When and where: June 17, 2019, T-Mobile Park, Seattle, WA, 10:10 PM ET
The Seattle Mariners kick off a seven-game home stand on Monday night with a three-game meeting with the lowly Kansas City Royals. There isn’t much hope emanating from the Royals nearing the midway point of the season, aside from the mere chance of beating out the Baltimore Orioles to avoid the American League’s worst record. Meanwhile, the Mariners face the struggles of competing in a shark-filled AL West division. Danny Duffy will lead the way in the pitching rotation for the Royals in this series opposite of the Mariners’ lefty Tommy Milone.
Royals on the wrong side of history
Only five teams since 1980 have gone consecutive seasons losing 100 games, and the struggling Royals are currently on pace to be the sixth. The effect from the 2015 World Series win is starting to wear off, and hope of a turnaround is dwindling for Royals’ fans. Things have rapidly declined to the point where everything needs fixing—most notably, the moribund offense and unreliable pitching rotation.
Perhaps they could try convincing Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes to follow in his father’s footsteps and play baseball in the NFL offseason. The Royals have reached the level of desperation and clearly need any talented arm they can get. They currently sit in last place in the AL Central division, two games out from tying the Orioles for the worst record in baseball.
After taking a series win over the Detroit Tigers, the Royals got off to an early start and upset the Minnesota Twins in Sunday’s closeout game of the weekend series.
— Kansas City Royals (@Royals) June 16, 2019
Duffy will get his chance to lead the way towards a bounce-back series on Monday when he starts against the Mariners. The veteran lefty is throwing a 4.38 ERA in 49.1 innings spent on the mound this season. He recently clocked seven innings against the Detroit Tigers, who he held to four hits and two earned runs, while striking out seven batters. However, that strong performance still wasn’t enough to save the Royals from another loss.
Mariners lose Encarnacion to the Yankees
It’s a fire sale in Seattle, and hard-hitting designated hitter Edwin Encarnacion was the next to go for the Mariners. The ball club completed a trade with the New York Yankees on Saturday that sent the former three-time MLB All-Star to the Big Apple in exchange for minor league pitcher Juan Then and cash considerations.
Add this move to another in the “what were they thinking” category for the Mariners.
They’ve essentially handed over their best power hitter to the Yankees for little in return. The defense for the Mariners has stunk all season, but there was at least hope the offense could carry the load at times. An offense that was already on shaky ground is now down a proven veteran slugger that also happened to lead the American League in home runs this season.
The Mariners currently sit in last place in the AL West division with 44 losses already in the season. They’ve essentially fallen from an 89-73 record in 2018 to being on pace to losing 100 games in 2019.
Milone (3.42 ERA) will try to do his part to build on the Mariners’ 2-1 road series win over the A’s when leading off the pitching rotation against the Royals. The 32-year-old veteran has only appeared in five games this season, but he’s made a good enough impression to stick in the rotation. He recently held the Twins to four hits and three earned runs in six innings, while also striking out six batters. That performance combined with him holding his own against the Houston Astros and Texas Rangers is the reason why he’s getting another chance to start on Monday.
- Royals are 15-44 in their last 59 road games
- Royals are 11-41 in their last 52 games against teams in the American League West
- Royals are 5-21 in their last 26 Monday games
- Royals are 1-6 in their last 7 road games against a team with a losing record
- Mariners are 7-1 in their last 8 games against a team with a winning % below .400
- Mariners are 9-3 in their last 12 home games following a road trip of 7 or more days
- Mariners are 13-6 in their last 19 Monday games