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Series Preview: Tampa Bay Rays Vs. Seattle Mariners

The Seattle Mariners come to the Trop for a three-game series against the Rays. It'll be a showdown to see which team can produce the least impressive offensive display.

After a respectable 3-2 roadtrip through New York and Boston, the Tampa Bay Rays (66-56) return home for a three-game series against the Seattle Mariners (53-69). This series is the last time this season these two clubs will face each other, and they have split the season series down the middle so far (3-3).

The Mariners are not necessarily an impressive team this season. They have the third-worst record in the American League, and their offense is the worst in the majors. They have hit a collective .231/.293/.342 -- 21% below league average -- posting an OBP under .300 for the second season in a row. The Mariners' offense was historically awful last season, and sadly for Mariners fans, it hasn't improved much at all.

And yet, the Mariners are no pushovers. Their pitching rotation is solid, led by Doug Fister ( 3.33 ERA, 3.25 FIP), rookie Michael Pineda (3.77 ERA, 3.60 FIP), and ace Felix Hernandex (3.38 ERA, 3.25 FIP). The Rays will face two of these three starters this series, which could make these games close due to the Rays' off-and-on offense.

If the Rays can contain rookie standout Dustin Ackley, we could be in for some long, low-scoring games.  

Friday, 7:10pm -- Wade Davis vs. Felix Hernandez
Saturday, 7:10pm -- Jeremy Hellickson vs. Charlie Furbush
Sunday, 1:40pm -- TBA vs. Michael Pineda

Available On: Sun Sports, WDAE 620

Photographs by, thelastminute, turtlemom nancy , fesek, kthypryn, justinwright, sue_elias, pointnshoot, and scrapstothefuture used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.