Remember when the Rangers couldn’t win a home game to save their lives? Me neither. The early season struggles in Arlington are now nothing more than a distant memory as the Rangers are 6-1 so far on this homestand and have won 10 of their last 11 at Globe Life Park. However, the Mariners have given the Rangers problems this season, and even though they are basically out of the playoff race there is nothing more they want to do than to spoil Texas’ season.
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The Rangers have a losing record against the Mariners this season at 6-10 overall, but they were 1-5 in two three game sets against them in April but in the second half of the season have split 10 games so far at 5-5. Most recently they played a four game set in Seattle and split the four games, but didn’t produce a single run in the two losses. The Rangers offense is on fire right now, but the Mariners staff always seems to be at the top of their game against the Rangers. They will need to be on top of their game to slow down a Texas offense that has scored 45 runs in their last five games.
That four game series stopped a long winning streak for the Mariners, who looked like they might have an improbable run at the postseason left in them after they had struggled most of the season. But now they are 8.5 games behind Texas in the AL west and six behind Houston for the second wild card. ESPN currently gives them a .1% chance of making the playoffs.
Yovani Gallardo goes against James Paxton in game one on Friday with Cole Hamels starting on Saturday against Vidal Nuno and Derek Holland will take the mound against King Felix in the series finale on Sunday. The first two games have a 7:05 first pitch and Sunday’s game will be a day game with a 2:05 first pitch. I feel like game one is the real rubber match in this series. The Rangers easily seem to have the edge in game two with Hamels while the Mariners do in game three with Felix. I think Gallardo gets it done and the Rangers take two of three in this series.