Indians vs. M’s In Seattle: Pitching, series preview, analysis & predictions

M’s back to work after a day off

April 13-17

For the first time this season, the Seattle Mariners play outside their own division as the Cleveland Indians come to town. Yes Brendan Ryan, you are back to work today!

Pitching match ups:

Game 12: RHP – Justin Masterson vs. RHP – Kevin Millwood

Millwood hopes to continue from his good performance, holding the Texas Rangers to just 1 run in his 6 innings of work.

  • Millwood has only played in 2 games against Cleveland in the past 3 years. He went 1-1 with a 2.57 ERA
  • In his past 3 starts at Safeco field Millwood is 1-2 with a 5.48 ERA
  • Millwood pitched for Cleveland in 2005, under Eric Wedge and Carl Willis’ leadership and posted his career best 2.86 ERA which lead the American League that year.

Masterson is 10 years younger than the Mariners starter, and both his starts this season have resulted in losses for his club.

  • Left handed batters have hit .298 against Masterson since 2009
  • Masterson’s career winning % is .418
  • Current Line 0-1, 2.77 ERA, 12 Strike Outs, 0.92 Whip

Game 13: LHP – Jason Vargas vs. RHP – Derek Lowe

Jason Vargas will get his 4th start of the season and his 1st at Safeco field. Vargas had the least run support in the American League last season second only to Doug Fister.

  • Batters have hit .326 against Vargas in his last 4 starts against Cleveland
  • Vargas 2011 Line 4.25 ERA / 10-13 / 1.313 Whip  with 4 complete games

Lowe has pitched well this season currently 2-0 with a 1.98 ERA, but did give up 11 hits to Kansas City in his last start

  • Lowe has shown the ability to get out of trouble, and the Mariners historically have struggled converting baserunners into runs.
  • Lowe is his 16th MLB season and holds a career 3.98 ERA and a .535 winning % although the was 9-17 with a 5.05 ERA in 2011.
  • This is Lowe’s first season in the American League since he was with Boston in 2004

Game 14: RHP – Josh Tomlin vs. Felix Hernandez

The King makes his second home start on the season on this Thursday night game.  Hernandez appears to still be settling into routine as the season begins.

  • Felix allowed 2 runs with 7 base hits and 3 walks in the 7 innings of his last start
  • Hernadez’s fastball velocity has been posted at a career low coming into this season
  • In his last 5 match ups against the Indians, the King has 40 strike outs and has held them to a .231 team average

Now in his 3rd season, Tomlin has been a valuable piece to the Cleveland roster.  He is expected to give the tribe double digit wins this season as well.

  • Tomlin has appeared in 2 games this season and is 0-1 with a 8.31 ERA
  • Walks are a rarity with Tomlin pitching.  Giving up an average 1.5 Base on balls per 9 innings of work.
  • Struggled against the M’s last season going 1-1 but with a 7.15 ERA

Indians vs. Mariners Series Predictions

Game 1:

Millwood is a good veteran starter for the M’s with realistic expectations.  He knows he will give up hits and is not bothered by the stress of “pressure situations”.  He demonstrated this well in Texas.

Mariners pitching

Playing off the fatigue is the best strategy for the series. Enter Kevin Milwood - (Photo Credit / Associated Press)

This is good because Cleveland has got the long ball working.

The M’s need to work the count and drive up the pitch count early to try and force Cleveland to get to their bullpen early.  The Tribe’s pen has worked 14 1/2 innings in the past three games compared to the 5 innings the Seattle pen has been responsible for.

Playing off the fatigue is the best strategy for the series.

63% of those betting on the game predict that the Indians will walk away with the win. Prediction:  Surprise Win! (Indians 3 – Mariners 4)

Game 2:

Jason Vargas doesn’t lead the team well and doesn’t instill a lot of confidence despite being a pretty good pitcher. It seems the defense struggles with working with a left handed starter for some reason.

Vargas seems to be a bit erratic unless he has the lead, which is not likely to happen early in the game.  He would also be nervous in handing the ball over to the bullpen which has not instilled a lot of confidence thus far. Prediction: Loss (Indians 6 – Mariners 1)

Game 3:

Felix has not looked great since coming back from Japan.  Tonight should be the turn around for the M’s ace.  Expect the Indians to be baffled by Felix’s pitch selection with a lot of strike outs.

The Mariners have Tomlin scouted well and know what to look for.  I think Justin Smoak is heating up and will launch a ball over the fence.  Hopefully with someone on base for a change. Prediction Win (Mariners 6 – Indians 3)

More Seattle Mariners News

George Sherill is on the 15 day disabled list along with outfielders Franklin Gutierrez and Mike Carp and catcher Adam Moore.  Sherill’s roster spot has been taken LHP Charlie Furbush.

The Indians are without their veteran outfielder Grady Sizemore who is on the 60 disabled list and two pitchers David Huff and Carlos Carrasco.  Over all Cleveland is in a better position that the M’s offensively.


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