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The Mariners will probably just outpitch the Giants, but watch out for their power

The San Francisco Giants have a tough challenge in the first three games of their six-game homestand.

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MLB: Milwaukee Brewers at Seattle Mariners Stephen Brashear-USA TODAY Sports

The last time San Francisco Giants had a series against the Seattle Mariners I blew a (metaphorical) gasket. It was the time of modest expectations. It was the time of believing that the mighty front office had patched up a dreadful bullpen they couldn’t really fix during the pandemic season. It was that series where they blew a 5-run lead on Opening Day 2021.

This prompted the following tweet from Eno Sarris the next day (which I’m copy-pasting here since Twitter appears to have finally transitioned into its new phase):

Mariners and Giants seem evenly matched right now but take their next four year:

[POLL]
Giants - 26.4%
Mariners - 73.6%
(4,372 votes)

These are two great teams to compare since Farhan Zaidi and Jerry Dipoto seem to be in a throuple with the same franchise management scheme, not necessarily evident just because they’ve been frequent trade partners, but more because the goal has been to constantly refine and optimize every input into their proprietary strategy algorithm which both have done through frequent transactions to deepen their roster depth.

Since Eno’s poll, the two teams have had these records:

MARINERS: 220-186 (.542)
GIANTS: 234-174 (.574)

So, the 3,218 people who voted for the Mariners to have the better next four seasons are hoping for big things in the second half of this season and all of next season. For grumpy Giants fans like me who voted Mariners, too, I’m just hoping the Giants don’t choke away this nice big lead.

Both teams have had a playoff appearance and both teams have both surprised and disappointed. I’d like to think the teams are evenly matched, but they’re coming into this series at opposite ends of the confidence spectrum. The Mariners just took two out of three from the Rays, the Giants got pasted by the lowly Mets. The Giants are still the third Wild Card, though, and they have the homefield advantage. The Mariners are 40-42, fourth in the AL West behind the Anaheim O’Doyle’s.

Their lineup is middle of the pack (15th in MLB with 9.7 fWAR), and that’s with slightly below average defense and baserunning. Their 372 runs scored is just 18th in baseball. Their best innings by OPS are the 2nd (.833), 4th (.789) and 8th (.727) innings. So, if you’ve already jumped ahead, then you probably already know that it all comes down to their stellar pitching, which pairs a youthful rotation with a veteran bullpen.

Their staff has the third-best fWAR in Baseball (11.6) and if not for their lackluster defense, they’d be even better (3.76 FIP - 2nd in MLB). They walk the fewest batters per 9 in Baseball (2.67) ahead of the Giants (2.79), and they’re tough to homer off of (1.04 HR/9 - 4th in AL/7th MLB). They’re just 16-22 on the road this season, but have a run differential of just -3.

Expect this to be a close series when it’s not a frustrating one.

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Where they stand

Mariners

Record: 40-42, 4th in AL West
Run differential: +17 9th in the AL
Postseason standing: 5 games back of Wild Card, 9 games back in division
Momentum: 2-game winning streak; 5-5 in their last 10 games

Giants

Record: 46-38, 3rd in NL West
Run differential: +36, 4th in the NL
Postseason standing: 3rd Wild Card, 3.5 games out of the division
Momentum: 2-game losing streak; 4-6 in their last 10 games

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Series details

Who: San Francisco Giants vs. Seattle Mariners
Where: Oracle Park, San Francisco, California
When: Monday (6:45pm PT), Tuesday (1:35pm PT), Wednesday (6:05pm PT)
National broadcasts: None.

Projected starters:

Monday: Logan Webb vs. Bryan Woo (MIKE KRUKOW ALERT: Cal Poly grad)
Tuesday: TBD vs. Logan Gilbert
Wednesday: Alex Cobb vs. Bryce Miller

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Mariners to watch

Julio Rodriguez: After a breakout 2022 (28 HR, .853 OPS in 132 games), one of the game’s newest and brightest stars has hit that sophomore slump (13 HR, .721 OPS in 80 games). He’s hit just 1 home run in his last 15 games (71 PA) and has slugged just .375. The Mariners are 7-8 perhaps in part because of his lack of middle of the order-ness.

Logan Gilbert: Practically ascended to ace status last year, the third-year player who was once the #3 prospect in the Mariners’ system (behind Jarred Kelenic and Julio Rodriguez), has struggled a bit this season, with a 4.19 ERA (3.61 FIP), 1.2 HR/9 but balanced against a 1.9 BB/9 and 9.1 K/9. He features a 95 mph four-seamer, a curveball that gets a lot of swing and miss, as well as a splitter and slider. Statcast says he also has a sinker — let’s hope he doesn’t throw that in this series. The Giants can still handle a four-seamer, and that’s still his most-featured pitched (42% usage rate), despite a really bad Run Value (+9!) but if he’s spotting it well it will still be a potent mix with his other solid pitches.

Tom Murphy: The catcher (no relation) has hit .400/.487/.900 in his last 10 games (37 PA), with 4 home runs, 3 doubles, 6 walks against 10 strikeouts. Only three of these games (and only one of those home runs) were on the road; otherwise, he’s been smashing at T-Mobile, a park that’s tougher to hit in than Oracle Park.

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Giants to watch

Logan Webb: This will be an important start for him after the way the Blue Jays laid waste to his sinker and slider last week. His home/road split has been stark:

Home ERA: 2.31
Road ERA: 4.24

But until the Giants declare that There’s Something Wrong With Webb, I think they’ll just take him pitching like an ace at Oracle.

Michael Conforto: Really need to see if he can rebound, health-wise, because the Giants are in dire need of his bat.

LaMonte Wade Jr: Since June 2nd, in his last 21 games, he’s batting .297/.430/.460. The Giants are 14-6 when he’s started. Against a great staff like the Mariners, especially with three right-handed pitchers on the mound for the series, the Giants will need every bat they have to pitch in.

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Prediction time

Poll

Giants vs. Mariners - how will it go?

This poll is closed

  • 6%
    Mariners sweep
    (9 votes)
  • 34%
    Mariners win 2 out of 3
    (51 votes)
  • 50%
    Giants win 2 out of 3
    (75 votes)
  • 10%
    Giants sweep
    (15 votes)
150 votes total Vote Now