Texas (Darvish) at Seattle (Gallardo) +110 O/U 7.5
There’s not much to like about the Texas Rangers these days. The Rangers aren’t hitting, ranked as the #21 team in the majors with a .706 OPS. Their lineup has produced two runs or less in four of their last six overall, and nine of their last sixteen. The Rangers bullpen is spotty on a good day, ranked #27 in ERA and #25 in FIP. Five different relievers from that pen threw 107 pitches against the Astros yesterday, and this will be the Rangers eighth consecutive gameday without a day off for that bullpen to regroup.
Rangers starter Yu Darvish has not mowed down this Seattle lineup. Current Mariners have a .299 average against him and a .739 OPS. And Darvish is coming off back-2-back huge pitch count games, throwing 113 against the Royals, then 125 against the Angels in his last two trips to the hill; his two highest pitch counts since 2014. I’m not expecting a gem tonight against a Mariners team that has found their offensive stroke, pounding out 23 runs in their just concluded three game set against the Angels right here at Safeco Field.
Yovani Gallardo doesn’t bring much excitement or enthusiasm from the betting markets; a tired retread type of veteran hurler. And his 1-3 record with an ERA over 5.00 isn’t going to attract much market support tonight either; hence the ‘plus price’ return on the Mariners as home dogs this evening. But Gallardo’s advanced metric stats are truly impressive, with significant improvements over last year in his strikeout rate, walk rate, ground ball rate and swinging strike percentage. Current Rangers have hit only .250 against him in their careers, and Gallardo has thrown at least six strong innings in each of his last three trips to the hill. Wrong team favored here!