Two AL West teams meet for the second time this season as the Seattle Mariners travel to Arlington to take on the division-leading Texas Rangers. Texas enters this game having won its last four consecutive series while the Mariners are looking to bounce back from a series loss to the Yankees earlier this week.
Let’s take a look at the odds for this matchup and make a prediction for game 1 of this Rangers vs Mariners series.
Mariners vs. Rangers Prediction
Mariners vs. Rangers Best Bet: Mariners moneyline
These two teams met in May and Texas won the series 2-1. Game three of that series featured Luis Castillo on the mound, who makes a return tonight. Castillo is facing a hot Rangers team which has a .272 team batting average, averages nearly 10 hits per game and 1.71 home runs per home game. Castillo lost game three of the first series, despite an impressive nine strikeouts; he forfeited 8 hits (season high) and a home run.
Castillo has turned it around since then, and in his last two games, he is 2-0 with 18 K’s and zero earned runs. It is worth noting that both of his last two games were at home, where he is 4-1 with a 1.89 ERA. On the road, he is 0-1 with a 5.06 ERA so it’s anyone’s guess if he can shake the road struggles this time. Rangers starting pitcher Jon Gray is the opposite in that regard, tending to perform much better on the road, which makes for an interesting matchup. He also pitched in the last series against the M’s and was solid – in seven innings, he struck out 8 and gave up four hits.
Gray does significantly better against right-handed batters (.186/.255/.309) than left-handed batters (.250/.325/.417) so expect the Mariners to use some of their lefty power tonight. Their left-handed slugger and batting average leader Jarred Kelenic has two career home runs against Gray on just seven AB’s. And, Seattle’s lineup boasts a .283/.341/.549 line against Gray over his career.
I expect this to be a close game with good pitching but Castillo and his elite bullpen has the edge over Gray in my book. The Mariners may not win the series, but I think they take game one.
Mariners vs. Rangers Odds
The Mariners (-115) enter as narrow road favorites in this matchup against Texas (-105), which is mildly surprising given the hype around Texas right now. If you are interested in betting the run line, you can get the Mariners -1.5 at +145 or the Rangers +1.5 at -175. The over/under is 8 runs.
Some key trends to consider:
- Mariners are 6-1 overall after one day of rest
- Mariners are 22-17 as the favorite
- Rangers are 11-5 against AL West teams
- Rangers are 16-8 at home
Mariners vs. Rangers Key Matchups
Here are the key matchups that could decide Mariners vs. Rangers
Luis Castillo vs. Josh Jung
Few on the Rangers lineup have been hotter in the month of May than Josh Jung. Jung had a .917 OPS during the month, which includes a .450 average and four extra base hits in the last week alone. He sits in the top 15% of the league in average exit velocity and the bottom 15% in strikeout percentage.
Jung’s production drops off against right-handed pitchers (.271/.317/.465) while Castillo’s production picks drastically up against right-handed batters (.178/.211/.314). Jung hits well against a fastball (.317) which is what Castillo throws 43.1% of the time. This is definitely a matchup to watch as both Castillo and Jung have hot streaks to keep alive.
Julio Rodriguez vs. Rangers Pitching
Julio Rodriguez went 0-4 against Gray in their first series but got his bat going afterwards, something that Seattle needed in the worst way. In their nine-game homestand preceding today’s game, Rodriguez recorded the following stats: .432 average, 1.153 OPS, 4 doubles, 3 home runs, 10 RBI’s, and two stolen bases. The impressive stat line earned him AL Player of The Week.
Gray has a 4.09 ERA and a .274/.354/.464 line against him on his home field which works in Seattle’s favor, but they aren’t out of the woods. Rangers pitching has contributed to this 35-win team which has given up the second-fewest hits, third-fewest earned runs, and third-fewest home runs, so Rodriguez faces a big threat to his hot streak here. The question is, can he keep the streak alive?
Mariners vs. Rangers Starting Lineups
Mariners Starting Lineup
SS J.P. Crawford L
1B Ty France R
CF Julio Rodriguez R
LF Jarred Kelenic L
3B Eugenio Suarez R
C Cal Raleigh B
RF Teoscar Hernandez R
DH Mike Ford L
2B Jose Caballero R
Rangers Starting Lineup
2B Marcus Semien R
SS Corey Seager L
1B Nathaniel Lowe L
RF Adolis Garcia R
3B Josh Jung R
DH Robbie Grossman B
LF Travis Jankowski L
CF Leody Taveras B
C Sandy Leon B