Seattle: Marco Gonzales (LHP) 8-5, 4.03 ERA
The Boston Red Sox have been slipping a bit as they are currently tied for the second AL Wild Card spot with an 81-65 record. The Red Sox have not announced who will be on the mound in this game but according to Fangraphs, Tanner Houck will be starting. He is coming off a loss against the Chicago White Sox as he is coming off a start where he went 3.2 innings and allowed four runs (three earned) on four hits with three walks and a strikeout.
The Seattle Mariners have been trying to stay alive in the AL Wild Card as they are currently 2.0 games back of a playoff spot as they are 78-66. They will be sending southpaw Marco Gonzales to pitch here as he is coming off a win over the Arizona Diamondbacks where he went six innings and allowed three runs (all unearned) on four hits with a walk and three strikeouts.
Bats of Boston Leading the WayThe Boston Red Sox have been one of the best offensive teams in all of baseball as their .772 OPS is third in baseball. Their power stroke has been there this season as they have 194 total home runs this season and that is good for eighth in MLB. Looking back at the last 15 days (13 games), Boston has scored five runs per game with a slashline of .268/.335/.453 in that span. Designated hitter J.D. Martinez has been doing well at the plate as he has an .862 OPS with 25 home runs and 89 RBI this season. If the Red Sox can continue to hit as well as they have been, they will be in a lot of games and make the postseason.
Tanner Houck is considered to be the sixth-ranked prospect in the Boston Red Sox system as he is pitching well according to his Baseball Savant page. He is in the 84th percentile in average exit velocity, 78th percentile in strikeout percentage, 73rd percentile in walk percentage, 73rd percentile in whiff percentage. Houck throws four different pitches (fastball, slider, sinker, splitter) and his sinker has been hit the most as it has a .317 batting average with a .488 slugging percentage. This will be his first career outing against the Seattle Mariners so it will be interesting to see how he attacks this lineup.
Hit Well and Make the PlayoffsThe Seattle Mariners have been one of the worst offensive teams this season as their .684 OPS is 27th in the majors. They have not scored enough to help their pitching staff enough as they are averaging 4.26 runs per game this season. Looking at their 11 September games so far, the Mariners have a .719 OPS with 5.09 runs per game in that span. Right fielder Mitch Haniger has been leading Seattle’s offense as he is posting an .802 OPS with 33 home runs and 82 RBI. If the Mariners can figure out how to hit as well as they have been so far, it will do wonders for Seattle.
Marco Gonzales has been struggling this season according to his Baseball Savant page as he is in the ninth percentile in barrel percentage, 11th percentile in whiff percentage, 13th percentile in strikeout percentage, and 21st percentile in xERA. His 10.7 barrel percentage is the highest since 2015. Gonzales has a five-pitch arsenal (sinker, changeup, curveball, cutter, fastball) and his heater has been his best pitch as it has a .133 batting average and a .333 slugging percentage. He faced the Red Sox twice back in 2019 and went 1-1 in 9.1 innings and allowed eight runs (five earned) on 13 hits with four walks and seven strikeouts.
- Seattle: 4-1 in their last 5 games vs AL East
- Seattle: 7-3 in their last 10 games vs a team with a winning record
- Boston: 7-17 in their last 24 road games
- Boston: 2-10 in their last 12 road games vs LHP