J.A. Happ (0-0, 2.84 ERA) and the Seattle Mariners (3-6) meet Yovani Gallardo (1-1, 5.59 ERA) and the Texas Rangers (4-6) in the first of a three-game division series at Safeco Field. The game gets underway at 10:10 p.m. ET on Friday, Apr. 17 and will air on FSN-SW and ROOT-NW.
In his last start, Happ pitched 6.1 innings, allowing two runs and striking out one in a 5-4 loss to the Athletics. Nelson Cruz (.294 ) continued his hot start Wednesday, going 2 for 3 with one run, one home run, and one RBI. The Rangers were victorious over the Astros 6-2 the last time Gallardo pitched. He went 5.2 innings, giving up two runs, striking out seven and walking one. Prince Fielder (.400, 3 Rs, 4 RBIs) went 1 for 3 Wednesday.
Oddsmakers have deemed this game an even matchup and the Over/Under (O/U) is presently unavailable. Don't expect the Seattle hitters to swing wildly in their own ballpark. They average only 5.3 strikeouts per home game. Turning to the pitching staff, the Mariners rank third in the AL in home ERA with a 2.33 team average. The Mariners are fourth in the AL in hits allowed at home with just 6.3 per game.
Against divisional foes, the Rangers are 4-6 SU.
Predictions: SU Winner - TEX
This season, the Mariners hold an even 3-3 record against AL West teams. The Rangers sit at 4-6 against these opponents.
The Mariners are 2-1 in games that go into extra innings. Meanwhile, the Rangers are 0-1 in such matchups.
The Rangers are coming off of a weak pitching game where they recorded six strikeouts. The Mariners have a record of 2-1 when opponents' pitchers have that many strikeouts or fewer.
Neither the Mariners (1-0) nor the Rangers (3-0) have lost a game when they outhit opponents.
Ranking 20th in runs, Seattle has earned 32 this season. Texas ranks 13th with 37 runs.
Ranking 25th, Seattle is near the bottom of the league in walks, notching 18 this season. Texas ranks in the top half at 13th with 27.
The Mariners are 3-4 in games where they hit one or more home runs. The Rangers are 2-1 when they hit at least one homer.