3:37 pm
September 23

Mariners @ Athletics

Who will WIN this matchup?

Seattle Mariners (83-69)

@ Oakland Athletics (82-70)


Starting Pitchers:

Kikuchi (SEA): 7-9; 4.32 ERA

Bassitt (OAK) 12-4; 3.22 ERA


Current odds:

Seattle Mariners: (+130)

Oakland Athletics: (-150)


Five weeks after getting hit in the face with a 100-mph line drive, Chris Bassitt is ready to return to the mound. The Oakland right-hander is scheduled to start Thursday afternoon when the A’s wrap up a four-game series with the visiting Seattle Mariners.

Bassitt (12-4) was leading the American League in victories when he was struck Aug. 17 by a liner off the bat of the Chicago White Sox’s Brian Goodwin. Bassitt was carted off the field and taken to a hospital for stitches and had surgery for several fractures near his right eye. Even before the surgery, he vowed to his teammates he’d be back this season. Bassitt threw a bullpen session Sept. 12 and had two more throwing sessions over the next week. He faced hitters in a simulated game last weekend in Anaheim.

The A’s (82-70) were holding down one of the AL’s wild-card playoff berths when Bassitt was injured, but have gone 14-18 since to fall 3 1/2 games back.

The Mariners (83-69) passed Oakland in the wild-card race with a 4-1 victory Wednesday as Kyle Seager and Ty France hit solo homers and will go for a sweep of the series Thursday.

Melvin said he’s unsure how long Bassitt will be able to go in his first game back. Right-hander James Kaprelian, originally scheduled to start Thursday, likely will move to the bullpen to take over from Bassitt if necessary. Bassitt is 1-4 with a 4.26 ERA in 12 career appearances against Seattle, including 10 starts. He doesn’t have a decision in two starts against the M’s this season.

The Mariners are set to counter with left-hander Yusei Kikuchi (7-9, 4.32), who has lost his past three decisions and six of his past seven. Kikuchi is 1-2 with a 2.80 ERA in eight career starts against Oakland, including 1-0 in two starts this year.

StreakSmarter Pick
Oakland Athletics