When and where: May 24, 2019, Oakland Coliseum, Oakland, CA, 10:00 PM ET
After being swept in a three-game meeting with the Texas Rangers, the Seattle Mariners will face another tough divisional road series against the Oakland Athletics on Friday. Unfortunately for the Mariners, the A’s are one of the hottest teams in the American League coming off back-to-back sweeps over the Cleveland Indians and Detroit Tigers. The pitching spotlight for this AL showdown will feature Seattle’s Wade LeBlanc against Oakland’s Daniel Mengden.
Mariners get swept on the road
The speedy descent of the Mariners continued on Wednesday after they were swept on the road by the Rangers. It marked their sixth loss in seven games, and they now sit at the bottom of the AL West rankings. I’d be more inclined to acknowledge the light at the end of the tunnel—a brief point of optimism for a team slogging through a long season.
Yet, that’s impossible to do with a three-game series against the A’s on deck, followed by a rematch with the same Rangers team that swept them. There’s also the four-game series against the Houston Astros that’s not too far off. It’s safe to say that light may not be coming any time soon for the Mariners.
LeBlanc will throw on the red cape and attempt to save the day when he starts against the A’s on Friday. He is pitching with a 7.36 ERA in 18.1 innings on the mound so far this season. The hope for the Mariners is his pitching can’t get any worse than it was against the Twins last Saturday, when he gave up seven hits and seven earned runs, including four homers, in an 18-4 loss. That game alone has crippled his throwing statistics. He’ll have an opportunity to get back on track when taking on the A’s lineup on Friday.
A’s close out another perfect series
The A’s finished off a 6-0 road trip against the Indians and Tigers on Wednesday. The team’s scheduled closeout game against the Tigers was suspended due to rain. However, it has been an impressive run for the A’s after struggling through most of the early part of the season. They are finally playing with a sense of purpose and back in the contender’s category of the AL West.
A solid series showing against the Mariners, along with a couple of losses for the Texas Rangers, would propel them to second place in the division behind the Houston Astros. One has to believe the bats of Stephen Piscotty, Matt Chapman, Khris Davis and Marcus Semien will have something to say about it before the weekend is over.
On the other end, it will be the throwing arm of Mengden doing the talking. The 26-year-old righty will enter the game on Friday with a 3.65 ERA and 1.14 WHIP, which isn’t much to go on considering he’s only appeared in two games so far this season. He gave up five hits and four earned runs over the course of five-plus innings against the Indians before posting a strong outing against a vulnerable Tigers offense—three allowed hits and one earned run in seven innings on the mound.
- Mariners are 2-14 in their last 16 road games
- Mariners are 1-7 in their last 8 after scoring 2 runs or less in the previous game
- Mariners are 0-4 in their last 4 road games against a right-handed starter
- Mariners are 0-8 in their last 8 when their opponent allows 2 runs or less in the previous game
- Athletics are 10-3 in their last 13 games against a left-handed starter
- Athletics are 39-13 in their last 52 home games against a team with a losing road record
- Athletics are 39-16 in their last 55 home games against a team with a losing record
- Athletics are 46-21 in their last 67 home games