The second place Cleveland Indians face the Seattle Mariners, who have lost four straight. Seattle gets reinforcements, however, as two top prospects will make their MLB debuts.
Cleveland Indians vs. Seattle Mariners
Thursday, May 13, 2021 – 10:10 PM EDT at T-Mobile Park
Things are going well for the Cleveland Indians, who have won three straight and are in second place in the American League Central, as well as in line for one of the Wild Card spots, if they can’t catch the White Sox.
The going has been rockier for the Mariners, who are in third place in the American League West and riding a four-game losing streak that has dropped them below .500.
Seattle has reason for hope, however. On Thursday night, the Mariners will get reinforcements from their farm system as two of Seattle’s top prospects will make their Major League debuts against Cleveland.
It will be the first meeting between Cleveland and Seattle since 2019 and the Indians’ first game against an American League West team this season. It’s more of the same for Seattle, who will play its 22nd game of the season against a team with a winning record as part of baseball’s toughest schedule.
The Indians head to Seattle following a two-game sweep of the Chicago Cubs and a 3-1 mini homestand. Cleveland has won eight of the last nine games and is in the top five in the American League in run differential.
Cleveland has gotten a contribution from the pitching staff. The Indians have thrown two shutouts in their current nine-game hot streak and allowed two runs ro fewer in three other games over that span.
Cleveland has scored five or more runs five times in those nine games as the offense is doing its part to support the pitching staff.
The Indians send Zach Plesac on the mound to open the series in Seattle. He has a 2-3 record with a 3.83 ERA. He’s had trouble getting run support from the Cleveland bats. In his last start, he went eight scoreless innings, striking out seven, only to have the Indians get no hit by Wade Miley, the second time this year that Cleveland has gone hitless in a Plesac start.
The Mariners have the fourth worst run differential in the American League and have lost seven of their last 10, including four in a row.
While Seattle has played a tough schedule, their recent slump has been against teams near the bottom of the standings. The Mariners lost two of three to American League East cellar dweller Baltimore and two of three to AL West fourth-place team Texas. The Mariners also got swept by a Dodgers team that has been in a tailspin for the last month. The Mariners have hit .185 over the last 10 while posting an ERA of 5.86.
Clearly, it was time for a change, and help is on the way.
Seattle called up starting pitcher Logan Gilbert, who will make his big league debut on the mound Thursday night. Gilbert is the No. 28 prospect in baseball. He was the No. 14 pick in the 2018 draft after going 21-2 in his final two years at Stetson. He sped up the Seattle minor league chain in 2019, going 6-3 in two levels of Class-A ball, never posting an ERA over 2.00. He also went 4-2, 2.88, at Double-A. He’s made one start this season at Triple-A, pitching five innings, allowing one run and getting the win.
Gilbert strikes out just under 11 batters per nine innings and allows just over two walks. Opponents have hit .198 against him in the minor leagues.
The rookie pitcher will have another debuting star in the lineup to help support him. The Mariners have also called up outfielder Jarred Kelenic, who is the No. 4 prospect in baseball.
Kelenic was the No. 6 pick in the 2018 draft, by the Mets. He was traded to Seattle for Robinson Cano and Edwin Diaz. He had 23 homers, 20 steals and .904 OPS in three levels of the minor leagues in 2019 and had a successful first week in Triple-A this season, hitting .370 with two home runs in six games.
The Indians are the hotter team, but if there was ever a time for Seattle to break through with a big win it’s Thursday, with their top pitching and hitting prospects hitting the Major Leagues together. Look for the Mariners to get an emotional win.
MLB Pick: Mariners +106 with BetOnline