MLB Opening Day Countdown Series – Seattle Mariners

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Seattle Mariners

2017 Record: (78-84)  T-3rd in AL West

Off Season Transactions:

Traded for Dee Gordon from the Miami Marlins for prospects

Traded for Ryon Healy from the Oakland Athletics for prospects

Signed Juan Nicasio in Free Agency

Projected Starting Rotation:

James Paxton – Love Paxton every time he pitches. He Has elite strikeout stuff vs both sides of the plate, actually better strikeout numbers vs right handed hitters and lefties can’t touch him. He had a stretch last year where he struggled because he was pitching through some forearm soreness which sounds minor but actually dropped his velocity a couple mph and really impacted his stuff. He should come back strong this year and I expect him to be dominate. He is usually a tier in price below the expensive Cy Young guys which makes him a nice salary saver with the same upside.

Felix Hernandez – Obviously isn’t the old king Felix but is decent. Probably will never pitch him because realistically doesn’t have the upside I’m looking for. He will be a guy you can take a bat against in a good spot.

Mike Leake – More of a cash game play who pitches to contact rather than for strikeouts. He tries to keep the ball on the ground as much as possible but makes mistakes and can allow a guy or two to take him deep each game. Wouldn’t stack against him but a bat or two would be viable in certain spots.

Erasmo Ramirez – Never going to pitch him but I will take bats against him. Lefties are a better option as they present more upside than the righties do but the righties are still in play if you want to get contrarian.

Marco Gonzales – A top pitching prospect in their organization who got called up late in the season last year and didn’t perform well. He gives up power to both sides of the plate but right-handed hitters are going to be the one you want to pick against this guy. In the minors he wasn’t a strikeout guy either so I only see us targeting bats vs him especially right handed bats.

Bullpen:

Middle of road bullpen last year but really improved their bullpen with the addition of Juan Nicasio. They should be a really solid group and one that I would choose to avoid if possible.

Starting Lineup:

Dee Gordon (OF) – Provides a ton of speed and steal ability which leads to upside as a stolen base can be worth up to 6 points. Hits for average and gets on base a lot so he is a good option in DFS at the right price with the upside he presents on the base paths. Really going to want to target him against pitchers who can’t hold runners and check on the catcher’s pop times, etc.

Jean Segura (SS) – Decent option. He doesn’t have the power upside in the home ball park like he could have on the road. He will get on base and has decent steal potential as well. He should be in line for a lot of runs with Cano, Cruz and Seager behind him.

Robinson Cano (2B) – Regressed last year and is coming up on his 35-year-old season. He was atrocious vs left handed pitching last year so only take him vs right handed pitching. It’s Robby Cano so he still has the power ability, just don’t expect too much from him.

Nelson Cruz (OF) – Reverse splits hitter who hits better vs right handed pitching than left handed pitching. He hits the ball really hard and has a natural upper cut leading to a lot of fly balls. The fly ball and power combo is always good for DFS upside, but  he’s a guy I like to fade when he is chalky.

Kyle Seager (3B) – Extreme fly ball hitter who hits the ball harder vs right handed pitching than he does left handed pitching but the numbers are very similar vs both handedness and actually hit for slightly more power vs left handed pitching last year. I would assume these split apart a bit but I can take him vs either arm.

Ryon Healy (1B) – Taking Yonder Alonso’s place at 1st for the Mariners. A solid option vs left handed pitching but still is a power hitter who can take a right handed pitcher deep at any time so the more optimal play is vs lefties but I am fine with playing him vs a righty in the right spot.

Mitch Haniger (OF) – Reverse splits guy who hit better vs right handed pitching last year than vs left handed pitching. He makes a solid cheap outfield option if needed and has some power ability bringing some upside.

Mike Zunino (C) – Really cheap and is a good punt option at catcher. Won me a GPP last year when he went double dong.

Ben Gamel (OF) – Not a huge upside guy and more of a punt outfielder option if needed in cash.

Playing Field:

Safeco Field

Ball Park Factor – 29th

Extreme pitcher’s park

“Must Knows” of the Seattle Mariners going into 2018 MLB DFS:

The Mariners have made some offseason moves that should make their team a lot better. They added some guys to the bullpen who should secure the wins a lot easier for our boy James Paxton. They also added some nice bats to the offense like Dee Gordon, who can get on base and create runs and added a solid bat to the middle of the order in Ryon Healy who can drive in runs. The Mariners should see a boost when it comes to pitching as they should get more run support and the bullpen will lose less wins for the starting pitchers. The offense should increase run production as well with the addition of a true leadoff hitter and a solid guy in the 6 spot behind Seager.