Series No. 5 preview: Mariners vs. Baltimore, in Seattle

The Mariners spent just a single day at sea level, and have become submerged once again, sitting at 6-7 on the season. But after series against Texas, Oakland and Detroit, the Mariners get a break with their first series against a team unlikely to contend for the playoffs.

Baltimore comes into Seattle struggling mightily with a 2-11 record, and a team full of a ton of redundant parts offense, and yet-unfulfilled promise on their pitching staff.

Of the four regular Orioles infielders, only Miguel Tejada has less than 300 innings at third base. Cesar Izturis has 316.2 innings to bring up the rear for the rest of the infield, where Garrett Atkins (5397.0 Innings) and Ty Wigginton (4571.2 innings) combine for nearly 10,000 innings at the position. The reason this is notable, though, is that Tejada is manning third base on a daily basis for the O’s.

And while the infield is deep at one position, the team has five guys who are halfway decent defenders with either offensive prowess or potential.

Entering his fifth year, Nick Markakis may be the league’s most underrated hitter, while Felix Pie may be the team next on that list. Luke Scott and Nolan Reimold go between DH, outfield, and first base between them, but make up a pretty potent platoon if the Orioles decided to pick a position for them to platoon at consistently.

But the big local story in the outfield, obviously, is Adam Jones. While Jones comes off of his first All-Star season and after winning his first Gold Glove (that should have gone to Franklin Gutierrez), Erik Bedard—the player for whom Jones was traded among others—is rehabbing from his second straight season cut short by a shoulder injury.

Game 1: Regression to the mean

Mariners

Doug Fister

1-0, 0.3 WAR

1.50 ERA, 2.78 FIP

.200 BAA, .231 BABIP

12 IP in two starts

Orioles

Brad Bergesen

0-1, -0.2 WAR

11.74 ERA, 8.37 FIP

.405 BAA, .400 BABIP

7.2 IP in two starts

Game 2: Which Jason Vargas shows up?

Mariners

Jason Vargas

1-1, 0.2 WAR

5.56 ERA, 3.64 FIP

.289 BAA, .344 BABIP

11.1 IP in two starts

Orioles

David Hernandez

0-2, 0.3 WAR

4.91 ERA, 2.94 FIP

.295 BAA, .371 BABIP

11 IP in two starts

Game 3: Sinkers new and old, fast and slow

Mariners

Felix Hernandez

1-0, 0.4 WAR

3.10 ERA, 3.37 FIP

.203 BAA, .260 BABIP

20.1 IP in three starts

Orioles

Kevin Millwood

0-2, 0.3 WAR

2.89 ERA, 3.83 FIP

.295 BAA, .345 BABIP

18.2 IP in three starts