Rangers vs Mariners Prediction Today | MLB Odds, Picks for Thursday, September 28

Rangers vs Mariners Prediction Today | MLB Odds, Picks for Thursday, September 28 article feature image

Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images. Pictured: Adolis Garcia

  • The Rangers will take on the Mariners in Seattle tonight and our analyst sees value in backing the road dog.
  • Find updated Rangers vs Mariners odds, plus expert analysis and his top pick below.

Rangers vs. Mariners Odds

Thursday, Sep 28
9:40 p.m. ET
Rangers Odds
-114 / -106
Mariners Odds
-114 / -106
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute MLB odds here.

After a disheartening loss to the Astros on Wednesday which sent them 1.5 games out of the final wild-card spot in the American League, the Seattle Mariners will try their best to pick up the pieces at the start of a crucial four-game set against the Texas Rangers.

Can Logan Gilbert deliver the goods on Thursday, or might we see Seattle move one game closer to elimination?

Let's break this down in our Rangers vs. Mariners preview and prediction.

Check out our MLB Betting Hub for more previews from today's slate.

Texas Rangers

While their opponents on Thursday face an uphill battle to make the playoffs, the Rangers are sitting rather comfortably on a magic number of one. That means with any win in Seattle, or any loss in the coming days by the Astros, Texas will clinch a spot in the playoffs.

On top of that, Texas' magic number in the AL West is two, so it will be playing for more than just a playoff berth.

It certainly feels like Texas is playing for something, too, considering this team has now won seven of eight and has posted a 120 wRC+ over the past two weeks. The Rangers are walking in 11.5% of plate appearances during this time with a .227 Isolated Power topped by only the Atlanta Braves.

On the hill for Texas, we've got Jordan Montgomery. The lefty has been splendid ever since coming over from the Cardinals, posting a 2.92 ERA in 10 starts for his new club.

His expected batting average has sat firmly under .250, representing an improvement on his season-long numbers. While his ground ball and strikeout rates have remained stable, a big change for the lefty has been a drop in walks and strikeouts. He's averaged just 1.6 walks per nine after walking 2.6 per nine in St. Louis, and he's yet to allow a homer since Sept. 8.

He's now surrendered just five round-trippers in 61 2/3 innings.

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Seattle Mariners

The Mariners continue to be one of the most unwatchable offenses in baseball. The strikeout kings have gone down on strikes in 25.9% of their plate appearances over the past two weeks and sit second in that regard for the entire season.

Seattle has done an excellent job at reaching via the walk, doing so in 10.1% of their plate appearances over the last two weeks, but their weak .131 ISO and .236 average offer few reasons not to throw these guys strikes.

Speaking of strikeouts, Logan Gilbert has managed to pitch around some troubling contact numbers despite punching out just 24.6% of batters. While this is two points better than the league average, it puts him in just the 60th percentile, which normally isn't good enough to mask the underlying numbers.

Gilbert's xERA stands at an impressive 3.69, but it's largely due to the fact that he's kept his walk rate to an elite 4.8% this year. Gilbert's expected batting average stands at .242, which puts him almost exactly in the middle of the league, and his hard-hit rate of 44.8% is once again one of the worst marks of any qualified pitcher, putting him in the bottom 10% of the league.

On top of that, he's been a rather extreme fly-ball pitcher, checking in at nearly six points higher than average in that department. Blending hard-hit balls with fly balls and line drives is rarely a winning formula, and making matters even worse his ground ball rate has been on the decline since June.

Rangers vs. Mariners

Betting Pick & Prediction

The Rangers have thrived against pitchers like Gilbert, posting an .825 OPS against fly-ball pitchers compared to a .750 OPS against ground-ball pitchers and a .783 ISO against those who find themselves in the middle. On top of that, their ability to limit strikeouts and draw a ton of walks over the last two weeks makes them a very difficult matchup for the righty.

On the flip side, Seattle has relied on walks to get runners on base and will have a hard time drawing free passes against a strike-thrower like Montgomery. Unlike Texas, this team lacks the ability to make consistent contact. Even if the Rangers draw a slightly lower number of walks, I trust them a ton more than a Mariners team that has a 94 wRC+ for the last two weeks and has really been flat for the majority of the season.

I will continue to fade Seattle's middling offense, particularly against a Rangers team that has thrived against fly-ball pitchers and owns one of the best home run-to-fly ball ratios in the game. Seattle is just 21-18 this year against lefties and has lost five of its last six at home.

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