Opening Day, Part II
The new look M’s take the field in about three hours for their first home game of the season. Very few people expected this series to feature the first place Mariners, and I’d imagine most people outside of Seattle expect the Angels to “correct” that early season fluke in this series. However, I’d give the M’s pretty good odds tonight, at least.
I know, Carlos Silva is pitching. But for Silva, this is about as good a match-up as he’s going to get. The Angels line-up is almost as RH heavy as the Mariners – their only LH bats are Chone Figgins, Bobby Abreu, Kendry Morales, and Erick Aybar, and neither Figgins nor Aybar is going to scare you much. Almost all of the Angels power is right-handed, so Silva should be able to feature his sinker/slider combination against Guerrero, Hunter, Napoli, Kendrick, and Rivera. You neutralize those five, and the Angels aren’t going to score many runs.
LAA counters with Shane Loux, who is basically their version of Silva. He throws a 91 MPH fastball that doesn’t miss any bats at all, and his game plan is to put the ball over the plate and pray. He’s the kind of pitcher that a contact oriented team can beat down pretty badly – Betancourt and Lopez can hit guys like this.
Don’t be surprised if we’re talking about the 6-2 Mariners after tonight’s game. The next two will be significantly tougher to win, but at least for one night, bet on the M’s.