Texas is mired in an eight-game slide, which essentially taking them out of the running in the AL Wild Card race. The Rangers have fallen 6.5-games back of the division-rival Oakland A’s for the AL’s final postseason spot, which could prompt the organization to become sellers at the upcoming trade deadline. Can Texas break out of its recent slump with a victory over the Mariners on Wednesday night?
Minor sick of trade chatter as deadline approaches
Texas is scheduled to send right-hander Mike Minor to the hill for the series finale at T-Mobile Park on Wednesday night. Minor has been excellent since joining the Rangers at the start of last season, reviving his career as an MLB starter. The Rangers’ right-hander is 8-5 with a 2.86 ERA through 20 starts this season and his strikeout rate (9.14 K/9) marks his second-highest rate as a full-time starter. However, times have been tough as of late for Minor, who is 0-1 with a 6.06 ERA over his last three starts. The Rangers’ right-hander has been getting sick of the trade talk, saying recently that it has started to feel like he “signed just so they could trade [him].” Last time out, Minor struck out 10 batters and walked just one, but allowed four runs in seven innings of work in a loss to the Houston Astros.
SP Trade Candidate: Mike Minor pic.twitter.com/wATtuNG4NP
— The Yankee Report (@YankeeReport_) July 24, 2019
Minor has made two starts against the Mariners this season, going 2-0 with a 2.08 ERA. He’s been dominant in those outings, striking out 24 batters and walking just two in 13 innings of work. Things haven’t always been so easy versus Seattle for the Rangers’ right-hander, who went 1-2 with a 6.04 ERA in his previous seven games (four starts) against the Mariners dating back to 2016. According to Baseball Savant, current Mariners hitters are batting a slim .179 in 82 plate appearances off Minor heading into Wednesday’s matchup.
Leake, Mariners hoping to part ways
Seattle will counter by sending veteran right-hander Mike Leake to the hill for the final game of their series against the Rangers. Both the Mariners and Leake appear ready to move on from one another after one-and-half seasons, but there has been minimal interest for him on the trade market. The right-hander’s value might be at its highest point of the season after he came just three outs away from a perfect game in his last start, tossing a complete-game one-hitter at home versus the Los Angeles Angels. Leake is 8-8 with a 4.27 ERA in 20 starts this season, but he’s struggled with consistency as of late. The Mariners’ starter has allowed four earned runs or more in three of his last five starts, but tossed shutouts in his other two outings during that span. Whatever the case, Leake has been a valuable innings-eater for the Mariners this season, completing six innings or more in 15 of his 20 starts this season.
A shutout on 98 pitches.
— MLB (@MLB) July 20, 2019
In two starts versus the Rangers this season, Leake has posted some forgettable numbers. He’s surrendered a whopping 16 runs (12 earned) in 10 combined innings of work versus the Rangers to enter with an 0-2 record and a 10.80 ERA. According to Baseball Savant, current Rangers batters are hitting .337 in 216 plate appearances off of Leake heading into this matchup.
- Rangers are 0-8 in their last 8 overall.
- Rangers are 0-4 in their last 4 road games.
- Rangers are 0-6 in their last 6 vs. American League West.
- Mariners are 5-0 in Leake’s last 5 starts with 4 days of rest.
- Mariners are 5-1 in Leake’s last 6 home starts.
- Mariners are 4-1 in Leake’s last 5 starts vs. American League West