Seattle Mariners second baseman Robinson Cano (22) drops to his knee after getting hit by a pitch in the third inning against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
After Robinson Cano recently received an 80-game suspension for violating the MLB drug policy, Seattle has to lead the majors in current players who have served suspensions for PED use (Nelson Cruz, Dee Gordon).
Not seeing Cano in the lineup every day will take awhile for die-hard baseball fans to get used to, while Mariners fans might never get comfortable with his missing presence. One of his most underrated traits was his durability. Since his debut season in 2005, Cano has played in more games than any other player in baseball.
Seattle will try to fill his void with former 2008 first-round draft pick Gordon Beckham, whom the Mariners signed from Triple-A Tacoma. While Beckham was having a decent year in the minors, he’s a career .239 hitter. The right-hander hasn’t even hit lefties well over the course of his career; he also has a .239 average against them.
While the Mariners have lost Cano for an extended period, they still find themselves in the hunt — for now. Let’s take a closer betting and fantasy look at their game tonight at Safeco Field.
Detroit Tigers (+149) at Seattle Mariners (-165)
Matt Boyd (2-3, 3.21 ERA) vs. Marco Gonzales (3-3, 5.31 ERA)
10:10 p.m. ET
Lefty Lobbers: Fans of velocity may want to avoid this game, as neither starting pitcher lights up the radar gun. This season, Boyd and Gonzales average 90.3 and 91.1 mph on their heaters, respectively.
While these two soft-tossing lefties may seem similar on the surface, Lady Luck has treated Gonzales like he kicked her dog, while she has smiled on Boyd to this point. The Mariners starter actually has better peripherals, but his ERA sits over two points higher than Boyd’s.
That’s because of Gonzales’ mind-boggling BABIP (Batting Average on Balls in Play) of .405, especially compared to Boyd’s fortunate .242. You can expect to see BABIP regression on both ends as the season progresses. That’s good news for Marco, but not for Matt. — Michael Leboff