The Seattle Mariners will look to keep pace in the wild-card race when they visit the Texas Rangers on Tuesday night. The Mariners took the first game of this series Monday night, winning 4-3 in 12 innings. Seattle is also a -110 favorite to win on Tuesday.
The Mariners have been struggling since the all-star break, going just 7-9, causing them to fall behind Oakland for the second wild-card spot in the American League. However, they’ve managed to win their last two, so perhaps Seattle is starting to get back on track.
The Rangers, meanwhile, have actually played good baseball lately. Texas is 7-10 in their last 10 games, including a sweep of the Astros a couple weekends ago. Of course, they are still last in the AL West and 16 games under .500. The Rangers also lost a few key pieces right before the trade deadline.
The Former Ace
Felix Hernandez will take the mound for the Mariners on Tuesday. Unfortunately, he’s not the ace that he once was. In 22 starts this season, Hernandez is 8-9 with a 5.49 ERA. He’s also coming off a rather rough July despite a decent outing in his last start against the Blue Jays.
The last time Hernandez faced the Rangers in late May, he allowed five runs over five-plus innings in a game the Rangers eventually won. Naturally, he has good career numbers against a lot of the Texas hitters. But most of that success is long in the past. Hernandez has always had his way with Rougned Odor, although he is one of the hottest hitters in the Texas lineup right now. The same is true for Joey Gallo and Elvis Andrus, both who pose a threat to Hernandez and the Mariners.
The Old Man
Starting for the Rangers will be Bartolo Colon. The 45-year old has had his moments this year. But overall he’s just 5-10 with a 5.18 ERA. In 11 of his last 13 starts, Colon has allowed at least three runs, including a couple outings in which he’s allowed a lot more than that. However, he did toss 7.2 shutout innings against the Mariners back in May, so perhaps he has Seattle’s number.
When you take Robinson Cano, who is still suspended, out of the equation, Colon has great career numbers against most of Seattle’s hitters. The lone exception is Dee Gordon, who is 14 for 38 (.368) in his career against Colon. Gordon is actually in the midst of a slump right now, which could be good news for Colon. However, Nelson Cruz, Kyle Seager, Mitch Haniger and definitely not in a slump right now.
Believe the Old Man
Despite Colon’s recent struggles, he was excellent against this Seattle lineup the last time he faced them, and his strong career numbers are too much to ignore. The Rangers have also been the most consistent team over the past couple of weeks. Bet on the Rangers +110 to beat the Mariners on Tuesday night.