Seattle Mariners (61-61 SU, 58-60 RL, 59-58-5 O/U) vs Tampa Bay Rays (60-62 SU, 61-61 RL, 61-58-3 O/U)
When: 7:10 PM EDT, Friday, August 18, 2017
Where: Tropicana Field in Tampa, Florida
Lines: Tampa Bay -128/ Seattle +118
Friday evening MLB action and the Seattle Mariners will duke it out with the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in Tampa, Florida in game one of their three-game series. The Mariners lead the season series 3-0. Pitching Probables: Erasmo Ramirez (4-4, 4.73 ERA) will toe the rubber for the Mariners, while the Rays will be sending out Austin Pruitt (6-3, 5.07 ERA).
Mariners Are Starting A Long Road Trip
The Seattle Mariners are right in the thick of the wildcard race in the American as they currently sit just 1.5 games out of the 2nd spot. They did just win their last two games of their recent homestand, but did lose the first five games of that stand and now they are about to embark on a 12 game East Coast swing. After this series, they have three in Atlanta, three in New York and three in Baltimore. They must play well on this trip or it could be a knockout punch for them as far as the wildcard race is concerned. The Mariners have gone 26-29 on the road this year and their biggest problem away from home has been their pitching with has a 5.10 ERA away from home. That could change in this one as they are taking on a Tampa Bay team that has put up horrible numbers on offense of late. Toeing the rubber for the Mariners in this one will be Erasmo Ramirez and he has gone 4-4 with a 4.73 ERA in 29 games overall, including 3-3 with a 5.60 ERA in 11 games as a starter and 0-1 with a 4.40 ERA in three starts as a member of the Mariners. He started the year at Tampa Bay. Ramirez has gone 22-21 with a 4.31 ERA in 74 career games as a starter overall and he is 1-0 with a 2.16 ERA in four games (three starts) against the Rays, while here at the Trop in his career he has gone 13-7 with a 2.80 ERA in 64 games (21 starts).
The Mariners have been an average offensive team so far as they come in ranked 14th in the league in scoring, putting up 4.69 rpg, while also ranking 7th in hitting at .260 and 19th in homers with 141. On the mound, they have been a bit below average so far as they come in ranked 16th in the league in ERA at 4.50 while also ranking 12th in WHIP at 1.31.
The Offense Is Still Struggling For The Rays
Tampa Bay is still in the race for a wildcard berth but if they hope to stay there, then they will need their offense to get back on track. That offense has been pitiful of late as they have averaged just 1.67 rpg over their last 12 games and have been shutout out five times over that stretch. They have scored a total 20 runs in their last 12 games and six of those came in their 6-4 win over the Blue Jays in game two of their recent series. This is an awful display of offense, but still they are just 2.5 games out of a wildcard slot in the American league and if they get that offense turned around then they can make a solid run as their pitching has been very good of late, posting an ERA of 3.17 over their last 10 games and they have a solid 3.68 ERA at home for the year. The Rays have gone 31-30 at home so far. The Rays will be sending out Austin Pruitt in this one and he has gone 6-3 with a 5.07 ERA in 22 games overall in this his first year in the league, including 1-2 with a 3.08 ERA in five games as a starter. He has faced the Mariners once this year and it was out of the pen. He did not fare well as he allowed three ERs on four hits in just 1.1 innings of work. Pruitt was 0-1 with a 2.55 ERA in nine games (four starts) at Durham (AAA) this year.
Tampa Bay has been a bit below average on offense this year so far as they come in ranked 24th in the league in scoring, putting up 4.30 rpg, while also ranking 24th in hitting at .246 and 12th in homers with 167. On the mound, they have been solid so far as they come in ranked 9th in the league in ERA at 4.05, while also ranking 9th in WHIP at 1.28.
- 1-4 in their last 5 games vs. a right-handed starter
- 4-10 in Ramirez’s last 14 starts following a Quality Start in his last appearance
Tampa Bay is:
- None Available
The Seattle Mariners have not been great on the road, but still, this is the start of a very long road trip for them and they would love to get off to a good start. I don’t think they will though. The Rays have really struggled on offense of late, but they should be able to get back on track a little against a Seattle staff that has a 5.10 ERA on the road. They also know what to expect from Erasmo Ramirez, who has with the team earlier in the year before getting traded to the Mariners. He is 3-3 with a 5.60 ERA as a starter this year. Austin Pruitt has been in and out of the pen this year and while he has a 1-2 record in five games as a starter, he also has a 3.08 ERA in those games and the Mariners do not hit righties all that well on the road. Look for the Rays to grab a huge win in game one of this series.