Didn’t think to see Seattle again so soon after the All-Star Break, but it’s a welcome appearance after the stretch the Red Sox have just had. I’d rather not face David Price twice in the span of six days, but what can you do, right? (Send scathing letters to Bud Selig about how he’s awful, that’s what)

SEATTLE MARINERS – 50-55, 3rd place in the AL West (12.5 GB)

Amazingly, 12.5 games back was the exact same deficit the Mariners faced when the Red Sox last faced them in Seattle and took three of four from them. They’re one of those teams that probably should be selling, but believe they’re in the race to some extent, so they aren’t throwing away this season just yet.

Kyle SeagerPROJECTED STARTING LINEUP

I’ll go over the new guys, the rest were¬†covered here.

1 – Brad Miller – SS – .253/.333/.414

2 – Nick Franklin – 2B – .277/.340/.492

3 – Kyle Seager – 3B – .293/.356/.481

4 – Kendrys Morales – DH – .278/.337/.465

5 – Raul Ibanez – LF – .252/.307/.535

6 – Michael Morse – RF – .251/.313/.454

  • Fresh off the disabled list. Power hitter with a penchant for hacking away at times, and his 25.1% strikeout rate shows it.
  • Lives and dies with his BABIP spikes, since he’s shown twice (2011, 2012) that he can keep one going for an entire season.
  • Awful fielder. The only time he’s posted above average metrics was in small sample sizes, and those tend to be unreliable.

7 – Justin Smoak – 1B – .258/.359/.408

8 – Michael Saunders – CF – .229/.311/.376

  • Another outfielder who strikes out over 25% of the time, but Saunders has decent power and walks at a good clip.
  • Swinging less overall, but his contact rate has dropped slightly in response. It’s a good sign for his future plate discipline, however.
  • Saunders has a handful stolen bases, making him an intriguing power-speed outfielder if he could ever barrel up the ball more.

9 – Henry Blanco – C – .150/.244/.250

  • Been relegated to backup catcher duties ever since his 2004 season with the Minnesota Twins. Never worth over 2.0 fWAR in a single season.
  • Just plain bad offensively. Blanco’s never had a wRC+ over 100 in any full season in the majors.
  • His career BABIP is arund .250, but it never had/will rebound with the small amount of PA he’ll get.
Brandon Workman has come to save us from pitching hell!

Brandon Workman has come to save us from pitching hell!

SERIES PROBABLES

Joe Saunders vs. Brandon Workman

Saunders has bounced around the league in the last few years, from Anaheim to Arizona to Baltimore to Seattle. He’s a left-handed pitcher with a heartbeat, so of course he still has a job in the majors. With a 5.20 K/9 and a 1.01 HR/9, don’t expect the Red Sox offense to let Saunders leave Fenway unscathed.

Hisashi Iwakuma vs. John Lackey

The longer this series goes on, the tougher the pitcher Boston faces. Iwakuma’s seems to have developed a little bit of a homer problem in spite of how good he’s been. On the other hand, John Lackey will try to rebound from a couple bad starts, and the Mariners’ offense may be just what the doctor ordered.

Felix Hernandez vs. Ryan Dempster

Again with Hernandez facing the Red Sox? King Felix’s career LOB% is roughly 5% higher than league average, and this year, it’s a whopping 10%. Meanwhile, I fear for Dempster’s gopherball tendencies against a free-swinging Seattle lineup. But when don’t I worry about other teams teeing off against him?

INJURY REPORT

  • Seattle
  • Boston
    • Nothing new to report.

IN CONCLUSION

The Red Sox need to go on a nice little hot streak right now to keep pace with the Rays, who have surged back into the AL East race. This series against the Mariners would be a good place to start.