Handicapper Favors Home Team in Mariners vs. Rangers MLB Picks

Willie Bee

Thursday, September 4, 2014 2:03 PM GMT

Still very much in the AL playoff race, the Seattle Mariners open a 4-game MLB odds series in Texas on Thursday looking to keep pressure on the Detroit Tigers.

It wasn't long ago that the Detroit Tigers appeared to be in control of the AL Central and destined for a deep run into the American League postseason. Now the Tigers are in a hard fight to just earn a wild card berth, and the squad just behind them will have the luxury of playing the worst team in baseball the next four days.

Hot on Detroit's tail, the Seattle Mariners continue their week-long road trip with a 4-game stop in Texas against the Rangers. It's the final meeting of 2014 between the division rivals, and MLB odds for Game 1 are having to be adjusted following Texas' late pitching change.

The all-lefty mound duel finds Roenis Elias facing Robbie Ross in the 8:05 PM (ET) in Arlington. SBR's live baseball odds will have the numbers as soon as they're reissued.

Texas needs just one more win over Seattle to secure the season-series title from the Mariners for a 7th-straight year, and that just very well could be the highlight of what has otherwise been a disastrous campaign for the Rangers. Four of their nine wins so far came in the six contests played at the Ballpark That Dubya Built. Bettors riding the 'under' when the clubs convene in Texas this season have been rewarded in five of the half-dozen tilts.

 

Mariners Only Half-Game Behind Motown
Seattle (75-63, +7.7 units, 55-76-7 O/U/P) lands in Texas having just taken two of three from the A's in Oakland to climb within a half-game of Detroit for the second AL Wild Card slot. The Mariners will be looking to make hay against the lowly Rangers, while the Tigers finish up a series in Cleveland on Thursday then head home for a weekend interleague battle with the Giants.

Roenis Elias pitched well in August, recording a 2.39 ERA over five starts and striking out 27 in the combined 26.1 innings. But the lefty also walked 15 along the way, and the bottom line was only one Mariners win along the way with the last three assignments going into both Elias' and Seattle's loss columns.

One of the setbacks in the 3-game skid came at home against Texas 10 days ago. Elias only allowed a run and three hits in five frames, but four free passes and the fact Seattle's lineup couldn't scratch across a single run against the Rangers spelled defeat. The rookie picked up his first MLB victory on the Lone Star State mound back in mid-April, working into the seventh and surrendering just one run in that start as well.

 

Baker 86'ed From Assignment With Stiff Neck
The 2014 season can't end soon enough for Texas (53-86, -31.6 units, 59-70-10 O/U/P), and especially the clubhouse attendant in charge of fitting players with uniforms. An MLB record 61 different players have put on a Rangers jersey this year, much of the roster shuffling due to a long list of injuries, and that number is sure to increase between now and Sept. 28.

Scott Baker was supposed to have pitched Thursday, but a stiff neck will push his start back a day. Robbie Ross won't be hurling on short rest after tossing five shutout innings last Saturday in Houston, coming away with a no-decision in the Astros' 2-0 win.

The stocky southpaw began '14 in Texas' rotation and pitched well right out of the gate before hitting a wall with a horrible 3-game stretch that sent him to the 'pen and, eventually, the minors. Texas split two Ross starts vs. the M's in April, one of those outings coming against Elias, the Kentucky native combining for 13.2 innings with only two Seattle runners coming plateward.

Weather won't prevent this series from being played this weekend, but it will be on the warm side of things with temps still in the low-to-mid 90s tonight at game time. I'll have to wait like all baseball bettors for the official lines, but as bad as they're playing right now, I'm leaning towards the Rangers.

 

Free MLB pick: As of this writing there were no betting lines offered yet, but we'll keep an eye out for 5Dimes odds, and we'll lean on Rangers for this game as our MLB pick.

Season: 111-114 (-3.65)

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