The Seattle Mariners will host the Baltimore Orioles in a three-game series at Safeco Field starting Monday after showing signs of improvement in a series against the Los Angeles Angels. Last year’s AL wild card team dominated the season series last year, winning eight of the nine matchups between the squads.
Joe Saunders started and won that wild card game as a member of the Orioles, but signed a free agent contract with Mariners and will start in Monday’s game. Saunders has had a rocky start to his first season, but has had success pitching at Safeco Field in his career, posting a 7-0 record with an incredible 1.91 ERA in 11 career starts.
Brandon Maurer had some troubles in his first two MLB starts, but has settled down over his last three outings, managing to lower his ERA from 16.20 down to 5.61. The rookie will go up against a talented veteran in RHP Jason Hammel. Hammel has pitched well this season, posting a 3.82 ERA in 30 innings pitched so far this season.
Aaron Harang has allowed more runs than he has innings pitched in his first three starts in Seattle since he was acquired earlier this month in a deal with the Colorado Rockies. Wei-Yin Chen will go for Baltimore; the left-hander has been very good this season with a 2.53 ERA in five starts. Last season at Safeco Field, Chen took a perfect game bid into the seventh inning.
The Mariners need to continue to play well in this series against Baltimore. They will need to win home games if they want to get their record back up to .500. Although they do not have Felix Hernandez going in this series, the Mariners should still be able to pitch well against an average lineup.