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Both teams have been bad to begin this season, but the Mariners have shown they are ready to break out. This team made the playoffs last season and should be even better, with Jarred Kelenic in the lineup and playing well. Conversely, the Phillies have been shut out lately as their offense remains inconsistent. Expect them to be shut down by Gilbert and the Mariners bullpen tonight.
The Mariners come into today after winning the series' first game last night 5-3. They still trail the Rangers, Angels, and Astros in the race for the AL West title. It’s been a bad start, but they have now won three of their last four games. The most significant change has been their ability to consistently generate offense, something they have struggled to do in the first month of the season. Now, they’ll be up against a solid starter in Taijuan Walker. They only have four players that have faced Walker in their career, combining for a .136 batting average in those matchups. However, they have a couple of hot bats that Walker hasn’t seen, which should give them an advantage.
Logan Gilbert (1-1, 3.57) will get the start for the Mariners tonight and will be looking to bounce back after a rough outing against Milwaukee. Though he gave up four runs over six innings, it wasn’t all bad for Gilbert. He allowed just five hits and zero walks while striking out eight. He was undone by two big home runs that would cost him the win. His walks are down, and his strikeouts are up in 2023, meaning the 25-year-old may be ready to take another step forward this season. Gilbert faced the Phillies last season and allowed four runs over five innings, thanks partly to issuing three walks. His control seems improved, so we like his chances for payback in 2023.
It’s still early, but it sure looks like left fielder Jarred Kelenic (.342 BA, 7 HR, 14 RBI) will be an All-Star this season. He has been consistent through his first month and ranks in the top ten in the league in batting average and home runs. He’s still in the back of the Mariners lineup, but it hasn’t affected his ability to generate offense. He has a five-game hit streak going and has hit a home run in his last three. Add that to the hot bat of Teoscar Hernandez (.244 BA, 6 HR, 15 RBI), and you can expect Walker to be in for a long night. The offense will be on again tonight, leading to another Mariners win.
The Phillies had a three-game win streak come to an end with their loss to the Mariners last season. Like Seattle, Philadelphia has underwhelmed to begin the season but has been improving lately. They are coming off their second series win of the season, and their pitching has been red-hot. They have held opponents to three or fewer runs in five of their last seven games, which has helped make up for a lackluster offense.
Former Mariners’ pitcher Taijuan Walker (2-1, 3.80 ERA) will get the start tonight. He has been solid this season, following up on a good 2021 season with the Mets. Walker is a pitcher with the talent to be great, but injuries have hampered him. At one point, he was held to just 15 games over four years. Walker has made 29+ starts in his previous season and posted a 3.49 ERA in 2022, meaning he may be ready to turn things around. The veteran pitcher was 5-1 with a 3.42 ERA at home last season, but we expect him to be in for a long night against a resurgent Mariners offense.
The Phillies' offense has some significant concerns to begin the season. While they are third in the MLB in batting average (.276), they rank in the league's bottom half in RBIs, runs, and home runs. They have also been shut out three times in the last ten days, which is a disturbing trend. The biggest thing the Phillies' offense needs is for Turner (.282 BA, 2 HR, 7 RBI) to find his game. They have gotten great play from young second baseman Bryson Scott (.337 BA, 2 HR, 9 RBI) and veteran outfield Nick Castellanos (.315 BA, 2 HR, 13 RBI), but the rest of the lineup remains an issue. They will struggle against one of the better young arms in the league, costing them today’s game along with the series.
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What: Seattle Mariners vs Philadelphia Phillies
When: Wednesday, April 26 at 6:40 PM EST
Where: Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia, PA
Michael is an avid sports fan and a veteran bettor from Milwaukee. He learned the trade from his grandfather in Las Vegas as a kid and has turned that into a successful career. He cheers for all Wisconsin pro teams along with his Alma Mater Arizona State. He specializes in baseball betting, but has experience in football, basketball, and hockey as well. When he isn’t pouring over stats, he’s spending time with his two young children.More info on Michael Savio
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