The Seattle Mariners face off against their division rival in the Texas Rangers in the second game of a three-game series in Seattle. The Mariners won the first game in this series last night 4-3 despite not having Jesse Winker or Julio Rodriguez in the lineup. The Mariners improved to 9-2 against the Rangers this season including 3-1 at home. They have won six straight games between these teams, and they have won 14 of the last 16 games between these teams overall. For one reason or another, the Mariners have just absolutely dominated this series.
Dane Dunning will come off the IL to get this start against the Mariners. He was very hit or miss before going on the IL and he is much worse on the road at 0-5 with a 5.52 ERA on the season. He faced the Mariners twice this season, one on the road and one at home. He really struggled in the road start allowing three earned runs and three walks in four innings pitched. When he was at home against the Mariners, he pitched seven innings allowing just two earned runs.
George Kirby will make his first start since being sent down to Triple A. Obviously, I will never actually know the inside thoughts of the Mariners, but my guess is they just sent him down to get some work over the All-Star break. With their off days where they were, they knew they didn’t need that extra starter so instead of having him sit around not pitching, they sent him down to stay in a rhythm and get some work in while they could call up an extra bullpen arm. It is possible it is performance related, but I highly doubt it. He has been solid for the Mariners this season and he already pitched a quality start against the Rangers in Texas earlier this season. I think he will stay in the rotation as long as he continues to perform.
The Mariners were swept by the Astros last series, but they are still one of the hottest teams in baseball at 15-4 in July. The Rangers have really been struggling lately and they are just 7-14 in July including 3-8 on the road. There is also a massive discrepancy between the bullpens. The Mariners have had the best bullpen ERA in the league in July, while the Rangers have had the 6th worst bullpen ERA in July. Julio Rodriguez is also expected to be back in the lineup for the Mariners. Take the Mariners to stay hot.
John's BOTD: Mariners ML vs Rangers | -150