M’s vs. Tigers In Detroit: Pitching, series preview, analysis & predictions

ON The road again…

April 24-26

The Seattle Mariners (7-10) look for a welcome change of scenery and a change of fortune on their stop in the Motor City.  Detroit (10-6) finished 1st in the A.L. Central Division last season and are slated to end up there again.

Pitching match ups

Game 18: LHP – Jason Vargas vs. RHP – Max Scherzer 

Jason Vargas, Seattle Mariners

Jason Vargas up tonight. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)

Vargas has the best record of all the Mariners rotation.  When he gains run support he can give a very good pitching performance.  He will be facing a very difficult team in the Tigers who have hit left handed pitching very well the past several years.

  • Vargas is 0-1 in his last 3 starts against the Tigers with an ERA of 5.87
  • The current Tigers team has a combined average of .354 against the Mariners lefty.

Max Scherzer was a 15 game winner for Detroit last season but is off to a bit of a rough start in 2012.

  • Although Scherzer’s ERA is sitting at 7.98 his strike out rate is 10.4 SO per nine innings.
  • Scerzer has a strong offense and bullpen to back him up.  In his first start he allowed 7 earned runs in his 2.2 innings and still earned the win.
  • In 2011 the Detroit hurler was 2-0 against Seattle with a 2.00 ERA

Game 19: RHP – Felix Hernandez vs. LHP – Adam Wilk

Felix is coming off one of the best games of his career.  Unfortunately Brandon League blew the save in the 9th inning and Felix reached a no decision.

  • Felix was 2-0 against Detroit last season
  • Opponents are averaging .227 against the Seattle ace this season
  • Current line 1-1, 2.76 ERA, 31 SO, 1.02 WHIP

Detroit’s starting rotation has struggled with injury this season and Adam Wilk, a reliever by trade, is getting a chance to start in the interim.

  • This will be Wilk’s 8th Major League game and 3rd career start.
  • Wilk appeared in 1 inning against the M’s last season and gave up 2 hits and a home run.
  • Current line 0-2, 4.00 ERA, 6 SO, 1.667 WHIP

Game 20: RHP – Hector Noesi vs. RHP – Rick Porcello

Noesi was ravaged in his last start against the White Sox, giving up 6 runs in 1.1 innings.

  • Noesi’s current line 1-2, 9.49 ERA, 10 SO, 1.86 WHIP
  • Noesi has never faced the Tigers in his career.

Texas beat up on Porcello, the 23 year old out of Morristown New Jersey.  In that game Texas took the victory 10-4 after Porcello gave up 9 runs (8 earned) in 1 inning.  Sounds like a good match up for Noesi.

  • Pocello’s current ERA is 6.32.
  • Right handed batters are hitting an astounding .378 against Porcello already in 2012.  Look for the Mariners to play those odds.

Mariners vs. Tigers Series Predictions

Game 1

The Mariners have to shake off the home stand and play this series with new found effort.  The odds are stacked against them, but Vargas has been fairly consistent for Seattle so far this season.

Felix Hernandez, Seattle Mariners

With Felix on the mound in game 2 at least we can smile this week

If the M’s can get three runs, and Vargas can go deep into the game there is a chance they could pull this game off as a win.

Although the mental weight of the perfect game still looming over them, it is likely the M’s will struggle offensively. Prediction:  Loss (Mariners 3 – Tigers 5)

Game 2

With Felix on the mound and Comerica park a friendly place to hitters like Jesus Montero, Justin Smoak and even Miquel Olivo, as well as a starter who isn’t a starter the M’s have a very good chance of winning this game.

The only question marks will be if the bullpen can hold the game together if Felix has to come out early, which is what the Detroit hitters will be gunning for. Prediction: Win (Mariners 7 – Tigers 3)

Game 3

Noesi and Porecello each had just one inning starts in their last games.  You have to think that both managers are going to try to give their hurlers a second look.  If Noesi can pull it together, I think that the odds are slightly in his favor, especially if the M’s get off to a good opening to the game.

The problem is that Detroit has a stronger bullpen and offense.

Even if the M’s get the lead, they are likely to lose it, especially if Prince Fielder warms up. Prediction: Loss (Mariners 6 – Tigers 12)

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