We are less than 24 hours away from the Seattle’s first postseason game in 20 seasons. It is the fourth-seeded Toronto Blue Jays hosting the fifth-seed Seattle Mariners up in in the six. Here is everything you need to know going into the 1:07 PM start tomorrow on ESPN.
Both teams are 7-3 in their last ten games, where Seattle finished the regular season winning three straight over Detroit and finishing with a record of 90-72, their identical record to last season. Speaking of that record from last season, the 2021 Atlanta Braves had a worse record than the 2021 Mariners and ended up winning it all. So, what I am saying is: it can certainly happen. Toronto finished the regular season winning five of their last six, and finishing with a 92-70, just two games in front of the M’s.
Manager Scott Servais announced today that the Mariners will turn to the recently-acquired Luis Castillo to toe the rubber against Toronto’s ace, Alek Manoah on Friday. Both starters were all-stars this season, (Castillo as a member of the Cincinnati Reds).
Luis Castillo is 8-6 this season, with a 2.99 ERA. In his last seven games, “La Piedra” is 3-1 with a 3.18 ERA, striking out 48 and walking ten. As a member of the Seattle Mariners, Luis went 4-2 in 11 starts. In Castillo’s one start against the Jays this season, he went six full innings, giving up two earned, striking out five (as a Red).
Manoah started in 31 games this season and finished with a 16-7 record. In just under 200 innings, he stuck out 186. In his last seven games, Alek went 4-1, striking out 41, giving up only five earned runs. In Manoah’s one start against Seattle this season, he gave up two earned over seven plus innings, punching out seven.
Seattle, as a team, has won five straight over Toronto, despite going 1-2 in May, at Rogers Centre. During their 14-game winning streak, Seattle swept the Jays in four games during July in T-Mobile Park.
The M’s will be without Sam Haggerty going forward, which is a big blow, where he is the offensive spark Seattle has needed at times this year, as well as an excellent defender and speedy baserunner. Dylan Moore, who was hit by a pitch in the final series of the regular season, appears to be ready to go for tomorrow, as is Jarred Kelenic, who was also pegged in the ribs. Julio Rodriguez, who was recently activated off the 10-day (back), is ready to roll for his first postseason appearance as a rookie.
Toronto may be without starting outfielder Lourdes Gurriel Jr (hamstring), and all-star infielder Santiago Espinal (oblique) tomorrow. Blue Jays’ starter Kevin Gausman (finger) appears to be ready to roll after his last start was cut short.
2021 American League Cy Young Robbie Ray (as a member of the Blue Jays) will take the bump on Saturday. With that being said, Servais said this can change depending on the outcome on Friday. If not Ray on Saturday, it will be Logan Gilbert for the M’s.
Toronto has yet to name a starter for Saturday.
Winners of this three-game series will face off against the Houston Astros in the American League Divisional Series.
According to Fanduel, the M’s are 1.5-run underdogs, and the over/under is set at seven.