Will the Offseason Moves Help the Mariners Win Against the Rangers?

The Mariners play 13 games a season against each AL West team. This series examines how the offseason shifts affect the contests between the Mariners and their rivals in the AL West, in this case, the Rangers.

Texas Rangers v Seattle Mariners
Texas Rangers v Seattle Mariners / Steph Chambers/GettyImages
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Now that 2024 Spring Training is almost upon us, I wanted to see how the offseason for both the Mariners and Rangers had changed their rosters and predict how the teams would do in their AL West games. In 2023, Seattle played 13 games against Texas. Texas won nine and we won four.

I used the 2023 and projected 2024 ERAs and BAs from Baseball-Reference for the comparison.

Mariners vs Rangers: Pitching

Both teams' starting pitching has remained fairly unchanged. The Mariners traded Marco Gonzales and Robbie Ray. Because of these veterans' injuries, the starting rotation that pitched most of the season will be the same. The Rangers have two significant players (De Grom and Scherzer) who will not return until mid-season. Their starting rotation has changed slightly with the addition of Tyler Mahle, the departure of Martin Perez, and the uncertain future of free agent Jordan Montgomery. Both teams have some shifts in the bullpen.

Starting Rotation

The Mariners and Rangers have listed these pitchers in their roster depth charts for the starting rotation.

SEA

Throwing Arm

'23 ERA

'24 proj. ERA

TEX

Throwing Arm

'23 ERA

'24 proj. ERA

Castillo

RHP

3.34

3.64

Eovaldi

RHP

3.63

3.97

Kirby

RHP

3.35

3.59

Heaney

LHP

4.15

4.37

Gilbert

RHP

3.73

3.78

Dunning

RHP

3.70

4.15

Miller

RHP

4.32

4.32

Gray

RHP

4.12

4.29

Woo

RHP

4.21

4.15

Perez / Mahle

LHP / RHP

4.45

4.13

Average

3.91

3.95

4.01

4.18

BaseballReference.com believes that the Mariners' pitchers will have ERAs in the same range while anticipating that this Texas rotation may decline slightly. Losing Ray and Gonzales is tough because of their experience and their left-handed throwing. I wish we had at least one LHP. Overall, the statistics suggest that the Mariners have a slight advantage for starting pitchers.

Bullpen

Each team has some names on their 40-man roster who are potential relief pitchers. Spring Training may shift these lists. I replaced last year's Mariners' players with potential replacements.

SEA

Throwing Arm

'23 ERA

'24 proj. ERA

TEX

Throwing Arm

'23 ERA

'24 proj. ERA

Munoz

RHP

2.94

3.54

Leclerc

RHP

2.68

3.57

Brash

RHP

3.06

3.95

Bradford

LHP

5.3

4.7

Saucedo

LHP

3.59

4.22

Burke

LHP

4.37

3.71

Speier

LHP

3.79

4

Smith/ Robertson

RHP

4.40

3.66

Thornton

RHP

2.01

3.91

Sborz

RHP

5.5

4.83

Topa/Voth

RHP

2.61

4.66

Yates

RHP

3.28

4.02

Sewald / Berroa

RHP

3.12

4.15

Chapman/Tinoco

RHP

2.18

4.05

Average

2.48

4.06

Average

3.96

4.06

Baseball-Reference is more generous with projected ERAs for the Rangers than for the Mariners. For example, BR projects that Trent Thornton will go from a 2.01 ERA to a 3.91 ERA. Fangraphs had a similar dismal prediction for this player. Former Rangers' Aroldis Chapman will pitch for Pittsburgh and Will Smith will throw for Kansas City in 2024. While the Mariners had the advantage in 2023, losing Sewald and Topa, especially, leaves the Mariners with the same ERA average as the Rangers. The bullpen had a stronger ERA in 2023.