The battle for AL West supremacy will head to Arlington this weekend when the Seattle Mariners take on the division-leading Texas Rangers, hoping to cut into Texas’ 6.5-game lead in the division. The Rangers will send Jon Gray (5-1, 2.81 ERA) to the mound, while Seattle counters with ace Luis Castillo (4-2, 2.69). First pitch from Globe Life Park is set for 8:05 p.m. ET.
Texas is the -105 moneyline favorite at DraftKings Sportsbook, while the Mariners are right behind them at -115. The total is set at 8.
Mariners-Rangers picks: Friday, June 2
Out: UTIL Dylan Moore (core surgery), RP Andres Munoz (right deltoid strain), RP Penn Murfee (right elbow inflammation)
Out: SP Jacob deGrom (right elbow inflammation), RP Joe Barlow (illness), UTIL Ezequiel Duran (mild right oblique discomfort)
Luis Castillo vs. Jon Gray
Castillo’s first full season in Seattle has gone about the same as the half season he spent with the team last year, as the right-hander has put together some dominant stretches so far in 2023. He’s coming off two scoreless starts of six innings each, and currently ranks in the 84th percentile in strikeout rate, the 80th percentile in walk rate and the 87th percentile in whiff rate.
Gray is currently on pace for a career season, as his 2.96 ERA is nearly 70 points lower than his previous best. He’s also in the middle of one of the best stretches of his career, as he’s gone at least five innings in his last four starts while not allowing more than one run in any of them. While hitters are averaging .310 off his fastball (a mark that’s higher than last season), his sweeper and slider having respective batting averages against of .105 and .103.
While both these offenses are no joke, Gray and Castillo have been on a different level lately, which is the trend that I think wins out.
Pick: Under 8
With this game essentially being a pick ‘em, I’m taking the Rangers. They have one of the best offenses in the game and a resurgent pitcher on the mound, which could end up making the difference in a matchup between two talented teams.