After taking the series opener on Thursday night, the Seattle Mariners will continue their series with the Los Angeles Angels on Friday. At home, the Angels are slight -112 favorites to win Friday’s game.
A week ago, the Mariners were the best team in baseball. However, a six-game losing streak changed that, as Seattle was swept in back-to-back series by both the Astros and Indians. A win over the Angels on Thursday snapped that losing streak and now brought the Mariners back into a tie with Tampa Bay for the most wins in baseball.
Meanwhile, it’s been a struggle for the Angels early in the season. They have fallen to last place in the AL West and are the only team in the division with a losing record. After Thursday’s 11-10 loss to Seattle, the Halos have lost four in a row and five of their last six games, negating a six-game losing streak earlier this month.
Short and Sweet
Felix Pena will get the start for the Angels on Friday. He’s been solid early in the season while the Angels deal with a number of injuries to their pitching staff. The caveat is that all three of his starts have been brief.
Pena has pitched just 12.1 innings over his three starts, never going longer than 4.2 innings. That will put a fair amount of pressure on the Los Angeles bullpen, even if Pena continues to pitch well and can hand over a lead to protect.
Aside from trying to make it past the 5th inning, Pena’s goal on Friday is to keep an ice-cold Seattle lineup off track. Prior to putting up 11 runs in Thursday’s game, the Mariners had scored just nine runs total in their previous five games.
That performance notwithstanding, nobody on Seattle’s roster outside of Mitch Haniger has looked comfortable at the plate over the last week.
The Mariners will give the ball to lefty Marco Gonzales on Friday night. Gonzales has been Seattle’s de facto ace early in the season. He’s 4-0 with a 3.19 ERA through his first five starts of the season, including a game in Japan in March. His best performance of the season came earlier this month when he allowed just one run on four hits over 8.1 innings against the Angels.
Gonzales also has strong numbers in his career against the Angels. The two exceptions, not surprisingly, are Mike Trout and Andrelton Simmons. Trout is 9 for 20 with an OPS of 1.272 against Gonzales, while Simmons is 9 for 22. The silver lining is that Trout hasn’t been clicking on all cylinders since missing time with a minor groin injury. If Gonzales can keep Trout and Simmons contained, he’ll have a good chance to keep the Angels under wraps.
Will the Real Mariners Stand Up?
Are the Mariners the team that just lost six games in a row or put up 11 runs on Thursday? Seattle is more than capable of getting back on track offensively after that performance, especially with Gonzales likely to have a quality start. Bet on the Mariners as underdogs to beat the Angels Friday night.