The Oakland Athletics and Seattle Mariners will close out their four-game series on Sunday Afternoon. This writeup was posted before the results of game three in this series. Both clubs split the first two contests of this set, with the Athletics winning 4-1 on Thursday night and the Mariners taking Friday night's game by a score of 4-3.
Oakland Continues Solid Road PlayThe Athletics' batting order has been stagnant when they are playing at home this season. However, the offense wakes up when they are playing on the road. They are 26-19 in their road games this season, which is all a manager can ask for from his club. Continuing to win on the road may be the Athletics' only shot at making the playoffs this season. They are just three games back of the Astros, and fortunately for Oakland, their next eight games are all on the road. This road trip will be a prime opportunity to gain ground in the AL East.
Cole Irvin will start for the A's this Sunday in Seattle. Cole is 7-8 and carries a 3.42 ERA over 19 starts. The southpaw pitched a gem in his most recent action against the Angels. He did not surrender a run and lasted seven innings in what ended up being a 4-1 victory for the Athletics. Back in late May, Irvin had his first career start versus the Mariners. The start did not go according to plan, as he gave up four earned runs and lasted just 4.2 innings. Those four runs were all it took for the Mariners to defeat Oakland that day, as the Athletics fell 4-3.
Matt Olson has been the best hitter in this Oakland lineup all season long. The big left-handed-hitting veteran has 26 home runs and 65 RBIs on the campaign, which leads his club by a long shot. Like I mentioned before, this Oakland team has hit much better when they are on the road this season. They are 8th in runs scored per road game (4.69) and 5th in hits per road game (8.58). Oakland will be facing a southpaw starter in the contest. They have performed very well in their matchups versus lefties, going 24-14 against them.
Mariners Need to Make a PushThe 2021 Seattle Mariners have turned some heads and exceeded a great number of expectations to this point of the season. If they avoid a colossal meltdown, the M's should fly over their win total of 72.5 this season. While crushing preseason expectations is all well and good, the Mariners realize that they are still in a position to win the AL West this season. They currently sit in third place of the division, and seven games behind the Astros. However, the Astros do not seem to be the same dominant team we have seen in years past, while the Athletics look like they stand zero chance to survive with the lack of offense they are receiving (especially at home). This could be the Mariners' year in the AL West, and they are not out of it by any stretch of the means. One good winning streak and they could be in first place here soon. It all starts with winning this current series versus the Athletics, then taking care of business at home against the Astros in the following set.
Marco Gonzales will get the starting nod for the Mariners in the series finale versus the Athletics. In 12 starts this season, Marco is 2-5 with a rough ERA of 5.69. His last start was a frustrating one for the Mariners, as they received four strong innings of work from Gonzales, where he gave up only one run. However, Seattle went on to lose 12-6 to Oakland and Marco took the no-decision.
According to Oddsshark, hitting at home has been rough for the Mariners this season, as they come in ranked 29th in runs scored per home game (3.80) and last in hits per game (6.29). If there is one positive for the offense, they have a 20-15 overall record against southpaw pitchers this season. You will see at Fan Graphs that Mitch Haniger has been seeing the ball well versus left-handed pitching all season long. He leads the Mariners with 10 home runs and 20 RBIs versus southpaws this season.
- 44-63 versus left-handed starters last three seasons
- 57-93 versus teams with a winning record last three seasons
- 93-69 versus division opponents this season
- 24-14 versus left-handed starters this season