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9/7: Open Game Thread

No one cares about your fantasy football team and for three hours, you shouldn't either.

raise your hand if you think baseball is better than football
raise your hand if you think baseball is better than football
Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

After spending the night in the clubhouse and sleeping in their clothes, the Mariners face the Rangers for the final time this season and look to complete their first four-game sweep of the Texas Texans in 12.3 years. Last time, Ruben Sierra was the M’s DH for the final game.

Playoff odds: ESPN has the M's at 77.4% thanks to the pythags, FanGraphs has them at 65.4% thanks to the ZiPS, and Baseball Prospectus has 64% thanks to their voodoo priestess. The Athletics (2 games ahead for the first Wild Card spot) host Houston at 1:00, and the Tigers (1.5 games back for the second spot) face the Giants at 2:00.

Starters: On the mound for the Rangers will be the problematic Derek Holland, default ace, making his second start of the year after falling down stairs surgery in the offseason. Holland’s pretty great, and he looked ready last week, giving up one run and striking out six against the Royals. You know this guy by now; you’ve seen him for years, and you’ll see him for a couple more.

Facing Holland will be Neo-Holland, James Paxton. Much has been made of Chris Young’s FIP-bending, but Paxton over eight starts has an ERA almost a run and a half below his FIP, and doing it without the huge fly ball rate. Let's ignore the usual FIP arguments and just imagine a 2014 James Paxton that strikes out a batter an inning. That's nice.

Pre-game notes: The Mariners will be wearing #2 patches on their caps and jerseys for the remainder of the season, to commemorate the efforts and general affability of backup catcher Jesus Sucre … The team is also planning a retirement party for Stefen Romero on the next homestand, though Romero himself is unaware of the particulars and says he hasn’t planned any kind of speech … Every starter in today's game is younger than me ... Chris Denorfia is hitting .319 when batting in the second spot in the lineup, because managerial confidence makes him a better hitter ... Astros pinch hitters are batting .115/.191/.115 for the season, in 68 plate appearances … That last stat had nothing to do with today’s game, but it was fun to type … I miss Michael Saunders.

Today's Lineups

Austin Jackson - CF Leonys Martin - CF
Chris Denorfia - LF Dan Robertson - LF
Robinson Cano - 2B Adam Rosales - 3B
Kendrys Morales - 1B Adrian Beltre - DH
Kyle Seager - 3B J.P. Arencibia - C
Corey Hart - DH Michael Choice - RF
Stefen Romero - RF Rougned Odor - 2B
Chris Taylor - SS Ryan Rua - 1B
Jesus Sucre - C Luis Sardinas - SS
James Paxton - LHP Derek Holland - LHP