MLB Pick: Seattle Mariners, Texas Rangers ‘under’ 8½

LT Profits Sports Group

Friday, April 19, 2013 4:00 AM GMT

Friday, Apr. 19, 2013 4:00 AM GMT

The Rangers and Mariners played four low scoring games in Seattle last weekend, and with Yu Darvish taking on Joe Saunders, look for another low scoring affair in Arlington Friday.

Expect a fifth straight low scoring affair between the two combatants this early season on Friday night when Joe Saunders and the Seattle Mariners (7-10, 3-4 away) pay a visit to Yu Darvish and the Texas Rangers (9-6, 4-2 home) in the first game of a three-game series from Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, TX at 8:05 ET.

The posted total at Pinnacle Sports is 8½ for this contest with the current odds on the ‘under’ set at -116.

These teams played four low scoring games in Seattle last weekend where the ‘under’ went 3-0-1 and none of the games exceeded seven total runs, meaning that the ‘under’ would have been 4-0 vs. tonight’s posted total Given this pitching matchup on Friday, look for that low-scoring pattern to continue.

Yu Darvish entered the Major Leagues with great fanfare last season after a great career in Japan and he was solid going 16-9 with a 3.90 ERA and 1.28 WHIP with an impressive 221 strikeouts in 191.1 innings. His only knock was his tendency to be wild at times as he finished with 89 walks, but his control did improve as the season went on and he was very good in September while going 3-0 in five starts with a 2.21 ERA, 0.74 WHIP and 39 strikeouts vs. seven walks.

That success has continued into this season as Darvish is 2-1 with a 2.75 ERA and a terrific 0.76 WHP in 19.2 innings with a fantastic ratio of 28 walks vs. five walks! If Darvish can maintain that control while simultaneously keeping his strikeouts up, he could blossom into one of the best pitchers in the American League and might even become a darkhorse Cy Young candidate.

Darvish pitched in hard luck vs. these Mariners last Friday when he allowed three runs on only three hits with eight strikeouts against just one walk in six innings, but took the 3-1 loss after allowing three first-inning runs as the Rangers were unable to come back vs. Hisashi Iwakuma.

Darvish should have continued success tonight vs. a Seattle lineup that is ranked second to last in the American League in batting at .224 ahead of only the Tampa Bay Rays (.217) while averaging 3.41 runs per game overall.

The Mariners counter with Joe Saunders, who is in his first year with Seattle. Saunders got knocked around in his Mariner debut by the Oakland Athletics, allowing four earned runs on seven hits in four innings plus issuing four walks. However, Saunders has settled in nicely while not allowing a single earned run in 13.1 innings over his last two starts.

Similar to Darvish’s outing vs. the Mariners on Friday though, Saunders pitched in hard luck Saturday in a game Seattle lost by the identical 3-1 score that Darvish lost by the previous night. The only difference was that at least Saunders took a no-decision instead of a loss despite allowing just an unearned run on only three hits in seven innings.

Given this pitching matchup, we see no reason why this game should be any different from any of the meetings last weekend so go ‘under’ on Friday.

[gameodds]3/225183/238-19-93-92-1096/us[/gameodds]

MLB Pick: Mariners, Rangers ‘under’ 8½ (-116)

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