Cole Hamels (6-8, 3.86 ERA) and the Texas Rangers (58-57) go up against Taijuan Walker (8-7, 4.60 ERA) and the Seattle Mariners (54-63) in the first of a three-game division series at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. The game gets underway at 8:05 p.m. ET on Monday, Aug. 17 and will air on RTNW and FSSW.
In his most recent outing, Hamels pitched 6.0 innings, giving up four runs, striking out seven and walking two in a 4-3 loss to the Mariners. Mitch Moreland (.298, 39 Rs, 17 HRs, 61 RBIs, 1 SB) continued his strong season yesterday, going 2 for 3. The Mariners were unsuccessful to the Orioles 6-5 the last time Walker pitched. He went 6.0 innings, allowing two runs, striking out six and walking one. Nelson Cruz (.324, 65 Rs, 35 HRs, 73 RBIs, 3 SBs) has been doing well offensively for the Mariners, going 2 for 3 yesterday with two runs, one home run, and three RBIs.
Texas, a -138 favorite, will look to capitalize at home against Seattle. The Over/Under (O/U) for the matchup is set at eight runs. The Rangers are 9-12 as the favorite and have an overall money line of +1,722. They have not performed well against their division, earning an SU record of 18-28 and a 2-4 record when they were the favorite. The Rangers have one of the most prolific offenses in the entire AL, averaging 4.5 runs per game. The Rangers rank fifth in the AL in hits at home with 9.0 per game. The Rangers typically don't swing at bad pitches, which has led to an impressive 3.2 walks per home game. Whenever an AL West opponent shows up on the calendar, the Rangers seem to struggle with pitching. They allow an average of 4.8 runs per game, but allow 5.4 against teams from their own division.
Switching gears, the Mariners come into this game with a win percentage of .479 when playing as the underdog (23-25) and an overall money line of -1,638. Against teams in their division, they are 23-22 SU and 10-8 as the underdog. Seattle has been playing better lately, averaging 4.8 runs per game, more than their season average of 3.8. Seattle's pitching staff has allowed an average of 7.2 runs per game during the last 10 games, higher than their season average of 4.5. They also have some of the most overpowering arms in the AL with an average of 7.8 strikeouts per game.
The Mariners have gotten the best of the Rangers in head-to-head matchups this season, going 7-2. This game will feature Walker (RHP) on the mound against the Rangers, who have a 39-35 record when they take on a right-handed starter. Taking the hill against the Mariners will be the left-hander Hamels. They sport a 13-18 record against southpaws.
Predictions: SU Winner - Tex, O/U - Over
The Rangers are struggling at 18-28 in their division, while the Mariners are 23-22.
The Mariners are coming into this meeting after a high-scoring game where they scored an impressive 10 runs. The Rangers have a 0-12 record when opponents score that many runs or more.
When they are outhit, the Rangers are 12-44. The Mariners have a 15-40 record when opponents outhit them.
Both falling in the top 10 of the league based on total home runs this season, Texas ranks 10th with 120 homers and Seattle is sixth with 135.
Ranking 12th, Seattle is in the top half of the league in hits, notching 8.26 per game. Texas ranks in the top 10 at sixth with 8.76.
Ranking 17th, Seattle is in the bottom half of the league for its on-base plus slugging percentage (.704). Texas ranks in the top half at 12th with an OPS of .731.
The Mariners are 26-53 in games where they allow one or more home runs. The Rangers are 31-44 when they allow at least one homer.