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Rangers Head To Seattle, Look To Move Closer To AL West Crown

The Rangers hold a three and a half game lead over the Angels headed into Friday's series opener against the Mariners.

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The Texas Rangers quest for a second consecutive AL West crown heads to Seattle on Friday night, as the Rangers open up a three game series against the lowly Mariners

Headed into Friday's games, the Rangers hold a three and a half game lead over the second-place Los Angeles Angels. The Angels, like the Rangers, are opening up a series against a weak opponent this weekend as the Orioles play host to the Angels. 

C.J. Wilson starts for Texas on Friday night, looking to add to his already career-high win total of 16. Wilson has been phenomenal as of late, allowing just two runs in his last three starts - and no runs in his last two starts. During that three-game span, Wilson has pitched 23 innings, allowing two runs on 12 hits while issuing just five walks and striking out 25. 

Wilson's numbers on the year are fantastic as well. Wilson has eclipsed his career high in WAR, as he's posted a 5.3 WAR through his first 31 starts. Wilson's ERA sits comfortably at 3.01, with an xFIP of 3.31. Wilson is also likely to eclipse 200 strikeouts this year as well, as he's struck out 190 in 209 innings so far on the season.

Texas' offense will face off against former Ranger farmhand Blake Beaven. Beaven, who is a Texas native, has gone 4-5 in 12 starts for the Mariners, with a 4.32 ERA, .288 BAA and 1.31 WHIP. Beaven, though, does not miss bats, as he's struck out just 31 in 77 innings. 

First pitch in Seattle is scheduled for 9:10 p.m. CDT, 7:10 p.m. locally at Safeco Field.

Photographs by jamesbrandon, jdtornow, phlezk, flygraphix, mcdlttx, tomasland, and literalbarrage used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.