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M's battle Rangers

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A night after beating up on Seattle 8-3 in the opener of this series, the Texas Rangers look to make it two straight over the Mariners tonight. Texas turns to lefty Derek Holland tonight as Holland will be starting vs. Seattle for the fourth time this season having gone 1-2 SU vs. Seattle already. The two losses came in his two most recent starts against the Mariners, but both were also in Texas so maybe a change of scenery will do Holland well tonight.

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On the whole, Seattle's Hisashi Iwakuma has been very good this year as he was voted on to the All-Star squad. He's viewed as the #2 guy in the Mariners rotation behind King Felix and for the most part he's been exactly that. But there was a really rough stretch in late-June/early-July that had him serving up pitches in the heart of the strike zone and opponents were taking them out of the yard. Iwaukma has since calmed down over his last two starts but although he did win 5-3 SU in Oakland last time out, he still allowed two HR's in the game.

Against Texas this season the Mariners are 3-1 SU in Iwakuma's four starts as only one of those four have seen more than 7 runs combined. Despite allowing eight runs in those four starts, Iwakuma has still been victimized by the longball as he's allowed four HR's in that span. Texas knocked out two dingers in last night's win and with their bats getting hot these days, Iwaukuma's innings could be numbered should he get victimized early. Texas does not want to lose four times to this guy and will look to be aggressive from the get-go.

That's why I believe Texas ML is the only bet you can make on this game tonight. The Rangers have memories of Oakland hunting them down in the AL West last year during September and with a 2.5 game lead on the A's, the Rangers do not want to let that happen again.

Texas is 10-2 SU in their last 12 road games and sport an identical number in road contests vs. losing teams. Holland has pitched well in this ball park in his three starts here since 2011 (3-0 SU and 4 runs allowed) and the Rangers bats should do more than enough damage vs. Iwakuma to help him out. With a date vs. King Felix in the finale tomorrow afternoon on deck, Texas understands how important tonight's game is to clinch the series and play for the sweep tomorrow afternoon.

  
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