The Seattle Mariners are in Texas for game four of a four game series against the Rangers. The Mariners will be looking for the series win as they hold a two games to one lead in the series heading into play tonight. Seattle dropped game one Monday, 5-3, as starter Ariel Miranda lasted only 1.2 innings, giving up four earned runs in the short outing. The M’s bounced back taking game two in blow out fashion, 10-3, powered by three RBI games from Ben Gamel and Kyle Seager. Game three looked a lot like game two as the Mariners clubbed their way to an 8-1 victory last night. The Mariners got another solid start from the newly acquired arm Mike Leake, who went 5.1 innings and gave up only the one run. They were also helped out by two RBI games from Jean Segura, Kyle Seager, and Mike Zunino.
Today’s MLB Pick:
Seattle Mariners -106 at Texas Rangers -114 (Total: 9.5)
Felix Hernandez (5-4 4.28 ERA vs. Andrew Cashner (9-9 3.19 ERA)
Tonight is a must win game for both squads as they struggle to catch up with the Minnesota Twins for the second wild card spot in the American League. King Felix has missed much of the season fighting shoulder issues and will be making his first start tonight since July 31st. First pitch is scheduled for 5:05 PM PST from Globe Life Park in Arlington, Texas.
The Mariners have done everything they can this month to stay in contention with a severely undermanned starting rotation. They have won series against division rivals, the Oakland Athletics and Los Angeles Angels this month and have a shot to take this series tonight in Texas. However, they still find themselves on the outside looking in for a playoff spot as they are 3.5 games back of Minnesota for the second wild card. Help is on the way however as the King, Felix Hernandez, is on the mound tonight, and fellow ace James Paxton will be returning from the DL himself for tomorrow’s game.
Felix has not been his normal self this season. He has battled injury all season long and has struggled to be effective. That being said, he is going to be a HUGE upgrade in the Mariners rotation over the likes of Marco Gonzalez and Yovani Gallardo. And getting dog money tonight in Texas seems too good to pass up. These Mariners bats are hot right now, and I expect them to welcome Felix back to the squad with some healthy run support.
The Rangers will send a guy in Andrew Cashner, that has quietly taken over as their best pitcher over the last two months or so. Cashner has had an ERA of under three over the last two and a half months and has given Texas something it badly needs, a consistent starting pitcher. After trading ace Yu Darvish to the Dodgers and the recent struggles of Cole Hamels, Cashner wouldn’t be too far off to consider himself the ace of the staff.
This is a tight game between two evenly matched teams. These two teams will meet up again before the season ends and whoever gets the best of these remaining games may very well see themselves as a playoff team. Whoever loses them? They will most certainly be spending the playoffs at home on the couch.
In a tough matchup like this, I am going to lean on the hotter team, the Seattle Mariners. They should be getting an emotional lift with the return of Felix Hernandez, and I expect them to rise to the occasion tonight and finish the series off in a big way. Cashner has been solid, but I expect these red-hot bats of Seattle to get to him early and often and power their way to another victory. Felix probably won’t be as sharp as he usually is, I expect about six innings of work and allowing a couple of runs at least from the King. All things seemingly equal I am going to take the dog money in this one. Give me the Mariners as small underdogs on the road in game four tonight from Arlington.
Today’s MLB Pick: SEATTLE MARINERS TO WIN -106