Tonight, the Mariners begin their third-to-last home stand of the regular season. They play the Texas Rangers, a team that they haven't seen for 71 days (since June 15th). Somewhat surprisingly, the Rangers are the only team in the AL West against which the Mariners have a sub-.500 record (they're 5-7 against Texas). However, this Texas team is a meager shadow of what they were earlier in the season. Since their last meeting with the M's, Texas has gone a mind-bogglingly terrible 16-44. During that same period, Seattle has a record of 36-24.
Think about that: between meetings with Texas (a division rival), the Mariners have gained TWENTY games in the standings on the Rangers. That's pretty absurd.
As Jake pointed out in his series preview, one of the main reasons for the Rangers dumpster fire of season has been injuries heaped upon injuries. As a result, the Mariners will be facing something called Miles Mikolas tonight. In nine starts this year, Mikolas has been... not good. He's sporting a super shiny 7.48 ERA (with an xFIP of 4.70), he doesn't strike many people out (6.02 K/9), and he's allowed a lot of walks (3.1 BB/9) and home runs (1.46 HR/9). Hopefully the Mariners can continue swingin' the hot bat (team wRC+ of 114 over the last two weeks) and punish a below average pitcher.
26 of the Mariners remaining 33 games are against their AL West opponents. This is 1) fortunate, in that the M's have a somewhat realistic opportunity to challenge the Athletics/Angels for the AL West title, but also 2) unfortunate, because the AL West has some of the toughest teams in baseball. Seattle has six games left against Oakland and seven remaining against the Angels. But first they have to play (beat) Texas...
- Texas Rangers @ Seattle Mariners, 7:10 PM PST
- TV: ROOT, Radio: 710 ESPN, Online: mlb.tv
- Additional note: After leaving the game early yesterday due to dizziness, Cano and his immune system appear to have successfully thwarted Logan Morrison's cooties. Our beloved second baseman is back in the lineup. Hooray!
|TEXAS RANGERS||SEATTLE MARINERS|
|Dan Robertson - LF||Austin Jackson - CF|
|Elvis Andrus - SS||Dustin Ackley - LF|
|Alex Rios - RF||Robinson Cano - 2B|
|Adrian Beltre - 3B||Kendrys Morales - DH|
|J.P. Arencibia - DH||Kyle Seager - 3B|
|Adam Rosales - 1B||Logan Morrison - 1B|
|Leonys Martin - CF||Mike Zunino - C|
|Tomas Telis - C||Endy Chavez - RF|
|Rougned Odor - 2B||Chris Taylor - SS|
|Miles Mikolas - RHP||Roenis Elias - LHP|