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Legends On Deck

Game Of The Week: Seattle Mariners At Texas Rangers Preview

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This week’s “Game of the Week” here at Legends on Deck will be a battle for the American League West division as the Texas Rangers (31-22) host the Seattle Mariners (31-22) at Global Life Park in Arlington, Texas.

On Friday night, the division rivals will open the three game series with the Rangers and Mariners now tied for first in the AL West after Seattle’s epic comeback on Thursday night against the Padres. This series is a rematch of the Opening Week series, the first week of the season. The Mariners took two out of three games in that series which is the only series that Texas has lost at home so far this season.

Texas has just come off a scheduled off day after a series win against the Cleveland Indians, whereas Seattle will be continuing their road trip having come from San Diego.

Pitching Matchup:

Seattle Mariners:

  • RHP Taijuan Walker (3.31, 2-5) will be taking the start for the Mariners in Game 1 and will hope to get a fresh start in the month of June. The twenty-three year old had a stellar April but in month seemed to fall off a bit as he went 0-5 last month. In his last outing against the Minnesota Twins on Sunday, he went just four and one-third innings allowing a career high three homeruns to a struggling Twins’ team. The struggles in Walker’s starts don’t come just from the mound however, the Mariners need to score more runs Friday night to have a chance. When Taijuan Walker is pitching, Seattle averages just two runs a game which is the third lowest of all current starting pitchers in the Majors. The Mariners did just lose their Ace for the time being in Felix Hernandez who suffered a right calf strain this week.

Texas Rangers:

  • RHP Yu Darvish (1.80, 1-0) will make just his second start of the season on Friday night. The twenty-nine year old underwent Tommy John Surgery fourteen months ago which caused him to miss the 2015 season and the beginning of this season. In his first start last week he look like he picked up just where he left off as he allowed just one run off of three hits, walking just one and striking out seven batters in a conservative five innings of work; he earned his first win of 2016. The Rangers look to be even bigger contenders for the AL West with Darivish in the rotation now along side 2015 addition Cole Hamels.

Heavy Hitters:

Seattle Mariners:

  • The Seattle Mariners top hitters are Nelson Cruz (.296), Robinson Cano (.289) and Kyle Seager (.287). Look for Kyle Seager to have a solid night as he has previously hit .318 with 7 RBIs against Darvish. Adam Lind has also been sold against the right with a .455 batting average in eighteen at-bats. Nelson Cruz will also look to add to the success that he had had against his former team, he has hit .409 against the Rangers since leaving Texas.

Texas Rangers:

  • Rookie Nomar Mazara is currently leading the Rangers in hitting with a .299 average, after an outstanding Major League debut throughout last month. Elvis Andrus (.295) and Ian Desmond (.291) then follow with success at the plate. Adrian Beltre has hit .500 with 2 RBIs against Walker in the past.
Probable Lineups:

Seattle Mariners:

Nori Aoki CF

Seth Smith LF

Robinson Cano 2B

Nelson Cruz DH

Kyle Seager 3B

Franklin Gutierrez, RF

Adam Lind 1B

Chris Iannetta C

Luis Sardinas SS

Texas Rangers:

Jurickson Profar 2B

Ian Desmond CF

Prince Fielder DH

Adrian Beltre 3B

Nomar Mazara RF

Mitch Moreland 1B

Elvis Andrus SS

Ryan Rua LF

Bryan Holaday C

 

Bethany Cohen

Bethany Cohen

Senior Editor at Legends On Deck®
Bethany is a Graduate of the University of South Florida and currently resides in Tampa. She is a die-hard Yankees' fan and has been a freelance writer for six years. She has covered the Yankees' Minor League System since 2010 and also does freelance work for Examiner.com and CBS Local Tampa Bay. Follow her on Twitter @TampaBethany
Bethany Cohen