Mariners vs. Athletics Matchup
Matchup April 6-7, 2012
The Seattle Mariners start their U.S. campaign by playing a two games series in Oakland. These two teams have been paired together as their recovery from jet lag should be about the same after opening up the MLB season in Japan.
Pitching Match Ups
Game 3: Jason Vargas vs. Brandon McCarthy
Brandon McCarthy had a stellar game against Seattle in Japan.
In that game he went 7 innings giving up 6 hits and 1 run on the Dustin Ackley homer.
McCarthy was pulled earlier than expected and M’s fared much better on the Oakland bullpen. Jason Vargas was second only to Doug Fister in the worst run support numbers in the league last year.
It will be key for the Mariners to show some patience and try to get McCarthy’s pitch count up if they want a chance to win this game.
Game 4: Felix Hernandez vs. Bartolo Colon
There have been a lot concerns being issued about Felix Hernandez’s fastball velocity being down thus far in the spring, however The King still seems to be very much in control of the strike zone.
This put the M’s at an obvious advantage against the weak Oakland line up.
The key again in this game will be run support, which means improving the clutch base hits and getting runners home. Colon looked pretty solid in his last start, however his concentration seems to wane if he get in trouble.
Best bet is to play an aggressive style game against Oakland and get a run or two. That should be enough for Felix to get the W.
Mariners LH Jason Vargas vs. Athletics RH Brandon McCarthy
The teams are fairly evenly matched with these two pitchers on the mound with the odds slightly favoring Oakland in almost every category. The A’s showed they could get to Jason Vargas much more than the M’s could get to McCarthy.
That being said, the Mariners are the popular choice to win.
April 6, 2012 Prediction: Mariners 2 – Athletics 4
Mariners RH Felix Hernandez vs. Athletics Bartolo Colon
The whole Seattle team plays with more confidence with their ace on the hill. Both teams will still be working out the kinks in their mechanics after the trip to Japan.
Felix will be able to take advantage of these while Colon is more likely to make a mistake.
April 7, 2012 Prediction: Mariners 5 – Athletics 2
Look for the Mariners to pitch carefully to the new Oakland outfielder Yoenis Cespedes after logging in his first MLB home run against the Mariner’s bull pen. Cespedes was a power threat in Cuba before defecting to join the Athletics the season.
With the roster changes the M’s have made, their offense and their bull pen staff should be better by a few percentage points. That could be exactly what the Mariners need to overcome the odds and sweep the two game series.
The Mariners choice to keep infielder Alex Liddi on the roster as opposed to power hitting left hander Carlos Peguero likely means that Chone Figgins will start both of these games in left field as opposed to third base.
That should add Kyle Seager to the starting line up at third base. Both Seager and Liddi shared great success in spring training.
It is hoped that the Mariners youngster can carry on their increased offensive production into the restart of the regular season.