The Rangers' pitching injuries bode well for Mariners to start season off hot

You can argue that 3 of the Rangers' top 4 starting pitchers are out to start the season. This bodes well for the Mariners to start off hot in the AL West

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We've already gone through and looked at how Justin Verlander being hurt, alongside a couple of other Astros pitchers, could help the Mariners start off well in the AL West. It's not only Houston dealing with injuries to their starting staff, and seems to be a statewide issue instead. The Texas Rangers are also dealing with injuries, and you could argue that three of their top four starting pitchers are going to start the season on the Injured List.

Max Scherzer, Jacob DeGrom, and Tyler Mahle are all out to start the year. For Tyler Mahle, he's going to miss the entire season as he recovers from Tommy John surgery. He's been underrated over the last four seasons, throwing a 3.90 ERA and 117 ERA+ since the start of 2020, but was signed with the intention of having him pitch in 2025.

The Texas Rangers staff is in rough shape, and the Mariners can benefit big time

Although Tyle Mahle, when healthy, would be a great addition to any staff, it's the two starters that are supposed to be at the front of the rotation that are going to be sorely missed in Texas. You've got Max Scherzer and Jacob DeGrom both injured to start the season, looking like they may not return until June sometime.

Nathan Eovaldi now leads their rotation. He's followed by Jon Gray, Andrew Heaney, Dane Dunning, and Cody Bradford. Eovaldi was fantastic to start 2023, but really struggled from June 10th on, dealing with a mix of injury and poor performance with a 5.37 ERA from there on out. Gray faltered in the second half as well, posting a 5.25 ERA once the calendar turned to July. Maybe the heat was getting to them, cause Dunning regressed as well with a 4.58 in that same stretch.

All of this opens the door up even more for the Mariners to try and take advantage and jump out to an early lead in the AL West. If the Astros are missing a couple of pitchers, and the Rangers are missing a bunch of theirs, it provides the best opportunity the Mariners have had in a long time to start the season hot.

While the Astros and Rangers definitely have a better and deeper offense, they're going to need to score a lot of runs to save their respective staffs. If the Mariners are able to start off strong and take advantage of this, they could never look back and run off with the AL West... or at least hold on for the ride into the summer.