Seattle continues to make its move toward capturing an AL wild-card spot in the postseason. The Mariners have won five of their last six games, including last night’s 3-1 win over the Rangers in the first game of this mid-week series. Three of those latest five wins are actually against the Rangers and Seattle will put Marco Gonzalez on the mound tonight to try and make it six out of seven.
The Mariners left-hander has been somewhat of an enigma so far this season. He was rocked a few times early in the season which is why his ERA is 4.35 and his xERA checks in at 5.86. Still, Gonzalez has managed to prove his value over the last few weeks. In his last two starts, Gonzalez has thrown 15.2 innings and given up a single earned run.
His last start, which was against these same Rangers, was a gem. Gonzalez pitched a complete game allowing just one earned run while striking out nine. In the previous start to that one, Gonzalez pitched a strong 6.2 innings against the Yankees. He didn’t give up an earned run and struck out five. He was not involved in the decision as the Mariners lost 3-2.
Gonzalez also faces the Rangers on Aug. 1. He pitched six innings allowed just one earned run and struck out four. Seattle didn’t produce on the offensive end and it was another no-decision for Gonzalez and a loss for the Mariners.
On paper, one might be inclined to take a long look at Texas as a home underdog in tonight’s matchup. Then, there’s the Rangers starting pitcher – Mike Foltynewicz. The veteran right-hander was a decent pitcher with Houston and Atlanta and then he took a turn for the worst when he came to Texas in 2021.
So far this season, Foltynewicz is a bleak 2-11 with an ERA of 5.66. He has the lowest strikeout rate of his career and he hasn’t won a game since June. Foltynewicz’s ERA for the month of July was 10.42, but he has pitched better in his last three starts, all in August. Two of those just happened to be against Seattle. He pitched a total of 12 innings, allowed nine hits and five earned runs. In his most recent start, he did allow two home runs but went seven innings in a hard-fought 3-1 loss.
The bigger problem for Foltynewicz is the lack of offensive production. Losing Joey Gallo at the trade deadline hurt too. Over the last 15 days, the Rangers are dead last in batting average and on-base percentage. It’s hard to score without baserunners. Texas has seven games in their last ten in which they score three or fewer runs.
Texas is just 3-10 in its last 13 games. Seattle is 5-1 in its last six and 10-4 in its last 14 games against the Rangers. The Under could be in play despite the ERA of both pitchers. The Under has hit in all three of Foltynewicz’s last three starts and in all five of Gonzalez’s most recent starts. Bettors that can find the total at 9 might want to lock it in before it drops.