Coming off of their third straight losing series, the Philadelphia Phillies are looking to turn things around against the Seattle Mariners. While it’s been a bit of a rough go for the Phillies, the Mariners haven’t fared much better, losing 10 of their last 12 games. This series is a real opportunity for Philadelphia to right the ship.
The Phillies boast a top 10 offense in baseball — at least against right-handed pitching — and while the Mariners will have three tough pitching matchups grace the mound, the advantage should still remain with Philadelphia. The team is hoping to set the tone offensively tonight in the first matchup. Here’s a look at tonight’s lineup card ahead of Game 1:
- Kyle Schwarber L
- Alec Bohm R
- Bryce Harper L
- Nick Castellanos R
- JT Realmuto R
- Jean Segura R
- Rhys Hoskins R
- Odubel Herrera L
- Bryson Stott L
Phillies Manager Joe Girardi seems to have finally found a starting lineup that works for him — at least against right-handed pitchers. Kyle Schwarber seems to be a fixture leading off against righties, and Alec Bohm, Bryce Harper, and Nick Castellanos seem set to follow thereafter going forward.
Ranger Suarez (2-1, 4.63 ERA) vs Chris Flexen (1-4, 3.10 ERA)
Ranger Suarez hasn’t had the season many expected, but just as tonight could be a “get right game” for the entire Phillies team, the same could be true for Suarez. Over the past 15 days, the Mariners have been a bottom eight offense in all of baseball. This could be just what the doctor ordered for Suarez, as the Mariners have been a bottom eight offense over the past fifteen days.
The Phillies offense, meanwhile, faces a difficult task going up against Chris Flexen, who, despite his record, has had a solid year so far. In five starts, Flexen has not allowed more than three earned runs in a single start.
Aaron Nola (1-3, 3.90 ERA) vs. Robbie Ray (2-3, 4.38 ERA)
When looking at the records of the two pitchers, one would hardly guess that this would be the marquee pitching matchup of the series, and yet, that’s very much the case. Aaron Nola has arguably been the top starting pitcher for the Phillies, and while the season is still very young, the hope is that he’s returning to the form that made him a Cy Young candidate in 2018. Opposite him is last season’s Cy Young winner Robbie Ray who’s off to a shaky start but should not be overlooked.
TBD vs. Logan Gilbert (4-0, 1.36 ERA)
Game 3 between the Phillies and the Mariners is admittedly the most difficult to predict. In large part, this is because Philadelphia has yet to announce who will be taking the mound. After Zack Wheeler and Zach Eflin hit the COVID IL, the team will have to get creative to fill the hill.
Philadelphia will have to rely on their offense to carry them, which will be especially difficult against Logan Gilbert, who is already competing for Cy Young Award attention. When the Phillies made the move that they did in the offseason, it was with the intent of shoring up the team’s offense. Now’s the time to prove that it was the right decision.
The Phillies open up tonight’s game as one and a half run underdogs. Considering the Mariners’ recent struggles, though, the Phillies have a chance to overcome this. If Philadelphia can get to Chris Flexen early, that would certainly help, as well as the Mariners’ bullpen has been horrendous this season — excluding Erik Swanson.
Game 1 begins tonight at 9:40 PM EST.