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Luis Castillo and Brayan Bello get Opening Day Start in Mariners – Red Sox Match-Up 

Opening Day is a week away for the Mariners and Red Sox and the Opening Day Match-up is announced. Luis Castillo will get the Opening Day start for the Mariners and Brayan Bello for the Red Sox. It’s a match-up to look forward to with the veteran Castillo vs the young Bello. 

Luis Castillo: 

Castillo will begin his second full season with the Mariners after a strong showing in 2023. The now 30-year-old Right hander pitched to a strong 3.34 ERA with a career high 197 innings for Seattle. A 121 ERA+ was around his career norm of 124 for the season. Castillo pitched to a 3.4 bWAR, his third best WAR in his career.  

Castillo will get the nod at his home ballpark, where he had great success in 2023 pitching to a 3.09 ERA over 105 innings in T-Mobile Park. A park known to be a pitcher’s park; Castillo showed his success with strikeouts. He collected 130 strikeouts over those 105 innings, while his strikeouts on the road were less than one per inning (89 Strikeouts over 92 innings). Over his career Castillo was even better in T-Mobile Park with a 2.70 ERA over 136.2 innings, striking out 172. A place Castillo likes to pitch. 

Castillo has faced the Red Sox just twice in his career, pitching to a 4.09 ERA over 11 innings of work. On May the 6th last year, Castillo struggled in Fenway Park allowing seven runs (five earned) over 5 innings of work. It was the worst outing of Castillo’s season. Castillo allowed three home runs as Justin Turner, Triston Casas and Jarren Durran all went deep. Castillo allowed six extra base hits in a 9-4 loss. 

Castillo is looking to get revenge on the Red Sox on Opening Day from last year’s start. He looked ready in his last spring outing, going 5 innings of one run ball. In 13 innings this spring, Castillo has pitched to a 2.77 ERA with 13 strikeouts and 4 walks.  

Brayan Bello: 

The Mariners will face Brayan Bello, who broke out for the Red Sox last season. The just 24-year-old Dominican will make his first career opening day start. While his overall numbers won’t wow anyone, he still pitched to a 3.2 bWAR. Probably partly because his home ballpark is a difficult park to pitch in Fenway.  

Bello was a stable part of the Red Sox rotation, making 28 starts and pitching to a 4.24 ERA. Not known for his strikeout stuff as he struck out just 7.6 hitters per nine, he was able to get a ton of ground balls. His 56.3 ground ball percentage was in the 96th percentile on Baseball Savant. Another adjustment Bello made last year was limiting his walks. In his big-league stint in 2022, he had a 10.1 percent walk rate. In 2023 he decreased it all the way to 6.7 percent, a huge improvement.  

Bello is a five-pitch pitcher, who throws his Sinker and Change-up the most. Both of these pitches collected a positive run value in 2023 (+ 16 combined), while his three other pitches (4 Seamer, Slider and Cutter) got hit hard with a minus seventeen run value combined. I wouldn’t be surprised if Bello throws the Sinker/Change combo more often. 

Bello has faced the Mariners twice in his career (both last year) and shockingly, his ERA and Innings are exactly the same as Castillo against the Red Sox. Bello owns a 4.09 ERA over 11 innings of work against the Mariners. Bello was 2-0 in those starts, pitching 6 innings of 4 run ball in T-Mobile Park last year.  

In that outing Bello faced off against Bryce Miller, who allowed 6 runs over 5.2 innings. Bello started off well with 4 innings of one run ball, before Eugenio Suarez got to him with a 2 out-2 run home run in the fifth. Suarez, who is now on the Diamondbacks, drove in three of the four runs.  

Exciting Opening day match-up for the Mariners and the Red Sox, who both look to contend in strong divisions. The game will start at 7.10 Pacific Time.

Corne Hogeveen
Corne Hogeveenhttps://mlbreport.com/
Mets fan from the Netherlands since 2006. As a European fan, trying to get to as many games as possible. Mets writer for MLBreport and Co-host of the Queens Connection Podcast. Author of Diary of a Dutch Mets fan


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