2020-07-10 12:00:00 EDT
The Seattle Mariners will try to climb out of the basement of the American League West during the 2020 MLB season.
Seattle had a rough campaign in 2019, finishing 68-94 overall and last place in the division. The Mariners have their work cut out for them again this season, so they’ll be an interesting AL West team to follow in 2020. Check back all season long for free MLB picks and MLB predictions at Sports Chat Place.
Let’s take a closer look at Seattle’s current status and break down the team’s chances at hitting their projected win total this year.
Everything started out great for the Mariners in 2019, as the team opened up with a nice 13-2 record. Seattle stalled out after that however, going 55-92 the rest of the way on a .420 overall winning percentage. The Mariners were a whopping 39 games behind the first-place 107-win Astros, but finished within a 10-game striking distance of the Angels and Rangers. If you’re an optimist, it’s all about climbing out of last place for the Mariners this season, and they’re not too far off that pace. Baby steps.
Looking at Seattle’s 60-game 2020 season, there will be both challenges and opportunities here. The Mariners will have to play 10 games apiece versus the Astros, Athletics, Rangers and Angels. On paper, Texas and LA should be relatively manageable matchups for Seattle, but Houston and Oakland will likely cause problems. Outside of the division, the Mariners will also match up for 20 games versus the NL West. The Dodgers and Diamondbacks should once again rule that group, but there are some wins to be had versus the Giants, Rockies and Padres. Things could certainly be worse for Seattle.
Seattle could have some issues getting guys on base in 2020, as most players in the lineup project batting averages somewhere in the .230 neighborhood. There’s not a lot of promising power in the Mariners’ order either; Kyle Seager has been a fairly consistent home-run hitter and knocked 23 last season but he also sported a tepid .239 average. Tom Murphy and Dan Vogelbach both have double-digit homer potential this season and Mallex Smith offers some nice speed, but really there’s not much else to get excited about in the order. The team is still in a rebuild.
Pitching will be another issue for the Mariners, and will likely hinder the team more often than it helps. Marco Gonzales posted a relatively decent 16-13 mark last year with a 3.99 ERA and 147 strikeouts, so he’ll be an integral part of the rotation. There’s also some promise with guys like Yusei Kikuchi and Justus Sheffield, who will need to keep that ERA down below 4.50 if they can help it. I also don’t see a ton of consistent run support for these guys, which will only compound the problem.
Pick: Going over, but not by much. I think the number here is right on. If the Mariners were playing a different NL division this year I might be more pessimistic, but there are wins to be had in the West. The talent disparity between Seattle and teams like the Rangers and Angels isn’t that steep, so I think the Mariners will find some wins there. I’m not saying it’ll be a “good” season for Seattle, but I think the team shows improvement in 2020 and hits 25 wins or so.