AL West action here as the Mariners will travel south to Texas to take on the Rangers as the regular season winds down in what has been a disappointing year for both sides. Erasmo Ramirez will be taking the hill for Seattle while Connor Sadzeck will be making his second career start for the Rangers.
Mariners Finishing Strong
It’s been a strange season for Seattle. After getting off to a hot-start that nobody saw coming, things quickly went South. They were 20 games above .500 at the All-Star break, but are six games under .500 since. The collapse and loss of playoff hopes caused strife in the locker room, leading to a reported brawl between players before a recent game.
They’ve apparently been able to put this issues behind them, as they’ve been playing very good baseball recently, going 5-2 over their last seven games. Ramirez will be pitching, and they’ve had a good amount of success in his recent starts.Ramirez made two starts at the beginning of the season back in April, but quickly landed on the disabled list. Since his return, the Mariners are 6-1 in games that he’s started. He hasn’t always pitched well, but the team has consistently given him good run support.
With just ten games to play, the Mariners are 7.5 games back of the second wild card spot, and ESPN gives them just a 0.1% chance of making the playoffs. That hasn’t stopped their bats from coming alive recently, as they’ve scored 35 runs over the past seven games. I’d expect them to continue to have success against this group of Rangers relievers.
Rangers going with group strategy
Connor Sadzeck will be getting the start here, but likely won’t go deep into the game. The 26-year-old rookie has pitched mostly out of the bullpen since earning a September call-up. He’s pitched well, giving up no runs so far across 6.1 innings. His lone other start, he pitched just one inning as the Rangers appear to be copying the strategy of several other teams of going without a starter.
Sadzeck will likely pitch just an inning or two here as well before giving way to a different Rangers long reliever. It’s an interesting strategy, and one that makes the team a bit hard to handicap here. It’s hard to predict exactly what the Rangers’ pitching will look like here, making it a bit of a wildcard.
One thing that is known is that Texas has struggled mightily at the plate recently. In their most recent series, where they were swept by the Rays, they scored just three total runs across three games. While Ramirez certainly is hittable, I don’t see the Rangers’ bats suddenly coming alive here.
- 1-10 in their last 11 games vs. a right-handed starter
- 1-6 in their last 7 vs. American League West
- 1-8 in their last 9 games vs. a starter with a WHIP greater than 1.30
- 6-1 in Ramirezs last 7 starts
- 5-2 in their last 7 vs. American League West
- 5-2 in their last 7 road games
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
I think the Mariners are the clear side here. They play very well when Ramirez pitches, and the Rangers’ lineup simply can’t produce runs at the moment. All the factors seem to be aligning for Seattle, as they’re finally getting back into a good stretch while the Rangers completely fall apart. With the Mariners only slight favorites, there’s great value on Seattle here. The Ranges have a worse record at home this year than they do on the road, so there’s no advantage for them here.
Prediction: Mariners -125
Full-Game Total Pick
While I think there should be some runs scored here, 10.5 is simply too high. It’s too large a number even in a hitters park, when the Rangers can’t hit anything right now. Ramirez is certainly capable of being hit, but there’s nothing to suggest the Rangers will suddenly catch fire here. Texas’ bullpen committee approach has actually been reasonably successful when they’ve tried it, so I think there should be a lot less runs than oddsmakers seem to be expecting.
Prediction: Under 10.5
Full-Game Prop Bet
No score in the first inning is actually an underdog here, good value if you’re looking for a prop bet. Sadzeck will be pitching at least the first inning for the Rangers, and hasn’t given up a run all year. Assuming he makes it through unscathed, Ramirez will have to toss just one scoreless frame against a weak-hitting Rangers lineup for this to cash.
Prediction: No score in first inning +110
First Five Innings Side Pick
If you’re looking for a first five innings bet, the Mariners are the way to go here even though I don’t love Ramirez here. The Rangers just have shown nothing to suggest they’ll be able to score early runs no matter who is pitching. As long as the Mariners can get a couple, they should be leading after five innings.
First Five Innings Total Bet
While I expect the Mariners to do a little bit of damage, six runs is too much to ask for in the first five innings. I think both Ramirez and the Rangers’ rotation of relievers could do a little better than expected here and like the under a lot, both for the full game and the first five innings.
Prediction: Under 5.5