Coming off a winning pick on the Yankees last night, we head to Texas for another important affair in the American League. The Rangers are hanging in there for the final wildcard, and the Mariners are clinging on for dear life. It isn’t going to be particularly easy for either team, but the Mariners are slowly fading away. They’ve gone 2-5 in their last seven games, including a loss last night to the Rangers.
The Rangers scored early and never looked back, taking a 5-3 win in a pivotal matchup on Monday night. There may have been MNF last night, but the most exciting action took place on the diamond. Elsewhere, the Indians continued their torrid pace, and the White Sox did a good job putting up a roadblock against the Royals.
It isn’t necessarily the Mariners’ fault that they’re regressing out of the wildcard picture. This is a team who has had to watch their three best pitchers sit out with injuries throughout most of the second-half. I don’t care who the team is, if their three best pitchers are not active, it’s going to be difficult to win ball games. With that said, it’s impressive that the Mariners are in the wildcard race. The fact that they’ve been able to take a bunch of no-name starting pitchers and keep their names in the postseason hunt is worth a small award.
Unfortunately, Felix, Iwakuma, and Paxton all had to go and get injured in a year that the offense is finally putting it together. All three of those guys can play lights out baseball. King Felix and James Paxton are scheduled to return to the lineup next week, but it’s probably going to be too late for the Mariners. They would do themselves some favors by getting a productive start out of Marco Gonzales.
Nothing has been productive of his stint in the majors. If it weren’t for the injuries, you wouldn’t be seeing Gonzales tonight. The Rangers counter with Miguel Gonzalez, a newly acquired right-hander from the White Sox. Scroll down for our free Mariners vs. Rangers pick.
Seattle Mariners vs. Texas Rangers Pick
Marco Gonzales (0-1, 6.20 ERA) vs. Miguel Gonzalez (7-10, 4.48 ERA)
It’s Gonzales vs. Gonzalez tonight, as both look to give their team a better chance of reaching the postseason. Gonzales really has been hurting the Mariners, though. He enters with an ERA of 6.20 with a 1.74 WHIP and .393 OBA. Gonzales has also been getting obliterated on the road with a 9.00 ERA and 2.25 WHIP. His most recent starts were important to keep the Mariners in the hunt, but he failed to help out. Gonzales posted an ERA of 8.03 with a 2.27 WHIP and .475 OBA. Tonight will mark a record for the most major league starts he’s gotten in his career with six. Telling by his body of work here, he won’t be starting out in the majors in 2018.
Miguel hasn’t been too great either, but he’s at least been preventing himself from getting bulldozed. Gonzalez has only made one start with the Rangers, getting touched up for 4 runs against the Braves in Atlanta. He was pitching quite well before the trade, though, allowing 1, 1, 0, 2, and 3 runs in his previous five starts before coming to Texas. In fact, in six of his last ten outings, Gonzalez has allowed 2 or less runs. In five of ten, 1 or no runs. This will be his first start in Texas. He manages better at home, with a 3.17 ERA, but it’s yet to be seen how it will translate in Texas. I’m willing to bet, though, that the Rangers’ bats will give him some room to work with. I can’t side with Gonzales, who has shown zero consistency. The pick here is on the Texas Rangers.
PICK: RANGERS (-115)