Rangers vs Mariners

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Nelson Cruz exits Mariners game on Tuesday night after getting by a pitch May 15, 2018Tacoma Rainiers win in Sacramento, improve to 20-20 May 15, 2018Drug suspension obliterates Robinson Cano’s legacy and may sink Mariners’ season May 15, 2018After Robinson Cano suspension, Mariners’ Dee Gordon could be on the move again — back to second base May 15, 2018
With their win in Minnesota last night, the Mariners came out of that ridiculous road trip with a 4-3 record. I guess that’s not so bad.

Losing Robinson Canó for a month or two (update: everything is the worst) really hurts, but this lineup is good enough to withstand that loss for now. But the margin for error is even slimmer now, and any other major injuries will hurt exponentially even more. Luckily, the Mariners continue their stretch of fairly easy opponents with a pair of games against the Rangers. Though, as we saw in Detroit, these teams aren’t just going to roll over for the Mariners.

The various projection systems give the Mariners a 15% to 33% chance of making the playoffs right now—FanGraphs is the low mark and FiveThirtyEight is the most optimistic. Maybe it’s still too early to talk about playoff odds but we’re about a quarter of the way through the season so now is as good a time as any to take stock of the Mariners position. The offense has posted the second best league adjusted mark in the American League and fifth best overall. Mitch Haniger and Ryon Healy have been carrying the offense, like we all predicted.

Even if those two slump a little, Kyle Seager and Nelson Cruz really haven’t hit their stride yet.The pitching staff is still a bit of a mess but they’ve been better than they appear. Over the last 30 days, the Mariners have posted the 8th best league adjusted FIP in the majors. Despite a couple of meltdowns by Juan Nicasio, the bullpen has been excellent thanks to standout performances by James Pazos and Erik Goeddel. Even the starting pitching has been better than league average this past month, posting the seventh highest strikeout-to-walk ratio in the majors.

They’ll need to call someone up to make a spot start on Wednesday. Rob Whalen or Christian Bergman are probably the most likely candidates.Since the last time these two teams met, the Rangers have gone 8-11 and fallen further into the cellar in the AL West. They aren’t as starved for young talent as the Tigers are, but it’s clear they need to spend this season retooling their roster. All their bad injury luck isn’t helping matters either.

The Rangers have gotten a few of their injured players back. Rougned Odor is back at the keystone. In a true feat of ineffectiveness, Odor managed to crush 30 home runs last year and still posted a league adjusted offensive line almost forty percent below average. He looked like he was going to be a cornerstone talent for the Rangers a few years ago and now he might be on the outside looking in. As soon as Odor returned from the disabled list, it looks like Adrián Beltré will need to return to it as he reaggravated a hamstring injury over the weekend.

The Rangers have gotten a few of their injured players back. Rougned Odor is back at the keystone. In a true feat of ineffectiveness, Odor managed to crush 30 home runs last year and still posted a league adjusted offensive line almost forty percent below average. He looked like he was going to be a cornerstone talent for the Rangers a few years ago and now he might be on the outside looking in. As soon as Odor returned from the disabled list, it looks like Adrián Beltré will need to return to it as he reaggravated a hamstring injury over the weekend.

Texas and Seattle wrap things up on Wednesday afternoon at Safeco Field. They have a quick two-game stint that begins on Tuesday. The Mariners will come in a bit stunned with the news that star player Robinson Cano will be out for 80 games after taking a banned substance.Beltre could be out for the two-game set against Mariners.

Texas has a lot of problems putting up offense in Houston. They scored one run in each contest, which was enough for a 1-0 opening series win, but lost the other two in identical 6-1 margins. Third baseman Adrian Beltre (.314 avg) is doubtful for Tuesday’s game with a hamstring injury and could potentially miss both games.Probable starter: Right-hander Bartolo Colon (1-1, 3.32 ERA)

Colon had a no-decision in his prior start against Detroit on May 9th. He gave up two earned runs (plus one unearned) on six hits through five innings of work. His pitching ratio has been amazing this season, converting at 29 strikeouts to just 4 walks. He hasn’t been allowing very many runs either, quite a feat for somebody that’s been in the league since 1997.

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