MLB Betting Preview: Mariners, Texas Rangers close series

By: David Schwab | Tuesday, April 5, 2011

The Seattle Mariners wrap up a three-game series with Texas on Wednesday in an 11:05 a.m. (PT) start at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. The game will be broadcast locally on Roots Sports in Seattle and Fox Sports-Southwest in Texas.

Weather could be a factor in this game as the forecast calls for partly cloudy skies and temperatures in the mid-70s, but with windy conditions that could have gusts approaching 30 miles an hour.

Alfonzo Marquez will be behind home plate, which could slightly favor the hitters in this one as 60 percent of his games last season went ‘over’ the total.

Seattle lost the first game of this series 6-4 as a 150 road underdog on Monday. The Rangers jumped out to three-run lead after two innings and added three more runs in the middle innings to secure the win.

Milton Bradley went 3-for-4 and Justin Smoak added two more hits and a RBI for the Mariners in the losing effort. The loss dropped them to 2-2 on the year, with three of the games going ‘over’ the total.

Right-hander Felix Hernandez will be making his second start of the season for the Mariners after hurling a complete game against Oakland in last Friday’s season opener. He scattered five hits and gave up two earned runs in a 6-2 win as a 101 road underdog. The 2010 AL Cy Young winner went just 13-12 last season in 34 starts but had an ERA of just 2.27 and a WHIP of 1.06. He has struggled in the past against Texas with a 10-12 record and a 3.89 ERA.

The Rangers’ bats have produced an incredible 32 runs in their first four games led by Adrian Beltre, Nelson Cruz, Mike Napoli and Elvis Andrus who each have four RBI. Ian Kinsler has belted three home runs and Cruz is hitting .429 with six hits in his 14 at-bats to help lead Texas to a 4-0 start. Three of these games have gone ‘over’ the total.

C.J. Wilson will be on the mound for the Rangers in this one. He gave up four runs (two earned) on six hits in an opening day no-decision against Boston. Last season, the left-hander went 15-8 with an ERA of 3.35 and a WHIP of 1.25 in 33 starts. He has made six starts and 37 relief appearances against Seattle and is 6-4 with a 5.18 ERA.

Head-to-head, the Rangers had won five of the last eight games in the series heading into Tuesday's second game of the set which found Texas a minus 155 favorite.  The Rangers' win on Monday gave them a 2-2 home mark versus the Mariners in the last four games.

The Mariners are 7-3 against Texas in Hernandez’s last 10 starts, but just 2-3 in his last five. Texas is 4-1 in Wilson’s last five starts against Seattle. These two pitchers last faced one another on Sept. 17 of 2010 with Seattle coming away with a 2-1 win as a 104 home favorite.

While this game should not turn into a slugfest with two quality pitchers on the mound, it could be a tall task for Hernandez to completely quiet the Rangers bats as this lineup has shown power from top to bottom so far. Stick with Texas to pound out enough runs to get the win in this one.

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