With the Mariners set to start their most important stretch of the season, let's take a look at their last road series of the year as they take on the Rangers in Arlington.
How Have the Rangers Been Doing Recently?
"Inconsistent" would capture the Rangers early September. This has been the Rangers' record in September so far. Note that the wins and losses refer to the Rangers' performance.
Minnesota Twins - LLW
Houston Astros - LLL
Oakland A's - LWW
Toronto Blue Jays - WWWW (This impresses me but I would have expected better with Houston.)
Cleveland Guardians - LLL
Boston Red Sox - LWW
Why Might Fans Be Anxious about Playing the Rangers?
If you share some of my concerns that the Mariners will play seven games against the Rangers before the season ends, I want to reassure you. Perhaps you have the last two games of the June 2023 series that the Mariners played against the Rangers in Arlington in your mind but have forgotten the prior May games.
The June Games in Arlington Were Intense
In June, the Rangers swept us: 2-1, 16-6, 12-3.
You may recall that Bryan Woo made his MLB debut in the second game. This was the game in which Mike Ford pitched an inning. The Rangers caught at least one of our home runs over the short wall they have. Semien, Seager, Lowe, and Taveras each had three RBIs and Heim had two in the second game; four of their hits were home runs. The Mariners left nine on base. That was rough to watch.
The third game was difficult to watch as well. There were only two home runs by Texans but several of the same players mentioned above were active, The Mariners left six on base.
The May Games in Seattle were Better
In four of the games against the Mariners, we lost by one run or won. In May, the Rangers did win the series but the scores were 1-2, 5-0, 3-4. The first June game was SEA 1, TEX 2. This can ease your mind if it is stuck in the last two June games.
What Does the Pitching Look Like?
Seattle has the best pitchers who have the lowest cumulative ERA in MLB at 3.70. In contrast, the Texas pitchers have a cumulative ERA of 4.31, 17th in MLB. Although the Mariners have made their starting pitchers public, the Rangers have only listed one. Perhaps they are still developing their strategy.
Friday, September 22: Game 1: RHP Bryce Miller (8 W, 5 L) 3.88 ERA has 113 SO and has allowed 54 runs in 123 innings pitched. v. RHP Dane Dunning (10 W 6 L) 3.78 ERA has 127 SO and has allowed 68 runs in 157 innings pitched.
Saturday, September 23, Game 2: RHP Logan Gilbert (13 W, 6 L) 3.77 ERA and has 182 SO and has allowed 78 runs in 179 innings pitched. He should go up against Jordan Montgomery (9-11, 3.38) with 155 Ks.
Sunday, September 24 Game 3: RHP Bryan Woo (4 W, 4 L) 3.90 ERA has 82 SO and has allowed 38 runs in 80.2 innings pitched. Texas is set to throw Nathan Eovaldi (11-4, 3.05) and 121 Ks.
Who do we need to worry about in the Rangers lineup
The Rangers have a cumulative batting average of .266, second only to the Braves. The Mariners are 19th in MLB, with a cumulative BA of .244.
RHB Marcus Semien #2 (2B) - He's hitting .312 in September, with 11 XBH, 16 runs and 14 RBI
RHB Mitch Garver #18 (C/DH) - He's slashing .250/.392/.517 with 5 homers.
SH Robbie Grossman #4 (RF) - With 14 walks, he's rocking a .444 OBP
LHB Evan Carter #32 (CF / LF) - A great September has led to a line of .314/.432/.600, albeit in just 13 games
We have seen the Mariners rise to the occasion plenty of times and I expect that they will do so in Arlington and in their final homestand.