The Texas Rangers (22-29) head out to play the Seattle Mariners (23-27) to begin a four-game series on Thursday, featuring the fourth- and third-place teams, respectively, in the American League West. Texas took two of three at its home park in Arlington earlier this month, with two of those three games decided by just one run. Last season, the Mariners dominated this matchup, winning seven in a row and eight of 10. And the Mariners are the ones with a penchant for winning tight games, as they’ve secured 10 wins in 15 one-run games this season.
Free Picks: Texas Rangers vs Seattle Mariners
Mariners, Rangers draw even odds in series opener
A pair of struggling AL West teams meet on Thursday, and oddsmakers have them in a dead heat on the money line. Whether you like the Texas Rangers or the Seattle Mariners, both can be had at -111 odds (10Bet) among the day’s MLB picks. Perhaps you’re wondering, “What the heck do I do with that?”
Right, there’s usually a favorite and an underdog, which can help bettors to lean one way or another. That’s not the case here, and honestly, we don’t blame the oddsmakers! There’s a lot of mediocrity in this matchup.
The Rangers are 20th in team OPS (.695) and 21st in team ERA (4.50). The Mariners are dead last in team OPS (.637) and 24th in team ERA (4.59). Yuck. Texas has lost six of 10, while Seattle has lost seven of 10. There isn’t a lot separating these squads.
What we like to zero in on in situations like this, then, is the pitching matchup. In this one, Texas’s Kolby Allard (1-0, 3.15 ERA) makes his first start of the season after 20 innings coming out of the bullpen. He’s been solid in 10 relief outings, with 23 strikeouts and just two home runs allowed. Last season, though, he lost all six of his decisions and pitched to a 7.75 ERA. He also faced the Mariners twice, allowing a whopping 12 earned runs in 4 1/3 innings.
For Seattle, Chris Flexen (4-2, 5.09 ERA) takes the mound. He’s been all over the place this season, and he’s coming off a disastrous start: 10 hits and eight runs allowed in 1 2/3 innings. Flexen did win his lone start against the Rangers last year, but it came in somewhat ugly fashion (10 hits and four runs allowed in 6 2/3 innings). All in all, he’s been pretty volatile.
With this information at hand, the decision becomes a bit clearer: Allard and the Rangers are a more attractive choice. Oh, and the Rangers happen to have one of the hottest hitters in baseball, rookie Adolis Garcia, hitting in the middle of their lineup. Garcia is tied for the MLB lead with 16 home runs, and he’s making a compelling early case for AL Rookie of the Year (he’s 28, but it still counts!).
So with that, our BetPicks prediction is the Rangers on the money line. Put your faith in a reliever-turned-starter and a 28-year-old rookie, and see what happens.
- Texas is 4-6 on the money line in its past 10
- The OVER has cashed in six of the Rangers’ past 10 games
- Seattle is 3-7 on the money line in its past 10
- The OVER has cashed in four of the Mariners’ past six games
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Jordan Horrobin is a freelance sports journalist based in Toronto, Ontario, who enjoys sports-related research and telling engaging stories. His work can also be found at Sportsnet, Forbes and elsewhere. Though he abandoned most of his team-specific fandoms in the interest of unbiased analysis, Jordan roots hard for his fantasy football/hockey teams (and he's a complete homer for all things Ohio University).
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