After dropping three of four over the weekend against MLB’s worst ranked team, the Chicago White Sox (13-30), the Texas Rangers (18-30) look forward to the first battle of the year with the New York Yankees (30-13) next.
The Yankees and Rangers have been a lively, heated rivalry ever since, well, a guy by the name of Alex Rodriguez made the switch. What a joy that was, that the Ranger’s best and highest paid player be shipped to the Yanks up north. At least we received Alfonso Soriano, right?
Enough of the history, let’s look to the three-game set beginning today. Here are your projected pitching matchups:
- Monday, May 21, 7:05 CDT: Bartolo Colon (2-1, 2.82 ERA, 32 SO) vs. Masahiro Tanaka (4-2, 4.73 ERA, 47 SO)
- Tuesday, May 22, 7:05 CDT: Cole Hamels (2-4, 3.48 ERA, 57 SO) vs. Domingo German (0-1, 4.26 ERA, 28 SO)
- Wednesday, May 23, 6:05 CDT: Doug Fister (1-4, 3.43 ERA, 33 SO) vs. CC Sabathia (2-1, 2.40 ERA, 33 SO)
Who’s really looking forward to pitching matchups though? We’re all excited for the Mazara-Gallo vs. Stanton-Judge batting matchups. The Rangers and Yankees own six of the top 25 home run hitters in all of baseball and they are all in double digits at that: Gallo (13), Sanchez (12), Stanton (11), Judge (11), Mazara (10) and Gregorius (10).
Speaking of Didi Gregorius, he will return to the lineup after sitting out the last two games of their previous series with the Royals. Gregorius had a rough May after a very hot start to the season. He was the AL Player of the Month of April and then went on a 1-for-45 skid at the plate once May came around.
On the Ranger’s side of the field, well, it hasn’t been going the way we would like it to. The Rangers have dropped six of their last eight games after suffering their first shutout of the season last night. On the contrary, the Yankees have won 21 of their last 25 – talk about a team on fire.
Let’s look at the bright side. The Rangers have a .304 team batting average against Tanaka over the course of his career in the MLB. With that said, maybe the Rangers can catch some fire and run with momentum as we approach June. On Wednesday, the Rangers close out the series against Sabathia, who is subject to a .303 team BA against Texas. Now that the team is back home and facing the weaker side of the Yankees pitching lineup, now’s the time to see some fireworks.
I’m going to go out on a limb and say this series could be the closest thing to the Home Run Derby in July, with the exception of tonight. Our (almost) 45-year-old, All-Star pitcher (Colon) is on the mound.
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