Bet Rangers In Final 2016 Game Against AL West Rival Mariners

Matthew Jordan

Thursday, September 8, 2016 3:38 PM UTC

Thursday, Sep. 8, 2016 3:38 PM UTC

Even though Texas and Seattle are division rivals in the AL  West and there's three-plus weeks left in the regular season, they play one another the final time on Thursday in Seattle. Here's your MLB Pick for this game.

What You Need To Know
Barring arguably the biggest collapse in baseball history, the Rangers are going to repeat as AL West champions as they had an 8.5-game over second-place Houston entering Wednesday. You can't even get odds to win on that division any longer. Good thing for the wild card because there are only three division races: Toronto, Boston and Baltimore in the AL East, Cleveland and Detroit in the AL Central, and the LA Dodgers and San Francisco in the NL West.

The Rangers still have plenty to play for the rest of the way and that's home-field advantage throughout the playoffs. Texas does have the AL's best record and leads Cleveland by three for the top seed. Remember, the American League won the World Series so the AL pennant winner will have home-field advantage in the Fall Classic. Texas, which has never won a World Series, is the +190 favorite on MLB odds to win the pennant for the third time in franchise history and first since absolutely blowing the 2011 World Series against St. Louis.

The Texas offense is being carried by third baseman Adrian Beltre, a future Hall of Famer who should reach 3,000 hits next season, and second baseman Rougned Odor. Beltre ranks in the top 10 in the AL in four offensive categories since the All-Star break: runs, hits, home runs and RBIs. Odor, meanwhile, already has the MLB record for most homers by a second baseman in an age-22-or-younger season. Odor has 30 dingers as of Wednesday. Bobby Doerr’s 22 home runs in 1940 are second on that list. The Rangers' franchise record for homers by a second baseman is Alfonso Soriano's 36 in 2005.

Seattle hasn't reached the postseason since 2001, the longest drought in the majors. How long ago was that ago? Ichiro Suzuki was the AL Rookie of the Year and AL MVP that year for Seattle; now with the Marlins, he recently got hit 3,000th career hit in MLB. Barring a red-hot finish to 2016, the Mariners are going to miss out again as they are six games out of the second wild-card spot and with several teams ahead of them.

The Mariners have gotten strong offensive seasons from their Big 3 of the second baseman Robinson Cano, third baseman Kyle Seager and DH Nelson Cruz. They all could finish with at least 30 homers and 100 RBIs but haven't gotten much help. The pitching staff has disappointed. Even ace Felix Hernandez has been mortal this season, including a rare trip to the disabled list.


Probable Pitchers
Texas goes with left-hander Derek Holland (7-6, 4.57). He has made three starts since spending two months on the disabled list and is 2-1 with a 2.00 ERA in them. Holland last took the mound Saturday against Houston and allowed two earned runs and six hits over six innings in a victory. Texas is 4-1 on MLB picks in Holland's past five following a quality start in his last appearance.

Holland is 2-1 with a 3.38 ERA in three starts vs. Seattle this year and 12-5 with a 3.56 ERA in 24 games against the Mariners in his career. Cano hits him well, batting .356 with three doubles, two homers and nine RBIs in 45 at-bats. Monitor his status here, though, as Cano fouled a ball off his foot Tuesday and it swelled up. He's day-to-day. Cruz is 5-for-17 career off Holland with two homers. Seager is 10-for-40 with two homers and nine strikeouts.

Seattle 24-year-old Taijuan Walker (4-10, 4.60) was once one of the top pitching prospects in baseball but hasn't been able to live up to that yet. Walker can be dominant at times but then really off. And he was terrible on Saturday vs. the Angels, lasting just two-thirds of an inning and giving up six runs and six hits (three homers) in a blowout loss.

Walker is 0-1 with a 5.73 ERA in two starts this year vs. Texas. Beltre hammers him, going 7-for-13 with three doubles, a homer, and eight RBIs. Odor is 5-for-10 off him with a homer. Rookie Nomar Mazara is 1-for-3 with a double.

The picks for this game are Rangers and 'over.' Texas is 5-2 in Holland's past seven in Seattle. The 'over' is 3-1-1 in his past five there. The Mariners are 1-5 in Walker's past six vs. the AL West. 


Free MLB Picks: Ranger +109 & Over 8.5
Best Line Offered: at BetOnline

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