A Thursday night AL West matchup is in store as the Texas Rangers take on the Seattle Mariners at T-Mobile Park. Join us for our MLB odds series, where our Rangers-Mariners prediction and pick will be revealed.

After splitting the first two games of the series, the Rangers will look to secure the series with a victory later tonight. Sitting at 66-88 overall, Texas has been well out of the playoff picture for quite some time but that doesn’t mean they cannot gain some confidence by winning some games down the stretch for next season. The Rangers will send out RHP Jon Gray in an attempt to baffle Seattle and their bats. Thus far, Gray is 7-7 with a 3.64 ERA on the year.

Unlike the Rangers, the Mariners are in an excellent position to snap one of the longest playoff droughts in all of North American sports and clinch their spot into the big dance for the first time since 2001. With an 84-70 record which includes a 40-33 mark at home, Seattle currently sits in the third and final Wild Card slot with only eight games remaining on the schedule. Getting the start in this one for the Mariners will be the lefty in Marco Gonzales, who is 10-15 with a 4.05 ERA in his 30 starts on the season.

Here are the Rangers-Mariners MLB odds, courtesy of FanDuel.

MLB Odds: Rangers-Mariners Odds

Texas Rangers: -1.5 (+176)

Seattle Mariners: +1.5 (-215)

Over: 7 (-110)

Under: 7 (-110)

Why The Rangers Could Cover The Spread

For starters, Despite being 22 games under the .500 mark, the Rangers have been surprisingly decent on the road from what their overall record suggests. To this point, Texas is 34-43 as the visiting team. Yes, the Rangers are currently in a losing stretch with losses in four of their previous five contests, but this is still a group of playmakers that are more than capable of covering the spread on this Thursday night.

To begin, it will prove to be vital for the Rangers to get in a groove offensively before it is too late. The good news is that the Rangers could get massive production once again from the rookie himself in Josh Jung, who went absolute berserk in the series opener with two home runs to go along with five RBIs in the 5-0 victory. Overall, the Rangers have actually scored the 12th-most runs in the entire league so it is without question that Texas can get the bats going if needed.

Pitching-wise, the Rangers should be in pretty good hands with Gray taking the mound. The former Colorado Rockie is 0-2 with a 6.35 ERA in a pair of starts versus Seattle but he is due for a stellar outing as he has accumulated a 4.37 ERA in lifetime appearances against the Mariners.

Why The Mariners Could Cover The Spread

Is it the end of the world as we know it? It has been more than two decades since the Seattle Mariners sniffed the playoffs, and now that they are so close to returning to the postseason, it frankly doesn’t seem real. However, Seattle has experienced an incredible season up to this point and is more than deserving to clinch a playoff berth.

When it comes to covering the spread versus the Rangers, the Mariners need to shut down a decent Texas offensive attack like they did yesterday when they limited them to only one run on five hits. As a whole, the biggest reason why Seattle has been so effective this season has been because of their dynamic pitching staff. In fact, the Mariners are a top-ten squad statistically from the mound with a 3.55 team ERA, the third-most quality starts from starters, and are also only letting opposing hitters slash .236 through their 154 games played. Not to mention, but with Marco Gonzales’ 4.08 ERA all-time in 21 starts against the Rangers, Seattle could single handily cover the spread in tonight’s divisional showdown by just silencing Texas’ bats once again.

Offensively, Seattle hasn’t been quite productive at the plate, but they certainly have some young stars in the making that have made a name for themselves this season. Even though Julio Rodriguez remains sidelined with a back injury, the Mariners will be well equipped with Eugenio Suarez, Ty France, and J.P. Crawford providing some lethal bats for this lineup. The best aspect of this offensive onslaught is the fact that they are able to reach best at a high rate with a respectable .313 on-base percentage. If Seattle can wreak havoc on the base paths, then covering the spread may come true.

Final Rangers-Mariners Prediction & Pick

Expect Gonzales to have his pitching arsenal clicking on all cylinders and the Seattle offense to do just enough to get the job done.

Final Rangers-Mariners Prediction & Pick: Mariners +1.5 (-215)