Free MLB Pick to Click: Rangers at Mariners

The American League West Texas Rangers visit the Seattle area on Friday night to begin a three-game series against the Mariners. This West Coast contest is slated to see first pitch at 10:10 p.m. ET at Safeco Field.

Texas starter Yu Darvish received an extra day of rest for tonight’s start against Seattle after pitching deep into his last turn. Darvish struck out 10 and only allowed 2 runs in his six innings of work against the Los Angeles Angels. The reason for the extra rest is due to the Japanese import throwing 125 pitches, most by any pitcher so far this season, versus L.A.  This followed Darvish’s previous start that saw him throw 113 pitches against Kansas City, also a win for the Texas right-hander.

Courtesy of Tony Finn

Darvish may have a lifetime record of 0-3 in his three starts at SafeCo Field in Seattle but the 14 earned runs on 15 hits combined with 11 walks in just 16 1/3 innings are misleading and are not what they appear in the box scores. His hard hit percentage in these starts are below his career average and he suffered some defensive lapses in those three starts.

Seattle veteran starter tonight, Yovani Gallardo, failed to impress in the spring and wouldn’t be starting for half of the American League. In fact, his days as a starter for Seattle are numbers. Gallardo is coming off a 2016 campaign that saw him records an ERA of 5.42

Gallardo has one win since last September. The M’s righty has allowed at least four runs in three of his last four turns and while he has struck out seven in each of his last two starts, versus Oakland and Cleveland, he combined for just nine in his first three outings. The Rangers know Gallardo well and he was part of the Texas roster in 2015. Gallardo is 0-1 with a 6.00 ERA in two career starts against his former team and the expected Texas lineup tonight has a .333 batting average against versus Yovani.

The pitching mismatch in this Friday night event is overwhelming. And if it isn’t clear to you by now that Gallardo isn’t going go ever be an elite starter, then read further. Gallardo depends on inducing ground balls as his HR to flyball ratio is ugly. It’s hard to be optimistic or back a veteran pitcher that has lost nearly 4 m.p.h. on his fastball since joining the American League and one with a strike out to walk ratio that isn’t at least two-to-one since he made the switch. Before the All-Star break of this season, and even throwing half of his starts in pitcher-friendly SafeCo, expect him to have allowed an average of two home runs per game.

Free Pick to Click is a play on Darvish and the Texas Rangers.

 

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