Last season, the Seattle Mariners went 68-94 (.420). However, it’s important to realize that Seattle got out to an MLB-best 13-2 start to the year before going 55-92 to close out the campaign, which was more of an accurate representation of how badly they struggled for most of the year. While there’s uncertainty in terms of if and when a season will even occur, DraftKings lists the odds of Seattle having a winning percentage of .410 or less at -112. That’s a solid bet for the following two reasons, no one is picking Seattle to be an MLB consensus pick to win it all, and the Mariners have some glaring issues.
Awful Pitching Staff
At this point in time, Seattle’s starting rotation would most likely consist of Marco Gonzales, Yusei Kikuchi, Taijuan Walker, Kendall Graveman and Justus Sheffield. Yikes. Gonzales was the team’s ace in 2019 and went 16-13 with a 3.99 ERA in 34 starts, which was respectable, but allowed 210 hits in 203.0 innings pitched which isn’t exactly ideal for a guy at the top of the rotation. Kikuchi struggled mightily in his rookie season and went 6-11 with a 5.46 ERA in 32 starts. He allowed 195 hits and a ridiculous 36 home runs in just 161.2 innings pitched and was no match for Major League hitters. Walker will make his return to the team he broke into the Majors with, but has made just four starts over the last two seasons due to injuries. He’s essentially a wild card, as is Graveman, who is a 29 year old coming off of Tommy John surgery. Sheffield spent time up and down between the Majors, Double-A and Triple-A last season and managed a 5.50 ERA over eight appearances (seven starts) with the Mariners. Seattle’s bullpen had a 4.76 ERA last year, and while they’re essentially turning a new leaf there, they’ll hand the ball off to Yoshihisa Hirano, Carl Edwards Jr., Dan Altavilla, Matt Magill, Brandon Brennan, Taylor Guilbeau and Nestor Cortes Jr. There’s probably a reason the people who make MLB expert picks aren’t picking this team to win the World Series this year.
Lineup Filled With Question Marks
While Mitch Haniger took strides forward in his 2018 All-Star campaign, he was limited to just 63 games last season due to injuries and is recovering from sports hernia surgery. Some combination of catcher Tom Murphy, first basemen Evan White and Daniel Vogelbach, second baseman Shed Long, third baseman Kyle Seager, shortstop J.P. Crawford, center fielder Mallex Smith and right fielder Kyle Lewis will likely make up the starting lineup while utilityman Austin Nola and the versatile Dee Gordon figure to get in the mix as well and potentially contend for starting roles. While Lewis and White are on the team’s top prospect list, it’s difficult to project immediate Major League success for either of them and the rest of the lineup figures to be one of the lowest-threat squads in all of baseball, despite the elite speed of Smith and Gordon. We wouldn’t recommend putting too many MLB money line bets down on the Mariners this year.
While we still don’t know how many games the 2020 MLB season will be (if there is one), it seems like a foregone conclusion that the Mariners will struggle at the plate and on the mound, which should amount to overall disappointment in the loss column.