The Texas Rangers take on the Seattle Mariners. Check out our MLB odds series for our Rangers Mariners prediction and pick.

Jesus Tinoco gets the start for the Rangers as part of a bullpen game, while Robbie Ray gets the assignment for the Mariners.

Jesus Tinoco will be the opener for Texas in a bullpen game on Tuesday. He has made 13 appearances as a reliever, several in June and then another bunch in September. He has given up runs in only one of those 13 appearances, usually going one inning but getting five outs (1 2/3 innings) in two recent appearances. The Rangers are doing this even though they did not play a game on Monday, which shows how thin their starting rotation is at this point in a very long, very miserable season for the ballclub. The Rangers just got swept by the Cleveland Guardians at home, which enabled Cleveland to clinch the American League Central before the New York Yankees clinched the American League East, something no one would have predicted six weeks ago, or even three weeks ago.

Robbie Ray has a 3.60 ERA, but one has to wonder which version of Robbie Ray we are going to get in this game. Ray had a bad April and May, with his ERA being nearly five runs in early June. Then he became the guy the Mariners thought they were getting. Ray displayed Cy Young-level form from June through August, except for two starts when the Astros blasted him right after the All-Star break. In September, though, Ray has been up and down. In his last five starts, Ray has either pitched a scoreless game (three times) or given up at least four runs (twice). When he is good, he’s excellent, and when he’s bad, everyone notices. With Seattle 3.5 games ahead of the Baltimore Orioles and trying to close out the wild card race, the M’s need a few more great starts from last year’s Cy Young Award winner.

Courtesy of FanDuel, here are the Rangers-Mariners MLB odds.

MLB Odds: Rangers-Mariners Odds

Texas Rangers: +1.5 (-126)

Seattle Mariners: -1.5 (+105)

Over: 7.5 (-104)

Under: 7.5 (-118)

Why The Rangers Could Cover the Spread

The Rangers are really not the story here. The focus is on the Mariners, who had a 3-7 road trip before coming home to regroup. The Mariners are expected to get Eugenio Suarez back in their lineup for this game, but after his injury, it’s hardly guaranteed that he will hit well in this game. Julio Rodriguez, the main engine of the offense and the true heart and soul of the team, remains out. There are a lot of uncertainties surrounding the Mariners, so it’s hardly a lock that they win this game. The Rangers could at least keep the game close, which would enable them to cover the spread if they lose by only one run. It’s not that unrealistic.

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Why The Mariners Could Cover the Spread

After the road trip from hell, specifically blowing a nine-run lead on Sunday in Kansas City and losing 13-12 to the Royals, the Mariners badly needed a day off on Monday to rest, get away from baseball for a day, and mentally recharge for this final nine-day stretch to close out the season. Getting Eugenio Suarez back is huge. Robbie Ray has been inconsistent in his last five starts, but he was excellent in his most recent outing last week in Oakland against the A’s. One big base hit from Suarez in an important situation, plus a great Robbie Ray start, should send the Mariners on their way to a win and a cover.

Final Rangers-Mariners Prediction & Pick

The Mariners are feeling some pressure, but they have been great against the Rangers this season, and Robbie Ray has been really good for most of the past four months. The Rangers’ bullpen is not likely to shut down Seattle. The Mariners are the choice here.

Final Rangers-Mariners Prediction & Pick: Mariners -1.5