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Orioles-Mariners series preview: A showdown in the Great Northwest

After being swept by the Royals in Kansas City, the Orioles head to Seattle for a three game series against the Mariners. It will be the final time these two teams meet in 2018.

Seattle Mariners v Baltimore Orioles Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images

The last and only time these two teams met in 2018, it did not go well for the Orioles, who were the victims of a four game sweep by the Mariners in Baltimore at the tail end of June. More recently, the Orioles are 3-7 in their last 10 games. After sweeping the Blue Jays at home in a three games series, the O’s lost three straight to the lowly Royals.

Seattle currently sits in third place in the AL West, seven games behind the division leading Houston Astros at the start of play Sunday. The Mariners were 16 games over .500 at 76-60, having gone 4-6 in their last 10 games. For the year, they are 10 games above .500 when playing at home (38-28).

A standout player for the Mariners this year has been shortstop Jean Segura, owner of a .321/.353/.442 batting line coming into Sunday. His batting average ranks fourth in all of baseball and his 162 hits are second most in the league, trailing only the Red Sox J.D. Martinez. Former Oriole Nelson Cruz is having yet another stellar season, hitting .263/.347/.534 with 33 home runs and 83 RBI. In a little under four full seasons with the Mariners, Cruz is averaging 40 home runs and 100 RBI.

As a team, Seattle ranks fifth in the American League with a .256 batting average. The Orioles rank dead last at .239. On the pitching side, Seattle ranks middle of the pack in the American League in a few major categories: 8th in earned run average (4.23) and 9th in batting average against (.254). On the other hand, Baltimore ranks second to last in ERA at 5.15 and last in BAA at .279.

Game One: Monday. 9:10 PM

LHP Josh Rogers (1-0, 5.40 ERA) vs. RHP Erasmo Ramirez (1-3, 6.28 ERA)

The young lefty Rogers, acquired from the Yankees earlier this summer in the Zach Britton trade, will make his second major league start in game one against the Mariners. In his major league debut, he allowed three runs, seven hits, one walk, two strikeouts and one home run in seven innings against Toronto. In five games started for the Norfolk Tides this year, Rogers was 2-1 with a 2.08 ERA and 1.09 WHIP.

The Mariners will start right-hander Erasmo Ramirez, who has missed a large chunk of the year due to injury. In six total starts, including two in April and four in August, Ramirez has allowed 20 runs in 28.2 innings, including a .308 BAA. In 17 career games against the Orioles, including seven starts, Ramirez is 2-4 with a 2.98 ERA and 0.88 WHIP in 66.1 innings.

Game Two: Tuesday, 10:10 PM

RHP Alex Cobb (4-15, 5.11 ERA) vs. LHP Wade LeBlanc (8-3, 3.71 ERA)

Alex Cobb saw his positive momentum stall the last time he was on the mound, when he allowed five runs to the Blue Jays in 5.2 innings. Before that, he had allowed only seven earned runs in 35 innings during the month of August, which was good for a 1.80 ERA over that time span. In his lone appearance against Seattle this year, Cobb allowed five runs in 4.2 innings.

Left-hander Wade LeBlanc gets the nod in game two for the Mariners. Versus left-handed starters this year, the Orioles are hitting .250/.310/.392 as a team. In his lone start against Baltimore this year, LeBlanc allowed four runs (three earned) in 5.2 innings. In his last five starts, he has gone 2-1 with a 2.83 ERA.

Game Three: Wednesday, 10:10 PM

RHP Andrew Cashner (4-13, 4.86 ERA) vs. RHP Mike Leake (8-9, 4.25 ERA)

In the series finale, Seattle will send Mike Leake to the mound. This year, the 5’ 10” right-hander is pitching just a little over his 4.01 career ERA. In five starts in the month of August, he went 0-2 with a 4.65 ERA in 31 innings. Leake held Baltimore to two runs over seven innings in his only start against them this year.

Andrew Cashner will take the hill in the finale for the O’s. In six August starts, he was 1-4 with a 6.62 ERA, including 15 walks and 13 strikeouts. In his only start against Seattle this year, Cashner allowed three earned runs over six innings. In his career against Seattle, he is 2-4 with a 4.09 ERA. Interestingly enough, the big right-hander seems privy to the spacious confines of Safeco Field, seeing as he carries a 3.86 ERA in 25.2 career innings. But bear in mind, he has a 5.27 ERA on the road this season versus a 4.50 mark at home.