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Series Preview: Texas Rangers @ Seattle Mariners - Awaiting Zero

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So much "Seattle."
So much "Seattle."

At this time of the year, when the baseball team you follow leads in a pennant race but shares the division with another team that is playing well enough to make the race competitive, you hear a lot about the 1951 Dodgers. You can't read an article about a close division race without mention of the 1995 California Angels or the 2007 New York Mets. If your team isn't close to clinching by mid-September, you'll surely discover all about what happened to the 2009 Detroit Tigers or 1969 Chicago Cubs. From Merkle's Boner to the 1964 Phillies, we're well versed in cautionary tales.

But what about the races that ended just like you thought they would? No one cares when the odds win out. But I care. So, today, we'll salute those teams that didn't screw it all up.

Here's to you:

  • 1932 Chicago Cubs
  • 1935 Detroit Tigers
  • 1936 New York Giants
  • 1939 Cincinnati Reds
  • 1941 Brooklyn Dodgers
  • 1944 St. Louis Browns
  • 1945 Detroit Tigers
  • 1946 St. Louis Cardinals
  • 1949 New York Yankees
  • 1950 Philadelphia Phillies
  • 1957 Milwaukee Braves
  • 1959 Chicago White Sox
  • 1966 Baltimore Orioles
  • 1970 Pittsburgh Pirates
  • 1971 San Francisco Giants
  • 1974 Los Angeles Dodgers
  • 1978 Philadelphia Phillies & Kansas City Royals
  • 1985 Toronto Blue Jays
  • 1987 St. Louis Cardinals
  • 1988 Boston Red Sox
  • 1989 Toronto Blue Jays
  • 1993 Atlanta Braves
  • 1996 Texas Rangers
  • 1997 Houston Astros
  • 1998 Texas Rangers
  • 2001 Arizona Diamondbacks
  • 2004 Los Angeles Dodgers
  • 2005 Atlanta Braves
  • 2006 St. Louis Cardinals
  • 2008 Tampa Bay Rays
  • 2010 Cincinnati Reds
  • And basically like 90% of teams that qualify for the playoffs.

Thanks for being tried and true so that I can sleep at night.

Friday, September 16 9:10:  LHP C.J. Wilson vs. RHP Blake Beavan

Saturday September 17 6:10: RHP Colby Lewis vs. LHP Anthony Vasquez

Sunday, September 18 3:10: LHP Matt Harrison vs. RHP Felix Hernandez

Here's a breakdown of the pitching match-ups this weekend:

C.J. Wilson: 16-6, 8.18 K/9, 2.89 BB/9, .284 BABIP, 73.4% LOB, 3.23 FIP, 3.39 xFIP, 5.3 WAR - Last three starts: 2 runs allowed in 23.0 innings

Blake Beavan: 4-5, 3.62 K/9, 1.52 BB/9, .286 BABIP, 75.6% LOB, 4.69 FIP, 4.58 xFIP, 0.3 WAR - Last three starts: 10 runs allowed in 18.1 innings

Advantage: C.J. Wilson pitching his best baseball over Blake Beavan pitching a baseball

Colby Lewis: 12-10, 7.40 K/9, 2.57 BB/9, .264 BABIP, 75.1% LOB, 4.68 FIP, 4.16 xFIP, 1.6 WAR - Last three starts: 12 runs allowed in 16.2 innings

Anthony Vasquez: 1-3, 3.43 K/9, 3.00 BB/9, .282 BABIP, 49.0% LOB, 7.26 FIP, 5.44 xFIP, -0.4 WAR - Last three starts: 12 runs allowed in 15.2 innings

Advantage: Colby Lewis being born to succeed at Safeco over Anthony Vasquez being born to succeed in Tacoma

Matt Harrison: 12-9, 6.04 K/9, 2.80 BB/9, .295 BABIP, 71.7% LOB, 3.64 FIP, 3.90 xFIP, 3.3 WAR - Last three appearances: 5 runs allowed in 14.0 innings

Felix Hernandez: 14-12, 8.66 K/9, 2.62 BB/9, .294 BABIP, 73.7% LOB, 3.10 FIP, 3.12 xFIP, 5.3 WAR - Last three starts: 7 runs allowed in 23.0 innings

Advantage: Felix Hernandez having a good life over Matt Harrison having a good season

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Seattle Mariners (62-87, 4th Place AL West)

Rangers 2011 Record vs. Seattle: 10-3 (All at Rangers Ballpark)

Seattle's Recent Results: 1-2 Series loss to the New York Yankees

Seattle's Home Record: 37-41

Safeco Field Park Factors (LHB/RHB): HR: 95/84 - wOBA: 96/95

SB Nation Mariners Blog: Lookout Landing

 

Match-up: (as of 9/15)        Rangers  Mariners Advantage
Batting
(RAR)
           118.4
            (3rd)
-109.6
(29th)
Rangers
         Base Running            (RAR)              21.6
            (1st)
 1.8 
(10th)
Rangers
Starters
(RAR)
94.8

47.1

Rangers
Bullpen
(RAR)
1.4
(27th)
11.3
(23rd)
Mariners
Defense
UZR
20.6
(7th)
-2.0
(15th)
Rangers
Overall RAR + UZR 256.8 -51.4 Rangers

Questions to Answer:

  • Do you know how many good hitters (wOBA over .350) the Mariners have had on their team this season? (Hint: It rhymes with none or Adam Dunn) (The Rangers have six)
  • Who is your pick to lead the Rangers in home runs hit in this series? (I'll say Mitch Moreland.)
  • Over/Under: 3.5 non-real time shots of trains on the Rangers telecasts of this series?
  • Over/Under: 3.5 runs allowed by Felix Hernandez in his start in this series?
  • Yay or Nay: The Rangers pull off a sweep in Seattle?