After taking the first game of their series against the Texas Rangers, the Seattle Mariners will look to make it two in a row against their division foe on Saturday night. The Mariners are favored to win Saturday’s game with a moneyline of -134, while Texas has a moneyline of +124.
Seattle is hoping that Friday’s win can get the club out of a recent funk. The Mariners are only a few days removed from a seven-game losing streak that included a series loss to the Rangers.
However, the Mariners managed to beat the Dodgers on Wednesday and Texas on Friday. Of course, they are still 10 games under .500 and need to start stringing wins together to have any chance to get in the playoff hunt.
Meanwhile, the Rangers looked like they’d be playing meaningful games all season. But that was before the team’s current six-game losing streak.
Texas had won seven of eight games right before the start of their current losing streak, which included a four-game sweep against the Padres. The Rangers are now five games under .500 and eight games off the pace in the AL West, so they are also desperate to get back on track.
Jordan Lyles gets the start for Texas on Saturday. Lyles has been one of the biggest problems in a Texas rotation that began the season with great promise but has been a massive disappointment this year.
Over four starts and one relief outing, Lyles is 1-2 with a 7.52 ERA. In his last start against the Padres, he allowed six earned runs on seven hits over four innings. Lyles has seemed to get worse in each subsequent start and has been hurt by the long ball in his last two starts.
The good news is that the Mariners are short on quality hitters this year. Outfielder Kyle Lewis has been one of MLB’s biggest breakout stars this season. Fellow rookie Dylan Moore and veteran Kyle Seager have also been two reliable bats in Seattle’s order.
However, much of Seattle’s lineup has failed to get in gear this season. Also, Lyles has a strong track record against Seager, with the third baseman going 1-for-15 in his career against the Texas starter.
Justus for All
The Mariners will be sending rookie Justus Sheffield to the mound on Saturday night. The lefty is a highly-regarded prospect who started the season slowly but has gotten better in each start.
Over his last two starts, Sheffield has allowed just one earned run on 10 hits in 12 innings of work. He also has 11 strikeouts and just four walks over that span, so he’s slowly coming along.
On Saturday, Sheffield will face a Texas lineup that’s had some issues this year, especially during the team’s current losing streak. As expected, Joey Gallo has led the way, hitting seven home runs to help produce an OPS of .884. However, he’s the only Texas regular with an OPS over .800.
Meanwhile, Elvis Andrus and Willie Calhoun were both struggling before going on the injured list earlier this week. Rougned Odor is also having a poor season, hitting just .159. The likes of Todd Frazier and Nick Solak are helping a little bit, but the Rangers still have a lot of holes in their lineup.
No Luck Here
This doesn’t appear to be the day that the Rangers stop their winning streak. Lyles is an unreliable starter, even against a questionable Seattle lineup.
Meanwhile, Sheffield has pitched well lately against far better lineups than the one he’ll face on Saturday. Bet on the Mariners to beat Texas on Saturday.