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Series preview: Cleveland vs. Mariners

The Jake Bauers revenge tour starts now

Texas Rangers v Seattle Mariners Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images

If Jake Bauers has any ill will towards Cleveland, he’ll get his chance to act on it this weekend. He and the rest of the Mariners will head to the home of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (did you know the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is in Cleveland!?) to play a three-game series this weekend.

These two teams last squared off in mid-May, wherein Cleveland dropped three of four in and did not score more than four runs in any game.

Cleveland’s last four games have been a roller coaster of blowing out opponents and then being blown out, so buckle up. On the other side, the Mariners are searching for anything that works — hence trading for Jake Bauers. Their top prospect, Jarred Kelenic, was sent down following a rough start to his career. They’ve dropped six of their last 10 and have one of the worst run differentials in baseball at -58.

Team at a glance

  • Record: 31-33
  • Runs Scored: 251
  • Run Differential: -58
  • Last 10: 4-6
  • Slash: .209/.285/.366
  • wOBA: .287
  • wRC+: 86
  • ERA: 4.58
  • SIERA: 4.27
  • K-BB%: 12.8%

Projected starters

Friday, June 11, 7:10 p.m. ET: RHP Justin Dunn vs. Aaron Civale
Cleveland dodged Justin Dunn in the last series, and now they’ll be facing him while he’s on a streak of great starts. The righty struck out eight in his last outing against the Rangers and sports a 3.18 ERA on the season.

Dunn throws a 93.7 mph four-seamer, slider, and a sweeping curveball that he has just started developing over the last two seasons.

Saturday, June 12, 4:10 p.m. ET: LHP Yusei Kikuchi vs. TBD (Triston McKenzie)
Is this the season Yusei Kikuchi finally puts (and keeps) it all together? He’s off to his best start, with a 3.92 ERA and career-high 25.9% strikeout rate, and he’s utilizing a high-spin fastball and deceptive cutter to make batters chase at an elite rate. The problem is when batters actually find the ball they’re crushing it.

Kikuchi has 69 strikeouts in 11 starts this season but has also given up 13 home runs, including four multi-homer games. He gave up two bombs in his outing against the Angels on June 5.

Sunday, June 13, 1:10 p.m. ET: RHP Logan Gilbert vs. Shane Bieber
Logan Gilbert’s MLB debut was the one game that Cleveland won in their four-game series last month. They tagged him for four earned runs over four innings, though he still managed to strike out five batters in that span.

Gilbert has looked like a typical rookie over his five starts this season, allowing a few too many runs but having some stretches where his potential becomes apparent. His hard-hit rate against is among the worst in baseball.

Lineup highlights

OF, Jake Fraley - Twenty-six-year-old Jake Fraley is surprising everyone at the plate and making great diving catches in the outfield like it’s nothing. In 15 games this year he has a ridiculous 30.4% walk rate and .500 on-base percentage. Can he have a 183 wRC+ forever? Probably not, but so far he’s helped ease the pain of Kelenic’s early struggles in Seattle.

OF, Mitch Haniger - Mitch Haniger is back. After a down 2020 season where he was barely above-average, the slugger has already eclipsed his home run mark set last year and is slashing .258/.306/.525 for a wRC+ of 130. So, yes, he’s not getting on base much but he’s murdering the ball when he finds it. He features an expected slugging percentage in the 87th percentile and one of the best barrel rates in the game.


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