Angels Vs. Mariners Series Preview: Looking For Strong Finish To First Half
Shohei Ohtani, David Fletcher, 2021 Season
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

In the final series before the All-Star break, the Los Angeles Angels look to get one last bump in the standings as they face the Seattle Mariners.

The Angels are coming off of an impressive series win against the Boston Red Sox. After losing the first game in dramatic fashion, they put together two complete performances to steal the series from the MLB leader in wins. With those wins, the Angels are 8-2 in their last 10 and hope to keep it going on the road.

The Mariners, meanwhile, are coming off of a series loss at home to the New York Yankees. Even still, they are 12-6 since June 17 and have managed to stay slightly ahead of the Angels in the wild card race and for third place in the American League West.

For those who value statistics and data over the “eye test,” it might be confusing how the Mariners have managed to stay above .500 for a majority of the season. Offensively, they rank towards the bottom in nearly every metric. They have the league’s worst batting average and second-worst team OPS. They are middling in home runs, which account for 52.1% of their runs this season.

On the mound, they have a few saving graces in the form of starters Yusei Kikuchi and Chris Flexen, as well as relievers Kendall Graveman, Paul Sewald, and Drew Steckenrider. However, they rank among the middle of the pack in most pitching statistics as a team.

On paper, the Angels should have a clear advantage. Their offense has not only been producing in large numbers recently, they’ve been incredible at timely hitting. In their last 10 games, all eight of their wins and one of their losses have come by three runs or less, showing their ability to get on base when it matters most.

The Halos — by winning this series — could put themselves into third place in the AL West before the All-Star break, giving them even better positioning for a second-half playoff push. As was the case in the last series, they’ll have to do it without Mike Trout, Anthony Rendon, and Justin Upton, who are all on the IL until after the break.

Some other major storylines of this series — beyond the playoff push and the Angels recent timely hitting — include Shohei Ohtani capitalizing on his historic first half by continuing to set records each and every night. In addition, David Fletcher is riding an absurd 21-game hit streak and looks to continue that in Seattle.

Angels (44-42) vs. Seattle Mariners (46-42)

T-Mobile Park, Seattle, Washington

Game 1: Friday, July 9, 7:10 p.m. PT, Bally Sports West
Game 2: Saturday, July 10, 7:10 p.m. PT, Bally Sports West
Game 3: Sunday, July 11, 1:10 p.m. PT, Bally Sports West

Probable Pitching Matchups:

Alex Cobb (6-3, 4.60 ERA) vs. Marco Gonzalez (1-5, 5.82 ERA)
Patrick Sandoval (2-2, 3.86 ERA) vs. Chris Flexen (7-3, 3.80 ERA)
Jose Suarez (3-2, 2.37 ERA) vs. TBD

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