Texas Rangers seek to expand lead on ascending Seattle Mariners

Texas Rangers v Detroit Tigers
Texas Rangers v Detroit Tigers / Nic Antaya/GettyImages

The calendar has changed once again, this time to June, and the Texas Rangers (35-20) are still leading the AL West, currently 2.5 games ahead of the Houston Astros. The Rangers are back in Arlington, after another successful three city road trip, this time to Pittsburgh, Balitmore, and Detroit. They won all three series, going 6-3 on their trip to the northeast.

Starting tonight, the Rangers will play host to their division rival, the Seattle Mariners (29-27). The Mariners are tied with the Angels for third place in the AL West, 6.5 games behind the Rangers and four games back of a wild card spot. The saying that is etched on vehicles rearview mirrors - "objects in the mirror are closer than they appear" - comes to mind with Seattle. They are now above .500, are loaded with quality arms, and seem poised to continue their push up the standings.

Texas Rangers upcoming schedule versus the Seattle Mariners

Date and Times

Rangers Probable Pitcher

Mariners Probable Pitcher

Fri 2nd - 7:05 CT

Jon Gray RHP 5-1, 2.81 ERA, 46 SO

Luis Castillo RHP 4-2, 2.69 ERA, 76 SO

Sat 3rd - 3:05 CT

Andrew Heaney LHP 4-3, 3.76 ERA, 55 SO

Marco Gonzales LHP 4-1, 5.22 ERA, 34 SO

Sun 4th - 1:35 CT

Nathan Eovaldi RHP 7-2, 2.42 ERA, 70 SO

Bryce Miller RHP 3-2, 3.00 ERA, 31 SO

The Rangers, who have the second highest winning percentage (.636) in MLB will have something to say about the Mariners making any moves forward this weekend. It is bound to be a tough matchup, just like the one in Seattle was early last month. In that series, the Rangers were outscored 9 to 6, but still managed to take two of three, thanks to two one-run victories.

This time around Texas will be missing Seattle starters Logan Gilbert and George Kirby but will have to face the Mariners ace Luis Castillo yet again, along with top rookie Bryce Miller. The Rangers will counter with the trio of Jon Gray, Andrew Heaney, and "Mr. May" Nathan Eovaldi.

Texan natives, Nathan Eovaldi and Bryce Miller, to dual Sunday afternoon in Arlington

Miller grew up in Mount Pleasant, TX before going to Blinn Junior College and later Texas A&M. Seattle selected the Texan in the fourth round of the 2021 MLB draft. This season he has started six games, pitched 36 innings, has a record of 3-2, has 31 strikeouts, issued only three walks, has a 3.00 ERA, and a 0.750 WHIP. The young righty was roughed up by the Yankees in his last start giving up eight earned runs, on 11 hits, in 4 2/3 innings of work. That outing saw his ERA go from 1.15 to its current 3.00. The Rangers will no doubt be looking to duplicate whatever chink in the armor that New York was able to exploit.

One glaring difference for Seattle this season over last, is their results in one-run ballgames. Despite beating the Yankees 1-0 on Wednesday evening, the Mariners are 7-12 in one-run games, so far in 2023. Last season they were an impressive 34-22. Being on the wrong side of too many one-run games last year, was one of many reason the Rangers had such a terrible record in 2022.

The month of June will see the Rangers playing in front of the home crowd in 18 games while only being on the road for nine contests. With a surging Seattle team coming to town this weekend, Texas will look to build on their own momentum, and go out and win another series.