Rangers Look Primed To Win Tonight Against Mariners

Yu Darvish of the Rangers in action

Swinging Johnson

Monday, August 29, 2016 2:38 PM UTC

Monday, Aug. 29, 2016 2:38 PM UTC

Mariners travel to Arlington where they will try to cut the commanding lead of their AL West rivals, the Texas Rangers. Let's review the MLB odds and see if we can get on the right side of this divisional matchup.

I have been bemoaning the fact that whenever I decide upon an underdog to add as one of my MLB picks, it comes back to bite me. That's right, my underdogs are all bark and no bite, with an excruciating example occurring Saturday afternoon when I teed up the Twins at +200 over the Blue Jays. Minnesota leapt out to a 5-0 lead only to see the Jays roar back and claim the 8-7 victory.

But I decided a long time ago that if the system is winning then continue on and don't let the bad beats get you down. And so it was that the following day (yesterday) we spied another live dog and didn't let the specter of Saturday's crushing loss deter us from doing the right thing. The truth be told, the Athletics were more of a value bet than anything else as the Cards had a starter in Jaime Garcia who had gotten blasted the last few starts while the A's sent reliever turned starter Andrew Triggs back to the hill to continue his inspiring transformation. The MLB odd makers were giving me +151 to back the road underdogs and I happily took it. When the dust settled the A's became one of the first dogs to howl for me in a good long time with a 7-4 victory.


Japanese Hurlers Faceoff
The Seattle Mariners have not been to the postseason since 2001 and they may not make it this year either but at least they have a fighting chance as September looms. The club currently sits tied for second place with the Houston Astros in the American League West and 8 ½ games removed from their opponents tonight, the first-place Texas Rangers.

Therefore, every game is critical in this three-game set at Texas's Global Life Park and the Mariners' will hope their Japanese import Hisashi Iwakuma (14-9, 3.81, 1.27) will deliver the goods. Iwakuma lasted six full innings in his last start and allowed three runs on six hits which resulted in a 5-0 loss to the Yankees at home. The 35-year-old Tokyo native is 9-5 when starting against the Rangers and owns an ERA of 3.23 and a WHIP of 1.078. His team's record is 11-6 (+5.3 units) in these starts.

The Rangers will counter with former All-Star Yu Darvish (4-3, 2.91, 1.11) , who has returned from Tommy John surgery last year with solid results. Darvish was knocked around in his last start where he allowed five runs (three earned) on four hits to the Cincinnati Reds but overcame his suspect pitching with a home run of his own in the 6-5 victory. The Texas starter is 4-3 when starting against the Mariners with an ERA of 4.50 and a WHIP of 1.339. His team's record is 5-4 (-1.5 units) in these starts.


Betting Analysis
I would like to make the case for the Mariners here as they are getting a healthy return of about +155 from many of the major offshore books. They have a solid pitcher going who has had success against the Rangers in the past. But there are a few things that nag at me which ultimately leads me to laying the lumber with the home chalk.

The Mariners are coming off a 4-1 loss to the White Sox last night and had to pack up and fly to Texas while the Rangers had the luxury of staying put after their 2-1 win over the Indians yesterday. Texas is also 4-2 against the Mariners when playing in Texas this season and have Yu Darvish on the hill who will most certainly be poised to rebound after a pedestrian start in his last outing against the Reds.

The Mariners offense is not quite even with the Rangers and they are a team that cannot seem to beat the big dogs. Seattle is 7-16 in their last 23 road games against teams with a winning record while Texas is 5-0 in Darvish's last five home starts versus a team with a winning record. In other words, the Rangers rise to the challenge while the Mariners do not. Let's back the home chalk here.


Free MLB Pick: Rangers -161 
Best Line Offered: at 5Dimes 
Swinger’s MLB Record: 67-43, +22.40 units

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