Mariners series preview: Chicago Cubs
Pitching matchups, X factors, and picks to click for your Seattle Mariners in a rare matchup against the Cubs.
Seattle will face an unfamiliar foe as the club travels to Chicago to play a three-game set at historic Wrigley Field. Schedule changes will make this matchup an annual one, with the first installment coming tonight from the “Friendly Confines.”
With offseason additions to the roster, the Cubs are looking to jumpstart a rebuild with a revamped roster. Seattle is looking to get on track after a disappointing loss in Cleveland yesterday afternoon.
The Chicago Cubs have struggled over the last few seasons, but their pitching staff is much improved. The matchups should be good as the Mariners take on the Cubs.
Monday: Luis Castillo (RHP) vs. Drew Smyly (LHP)
Tuesday: Chris Flexen (RHP) vs. Hayden Wesneski (RHP)
Wednesday: Logan Gilbert (RHP) vs. Marcus Stroman (RHP)
Seattle has the clear advantage in game one, with number one starter Luis Castillo taking the hill. Castillo has yet to give up a run this year, and he will take on old friend Drew Smyly.
Smyly was the owner of the dreaded “soggy arm” an injury sustained in the WBC that derailed his career in Seattle. Now in Chicago, Smyly will look to beat his old club.
Castillo has been brilliant thus far and will go against a Cubs lineup scoring 5.25 runs per game.
Chris Flexen was fantastic his last time out and will look to keep the ball rolling against a much improved Chicago lineup. New additions Dansby Swanson and Cody Bellinger anchor the lineup, along with my personal favorite trade target Ian Happ.
Hayden Wesneski is a talented young pitcher who is one of the top prospects in the system and could be a sneaky Rookie of the Year candidate in the National League.
Wednesday’s game should be a good one, and the best pitching matchup of the series. Marcus Stroman has not given up a run and has 14 strikeouts in two starts. Logan Gilbert had a rough last outing which saw his velocity drop by the fourth inning.
He will look to quell any concerns over his health against the Cubs in the matinee finale on Wednesday.
Sea Level is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.
Subscribe now to get a Matt Brash Autographed Rookie Card!
Tonight’s start from Luis Castillo and the starting pitchers for Seattle will be the X Factors for Seattle. The Mariners bullpen has been heavily taxed over the last few days, especially during yesterday’s 12 inning affair.
Andrés Muñoz hit the IL on Sunday with a deltoid strain, which cuts down heavily on Seattle’s leverage options. The Mariners could use some length out of their ace on Monday to reset the bullpen, and give their leverage guys a break.
Several relievers could be unavailable for Seattle, making the importance of scoring runs early and getting more Castillo dominance even more important.
BR’s picks to click
Pressure is rising with my streak of picks to click growing to two, but I believe this will be the series of Teoscar Hernández. Hernández and AJ Pollock were my picks for the Angels series because of left handed pitching, and I will go with a similar theme for this series.
Drew Smyly is on the hill in game one, which is a great matchup for the Seattle slugger. He is yet to get things going, but I expect him to start finding more barrels at Wrigley.
Batting just .184 on the season, Hernández may get a day off in this series but expect to see him do damage when he does.
Following a day off on Monday, I also expect Kolten Wong to get back to his old self as he visits his old division rival.
I believe Seattle wins 2/3 and will have a happy flight back to Seattle for a long homestand.