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Series preview: Cleveland Indians vs. Seattle Mariners

Two teams who need to get it together quickly. Let's hope it's the Indians first.

Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

After dropping two of three to the New York Mets, the Cleveland Indians look to salvage a winning record out of this homestand. They will do so against the Seattle Mariners, who are currently fourth in the American League West and are led by second baseman Robinson Cano.

The two teams will play a pair of 6:10 p.m. start times, followed by an afternoon 12:10 p.m. game on Thursday.

Matchups

  • Tuesday, 6:10 p.m. ET: Carlos Carrasco (RHP) vs. Wade Miley (LHP)
  • Wednesday: 6:10 p.m. ET: Danny Salazar (RHP) vs. Taijuan Walker (RHP)
  • Thursday, 12:10 p.m. ET: Cody Anderson (RHP) vs. Nate Karns (RHP)
The Indians will manage to avoid the main pitcher you do not want to see on the Mariners, Felix Hernandez, and instead they will face the bottom three of the Seattle rotation. Taijuan Walker has failed to live up to expectations to this point, but he is still only 23 -- he could break out at any point. Hopefully just not Wednesday, the 20th of April in the year 2016.

Carlos Carrasco vs. Wade Miley seems like an easy matchup for the Indians, Danny Salazar vs. Walker should lean towards the Indians and Cody Anderson vs. Nathan Karns is a virtual push. However, if the last series against the Mets taught us anything it's that Josh Tomlin can beat Matt Harvey and the sun can beat Rajai Davis from 93 million miles away. Anything is possible.

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Upcoming schedule: The Indians have been enjoying a nice little homestand, but that ends after this Mariners series. From here, the Indians go on a lengthy road trip that starts with the Detroit Tigers, Minnesota Twins, and Philadelphia Phillies. Hopefully the Phillies have come back down to earth by the time the Indians travel to Philly on April 29.

Team in a Box

Seattle Mariners

Offense

AL Rank

Pitching

AL Rank

Record

5-7

R/G

3.75

9th

ERA

3.58

6th

AL Central

T-3rd

OBP

.294

12th

HR/9

0.92

7th

Last 10

4-6

SLG

.384

8th

BB/9

3.17

10th

Streak

L1

Steals

2

T-9th

SO/9

9.33

4th

As you would expect on a pitching staff with Felix Hernandez, the Mariners strikeout a lot of batters. As you may not expect, they also issue a lot of walks. Felix is the worst offender so far, walking 13 batters in his first three starts. Wade Miley has yet to give up a walk, but he has already allowed a team-high two home runs and 11 earned runs. The Indians newfound power should be able to jump all over him In Tuesday's matchup.

Position players

  • C: Chris Iannetta
  • 1B: Adam Lind
  • 2B: Robinson Cano
  • SS: Ketel Marte
  • 3B: Kyle Seager
  • LF: Nori Aoki
  • CF: Leonys Martin
  • RF: Sam Smith
  • DH: Nelson Cruz
Bench
  • OF: Franklin Gutierrez
  • IF: Luis Sardinas
  • C: Steve Clevenger
  • 1B: Dae-Ho Lee

The historically frustrating Mariners offense is led by Robinson Cano, who started the season hot (4-for-14, all home runs, in his first three games) and is currently riding a four-game hit streak. Kyle Seager, who has emerged as a power threat in the past few seasons, has just one home run so far in 2016 and is slashing .119/.245/.238(48 wRC+).

The deadly power combination of Nelson Cruz, Robbie Cano, Kyle Seager, and Adam Lind means that a home run-prone pitcher like Cody Anderson could have a rough outing against this lineup. Hopefully watching Nori Aoki and Leonys Martin up close will not make the Indians front office regret not pursuing either player harder during the offseason.

Starting rotation
  • RHP Felix Hernandez
  • RHP Hisashi Iwakuma
  • LHP Wade Miley
  • RHP Taijuan Walker
  • RHP Nate Karns
Bullpen
  • RHP Steve Cishek
  • RHP Joaquin Benoit
  • LHP Vidal Nuno
  • RHP Tony Zych
  • LHP Mike Montgomery
  • RHP Joel Peralta
  • RHP Nick Vincent

Felix Hernandez has issued a team-high 13 walks, but he has allowed only two runs on the season. Luckily, the Indians will avoid him altogether in this series.