Game 139, Mariners at Rangers
Roenis Elias vs. Robbie Ross, 5:05pm
Wildcard Odds- Fangraphs.com: 45.3%. Baseballprospectus.com: 41.6%
Big day yesterday, as a great performance from Felix paired with a Detroit loss to give the M’s playoff odds a boost.
Today, the M’s head to Arlington to take on the reeling Rangers, who more resemble a AAA club than the team many thought could win the division. Robbie Ross won a spring competition to start the year in the rotation, and while injuries helped with that, he looked like he belonged. The lefty blanked the M’s over 7 2/3 IP back in April – his third straight solid outing to begin the year. Five days later, he got knocked around a bit and simply hasn’t been the same.
Ross is heavily fastball dependent, though he also throws a slider, curve and change. He gets good sink, and his delivery must be deceptive to righties, as he never had problems with RHBs, at least until this year. He’s always generated grounders, which has helped him avoid HRs, but even with a solid GB%, he’s had HR issues this year. It can’t be too shocking considering his home park and raw stuff that’s never been elite (he was seen as a finesse lefty by many when he was coming through the minors), but he, like the entire club, has been both bad and tremendously unlucky.
Most teams stack their lineups with righties, but Ross has reverse splits for his career in part because his slider’s been so bad against lefties. That said, his fastball’s been poor to righties this year after being effective for the two years he spent in the Texas bullpen.
1: Jackson, CF
2: Ackley, LF
3: Cano, 2B
4: Morales, 1B
5: Seager, 3B
6: Hart, DH
7: Denorfia, RF
8: Taylor, SS
9: Sucre, C