their last 3 series following a 3-series winning streak (2-1 vs. CLE, 4-0 vs. TOR, 2-1 at PHI, 1-1 at ATL, 0-3 vs. STL, 0-1 vs. SEA). They have been swept in 3 of their 4 series losses (4/3-5 vs. PIT, 4/10-13 at TB, and 5/12-14 vs. STL).

UPS AND DOWNS: The Red Sox are 1-6 in their last 7 games, beginning 5/7…The went 16-6 in their previous 22 games, from 4/14-5/6, the most wins in MLB over that span. The Sox have been held to 3 runs or fewer in 5 of their last 7 games (2.9 runs/game), after scoring 4 or more runs in 20 of their previous 22 games (6.2 runs/game). BOS has hit .235 with a .671 OPS since 5/7 after leading MLB with a .295 AVG and .840 OPS from 4/14-5/6.

SLUGGING SOX: The Red Sox lead MLB in doubles (94) and rank in the AL’s top 3 in hits (2nd, 384), XBH (2nd, 147), AVG (2nd, .267), OBP (2nd, .338), SLG (2nd, .442), OPS (2nd, .780), and runs (3rd, 227). The Red Sox have scored 5+ runs in 24 games, trailing only TB (26) for most in MLB. The Sox have recorded 10+ hits in 18 games, tied for 5th most in MLB (TB-21, TEX-21, STL-20, LAA-19).

Stat AL Rank
227 R 3rd
384 H 2nd
94 doubles 1st in MLB
147 XBH 2nd
20.4 SO% 2nd
Stat AL Rank
.267 AVG 2nd
.338 OBP 2nd
.442 SLG 2nd
.780 OPS 2nd
111 wRC+ 3rd

ANGELS IN THE OUTFIELD: The Red Sox’ outfielders lead MLB in AVG (.302), OBP (.373), SLG (.503), OPS (.876), hits (149), doubles (44), XBH (63), and runs (89). They rank 2nd in RBI (85), 1 behind TB.

TEAM EFFORT: The Red Sox have an MLB-leading 15 players with at least 5 RBI, including 11 with 10+ RBI. From the 7-9 spots in the lineup, the Sox rank 2nd in MLB in hits (118), and 3rd in RBI (66) and XBH (41).

YOUTH MOVEMENT: Six position players on the Red Sox’ active roster are 27 or younger; they have combined to hit 29 of the team’s 51 HR (Devers-11, Casas-5, Verdugo-5, Wong-4, Duran-2, Valdez-2). Position players age 27 or younger have posted 4.5 fWAR for the Red Sox, 2nd most of any team (TB-6.8).

DON’T START WITH US: Starting pitchers have completed at least 6.0 innings in just 8 starts against the Red Sox this season, fewest of any team in MLB…They have done so in 4 of the Sox’ last 7 games, compared to 4 of their first 35. Starters have lasted fewer than 4.0 innings in 12 starts vs. BOS this season…LAA and LAD are the only other teams with more than 7 such starts against them (8 each). Starting pitchers are 14-13 with a 5.69 ERA vs. BOS.

SOX & M’s: The Red Sox have won 8 of their last 10 games against the Mariners, beginning 9/14/21. They went 6-1 vs. SEA in 2022, including a 4-game sweep at Fenway Park from 5/19-22/22. Since the start of 2022, the Red Sox are 28-10 against AL West opponents (3-2 this season).

HOME COOKING: The Red Sox are 13-11 at Fenway Park, including 11-7 in their last 18 games at the venue. The Sox are 5-2-0 in home series, winning 4 of their last 5 (3-1 vs. LAA, 2-1 vs. MIN, 2-1 vs. CLE, 4-0 vs. TOR, 1-2 vs. STL). The Red Sox have not homered in their last 3 games, after hitting 13 HR in their previous 6 home games.

Stat MLB Rank
13 wins T-6th
5.6 R/game 5th
10.1 H/game 1st
3.8 XBH/game 3rd
Stat MLB Rank
.290 AVG 1st
.356 OBP 1st
.475 SLG 4th
.827 OPS 2nd

START ME UP: Red Sox starting pitchers have tossed at least 5.0 innings in 18 of their last 19 games. Tanner Houck did not allow a baserunner through 3.2 IP last night, the longest stretch to begin a game by a Red Sox pitcher this season. Sox starters recorded 9+ strikeouts in back-to-back games on Friday and Saturday (James Paxton and Chris Sale), their 1st time doing so since 6/25-26/2019 (David Price and Chris Sale).

COLD STRETCH: The Red Sox have been held to 1 run in back-to-back games for the 2nd time this season (also 4/4-5). The last time they were held to 1 or 0 runs in 3 consecutive games was from 7/17-20/2015.

POWER OUTAGE: The Red Sox have gone a season-high 3 consecutive games without hitting a HR. The last time the Sox went 4 consecutive games without a HR was from 9/14-18/22.

SOX STRIKEOUTS: Red Sox’ batters have struck out 329 times, tied for 2nd fewest in the AL and 5th fewest in MLB… They rank 2nd in the AL and 5th in MLB in SO % (20.4%). The Sox struck out 10+ times in each of their 6 games vs. TB and ATL (11.2 SO/game) but have done so just 5 times in their other 36 games (7.3 SO/game).

SOX SWINGS: The Red Sox have swung and missed at just 0.43 pitches per plate appearance, lowest in the AL and 4th-lowest in MLB (WSH-0.38, ARI-0.39, NYM-0.40). The Sox’ 23.7% whiff rate (684 swings and misses) is 2nd-lowest in the AL and 5th-lowest in MLB. The Sox have had 6,314 pitches thrown to them this season, 2nd most in the AL and 6th most in MLB.

SOX SPLITS: The Red Sox rank 2nd in MLB vs. RHP in AVG (.262) and 3rd in in SLG (.459) and OPS (.795). Against LHP, the Sox rank 2nd in the AL in hits (125), XBH (45), and walks (51). Right-handed starting pitchers have a 5.56 ERA vs. BOS; left-handed starters have a 5.97 ERA.

RUNNIN’ RED SOX: The Red Sox rank 2nd in MLB in SB% (86.7%, 26-for-30), trailing only CWS (91.7%, 22-for-24). The Sox ranked 22nd in SB% in 2022 (72.2%, 52-for-72).

CLOSE SHAVES: 27 of the Sox’ 42 games have been decided by 3 runs or fewer (15-12)…The only teams with more games decided by 3 runs or fewer are CLE (32), LAA (30), and SEA (29).

2023 2-3 6.23 7 7 34.2 24 8 15 36 1.50 .268
CAREER 42-53 5.07 165 143 775.2 437 132 306 820 1.40 .260

Allowed 7 runs over 4.0 IP on Tuesday at ATL (8 H, 3 BB, 2 SO). In his only career start vs. SEA (4/4/21), allowed 2 runs over 6.0 IP (4 SO). Has tossed 5.0+ innings in 5 of his 7 starts this season. Has issued 3 or fewer walks in each of his 7 starts this season. Is 12-5 with a 4.10 ERA (55 ER/120.2 IP) in 22 career starts during the month of May. Is 1 of only 12 pitchers to make at least 70 starts since the beginning of 2021. Owns a 4.74 ERA (216 ER/410.0 IP) in 84 career games (75 starts) in games following a team loss.

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