June 13, 2024

Sep 12, 2023; Seattle, Washington, USA; Seattle Mariners center fielder Julio Rodriguez (44) reacts after hitting a single against the Los Angeles Angels during the seventh inning at T-Mobile Park. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

The Mariners’ pitching staff has been strong all season, but now Seattle needs more production from their starting lineup at the plate. The offense must step up during this road trip to compete with these high-powered offensive teams. This is especially true after the Orioles’ offensive outburst, led by Gunnar Henderson, who hit three home runs in their series against the Mariners. The Orioles scored a total of 18 runs in the series, averaging six runs per game.

Seattle will now head to New York to face the Yankees, who also have a formidable lineup. The Yankees entered Sunday tied with the Orioles for the most home runs in the league, with 68 this season. Aaron Judge, the Yankees’ star center fielder, struggled in April but has caught fire in May, hitting .386 with seven home runs, 12 RBIs, and an impressive 1.433 OPS.

Additionally, Yankees right fielder Juan Soto has been hot since the start of the season, posting a slash line of .311/.411/.552 with 11 home runs, 37 RBIs, and a .963 OPS. Soto, the Yankees’ major offseason acquisition from the San Diego Padres, joins Judge in forming a powerful duo in the heart of their lineup that opposing pitchers must contend with.

With the Mariners’ pitching staff needing run support on this road trip, here are three hot Mariners hitters who could help boost their offense.

**Mariners’ Hot Hitter #1: Outfielder Luke Raley**

Luke Raley has been a key spark for the Mariners’ offense over the past couple of weeks, earning more playing time due to his impressive performance at the plate.

Just as opening day nears, Luke Raley starting to heat up for Mariners |  The Seattle Times

His recent contributions were highlighted in the series finale against Baltimore, where he started at first base against Orioles ace Corbin Burnes. Raley went three for four with two doubles and a run scored, justifying manager Scott Servais’s decision to start him over Ty France.

Raley’s recent statistics showcase his hot streak. Over his last 15 games, he is slashing .383/.431/.471, with three home runs, 8 RBIs, 10 runs scored, and two stolen bases. His consistent ability to get on base and his speed on the base paths have been crucial for the Mariners. These qualities have delivered exactly what the team hoped for when they traded for him this past offseason.

Looking ahead, Raley’s left-handed bat should be advantageous as the Mariners face the Yankees in New York. Yankee Stadium, known for its short porch in right field, is favorable for left-handed hitters. Raley has shown his power recently with three home runs in his last 15 games. In a small sample size at Yankee Stadium, he has a .286 average and a .375 OBP over five games, though he is still seeking his first home run there. This upcoming series presents a great opportunity for Raley to potentially hit his first Yankee Stadium homer.

**Mariners’ Hot Hitter #2: INF/OF Dylan Moore**

Dylan Moore has stepped up admirably for the Mariners, filling in for shortstop J.P. Crawford, who has been sidelined with an oblique injury. As a versatile utility player, Moore has excelled in both the outfield and infield positions, making the most of his opportunity to start regularly this season. Overall, Moore is hitting .229 with a .333 OBP, four home runs, 15 RBIs, and six stolen bases. His recent performance has been even more impressive, as he is slashing .271/.368/.604 over his last 15 games, with three home runs, 11 RBIs, and 10 runs scored.

Mariners’ manager Scott Servais has praised Moore’s at-bats this season, noting that he is seeing the ball well. With J.P. Crawford returning from the IL, it will be interesting to see how Servais manages Moore’s playing time. Keeping Moore’s hot bat in the lineup should be a priority, and he could potentially shift to second base, especially with Jorge Polanco still recovering from a hamstring injury.

Mariners' Dylan Moore nears return; Easton McGee 'likely' needs Tommy John  surgery | The Seattle Times

Moore’s versatility is a significant asset, allowing him to play almost every position on the field. This flexibility provides numerous opportunities for Servais to find a spot for Moore in the starting lineup. Moore’s clutch RBI double in the second game of the series against the Orioles was pivotal in helping the Mariners avoid a series sweep. As the Mariners head to New York, they will be hoping that Moore can continue his hot hitting and contribute to a successful series against the Yankees.

**Mariners’ Hot Hitter #3: Center Fielder Julio Rodriguez**

After a slow start in April, Julio Rodriguez has found his stride over the past seven games, putting together a hitting streak where he’s batting .429 with a home run and three RBIs. In Saturday’s 4-3 win over the Orioles, Rodriguez played a crucial role by singling to lead off the eighth inning and scoring the go-ahead run on a double by Cal Raleigh.

As the Mariners prepare to face the New York Yankees, they need Rodriguez to continue his strong performance. While he’s been effective at getting on base recently, the team would like to see him hit for more power. This season, Rodriguez is slugging just .333, significantly below his career slugging percentage of .473. However, he has shown some power over the past week with a double and a home run.

Despite not hitting for power as much this season, Rodriguez has been an excellent table-setter for the Mariners’ middle order. If he can start hitting for power, it would provide a significant boost to the Mariners’ lineup.

Julio Rodr√≠guez Joins What Could Become a Bumper Crop of 30-30 Players |  FanGraphs Baseball Additionally, Rodriguez has made key defensive plays, including robbing Anthony Santander of a home run in last Friday’s game against Baltimore. With Yankee Stadium’s hitter-friendly dimensions, Rodriguez might find it easier to display his power in the upcoming series.

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