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The Seattle Mariners have lost three of the last four after falling to the Texas Rangers Saturday 5-4 and falling to 56-49. The Mariners are eight games behind first place Houston in the American League West, but have moved closer to second place, Oakland Athletics, which is behind the A’s with only 2 ½ games. The Mariners have stumbled a little too late to lose three of the last four, but had previously won four in a row. On Monday, Seattle are without position players Jake Fraley, Sam Haggerty, Kyle Lewis and Evan White. In addition, Seattle will be without 7 pitchers.
Tampa Bay captured first place in the American League East after a 9-5 victory Saturday over the Boston Red Sox. Tampa Bay has won two just over Boston and the Rays have won three straight in total. In Saturday’s win, Wander Franco had a couple of run-scoring hits to help lead Tampa Bay to victory. The Rays have won eight of the last 11. Tampa Bay has no placement players on its injury list, but 14 pitchers are on the list including ace Tyler Glasnow, who is expected to be operated on by Tommy John.
Seattle butchers continue to struggle
Seattle has surprised many as the Mariners are in third place in the American League West, even though the club has the worst team team in baseball at .221. Seattle’s slugging percentage is slightly better at .383, which is 26th in baseball, and the Mariners have scored the 20th most runs with 445. Mitch Haniger leads Seattle with 25 home runs, while Kyle Seager has become Seattle’s most consistent hitter with 17 doubles, 22 home runs and a team-leading 64 RBIs, but the Marines’ third baseman averages just 0.221.
On the mound, Seattle has been below average as the Mariners have the 19th best team ERA at 4.54, the 14th best WHIP at 1.30 and opposing hitters average .249 on the plate against the Mariners pitching, which is 20. Yusei Kikuchi leads Seattle in strikeouts with 124, while Monday’s starting pitcher Chris Flexen is leading in wins by nine. The right hand is 0-5 with a 3.81 ERA and 69 strikeouts.
Despite injuries, the Tampa Bay Pitchers are the key to success
Tampa Bay has 14 pitches on its injury list, but Ray’s pitching staff remains the key to success. Tampa Bay has the fourth-best team ERA at 3.53, the third-best WHIP at 1.14 and opposing hitters averaging just .226 on the plate against Tampa Bay pitching, which is sixth best in baseball. Tyler Glasnow, who is on the sidelines with an injury, leads Tampa Bay in strikeouts with 123, while Josh Fleming is leading in wins with 8. Tampa Bay hands over the ball to veteran right-hander Michael Wacha on Monday. Wacha is 2-2 with a 4.79 ERA and 66 strikeouts.
Tampa Bay is one of baseball’s best hit teams with runners at base. The Rays has only the 22nd best team shot in baseball at .234 and the 13th best swallowing percentage at .407, but has scored the third-largest runs. Austin Meadows has been Tampa Bay’s most consistent hitter with 20 home runs and a team-leading 76 RBIs. Second baseman Brandon Lowe has 16 doubles, a team-leading 22 home runs and 52 RBIs.
- Tampa Bay is 12-3 in the last 15 against a team with a winning record
- The Rays are 16-6 in the last 22