Texas Rangers (16-13) at Seattle Mariners (13-16) Preview Game 1


The Rangers are heading to Seattle tonight for the first of three games against the Mariners. The Rangers lost three of their last four games, which were in Oakland against the A’s. On the road, Texas has lost seven of nine games after starting the season with a 3-1 record away from Arlington.

When the Mariners visited Texas April 4-6, the Rangers performed a sweep and won all three games. The total combined score of the games was 16-9. Since the beginning of 2010, the Rangers have been able to get 15 of 22 games against the Mariners and have won the last four series against Seattle. While it would appear that the Rangers have an upper-hand, that’s only the past year or so. Overall in series, Seattle has the better stats winning 254 over the Rangers’ 252. At Safeco Field, they are 58-43 but 132-116 in Seattle.

A quick fat: Michael Young is currently leading the American League with 40 hits, which is just one hit more than Mariners’ Ichiro Suzuki.

The game comes on tonight just after 9 p.m. so if you have work in the morning or aren’t one of those nocturnal fans then you may have to read our recap in the morning to find out who won and what happened. So, be sure to come back! Until then, enjoy the rest of the preview.

Pitching Matchups

RHP Alexi Ogando will start for the Rangers tonight. He is by far the Rangers’ best starter this season having four quality starts out of his five. He is 3-0 with a 2.30 ERA and 21 strikeouts. Over all five of his starts, the 27-year-old pitched no less than six innings and allowed no more than two runs per game aside from one game against the Yankees in which he allowed five runs on six hits. His first two starts, he allowed no runs and just two hits in each game. In his last outing, he allowed two runs on four hits over six innings against Toronto. He also struck out a season-high of seven batters.

For his three career starts against the Mariners, Ogando hasn’t given up a single run to the team in 7.1 innings. This does include his initial start of the 2011 MLB season in which he successfully threw six shutout innings. It also includes one appearance in Seattle and one in Arlington from last year – both obviously in relief

LHP Erik Bedard starts on the mound for the Mariners. He is 1-4 with a 5.95 ERA. The 32-year-old is coming off his very first quality start and win for the season after just allowing a single run on five hits over seven innings against the Detroit Tigers demolishing the Tigers with a 10-1 victory. It was also his first game to not walk a single batter and he retired the final eight batters he faced. A surprising fact: this was his first win since back in June of 2009.

He is 4-3 with an ERA of 3.28 against the Rangers allowing 26 walks and striking out 72 over 71.1 innings while allowing 30 runs – 26 earned – on 62 hits.

Pitchers vs. Hitters

RHP Alexi Ogando: While he has only seen these batters in two to three at-bats, he has allowed only two of them to score a run off him. Adam Kennedy is 1-for-2 with a double and Milton Bradley is 1-for-2. Ogando held Justin Smoak to zero hits in three at-bats, but he is pretty hot right now so we’ll see if Ogando can keep him from hitting again tonight.

LHP Erik Bedard: The Rangers haven’t exactly hit the best off Bedard but there’s also room for a change. Our top batter is Julio Borbon in terms of batting averages hitting 1-for-2 but looking at better stats, Nelson Cruz is 4-for-10 with two homers and three RBIs followed by Ian Kinsler who is 7-for-22 with one RBI. Adrian Beltre, who has been slamming balls, is 3-for-14 with one homer and three RBIs. Michael Young had the best start of the season of his career and is 5-for-30 with one homer and three RBIs so tonight may be a slump for Michael.