The final push for the playoffs is on in Texas. Following the Rangers' last off day on Thursday, they'll have 10 games to clinch the AL West title, or a Wild Card spot.
Seven of those 10 contests happen to be against the Seattle Mariners, who are currently tied with Texas for the last Wild Card berth, making each of these matchups even more important down the stretch.
As these teams prepare for a pivotal three-game series this weekend, Bruce Bochy has announced his expected starting rotation.
The Rangers are rolling with Dane Dunning for Friday's opener, followed by Jordan Montgomery on Saturday and Nathan Eovaldi in the final tilt. Meanwhile, the Mariners are planning to counter with Bryce Miller, Logan Gilbert and Bryan Woo, respectively.
It's no surprise at all to see Bochy skip over the No. 5 spot in the rotation in order to have most of his best starters on the mound. With two aces in Eovaldi and Montgomery starting, plus the 10-6 Dunning, Texas is putting itself in prime position to create some distance between this club and Seattle.
As Adam Morris of Lone Star Ball also points, adopting this rotation sets the Rangers up well for the final series (also against the Mariners) and the looming postseason.
There is a ton at stake over these seven matchups against the Mariners. Both teams are just 0.5 games behind the Houston Astros for the AL West lead, so these two series could help decide a division winner. The head-to-head tiebreaker is also to be determined between Texas and Seattle, which could prove vital in clinching a playoff spot if these clubs end the season with the same record.
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