Fans, rejoice! The moment we all waited for since the end of September, the Rangers’ home opener is upon us. Rangers begin the season with interleague play for the third time since 2014 against “their National League Foes,” the Colorado Rockies.
We all recall the last time the Rangers and Rockies met. Colorado had their bullpen meltdown at Globe Life Park on Father’s Day in 2018, including an incredible moment by Jose Trevino. Now, the Rockies return for another incredible moment, the inauguration of Globe Life Field.
— Alex Plinck (@aplinckTX) June 14, 2020
The Rangers had a couple of injuries scares during Summer Camp. Robinson Chirinos looks ready to go on Friday’s opening day to catch Lance Lynn despite the ankle injury suffered a week ago. The injury early raised the question whether the club would explore other options like Jeff Mathis or Trevino. However, a quick recovery by Robinson gets him back to work behind the plate. Willie Calhoun’s summer camp slowly ended with a hip issue, but don’t be surprised if you see Willie shagging fly balls by the end of the weekend. The likelihood that Willie plays on Opening Day isn’t too high, but there’s a decent chance to see Willie at least at the dish on Saturday or Sunday. For the Rockies, their significant development was Charlie Blackmon testing positive for Coronavirus early in camp. However, Blackmon started in right field for both exhibition games and looks good to go for the opening series.
Since 2015, the Rangers have won seven of the last ten meetings with the Rockies. Three or fewer runs decided eight of those ten games while four or fewer runs decided nine of the ten games. Bottom line, these two teams played to the wire. The Rockies will send one left-handed starter to the mound in this series in Kyle Freeland while the Rangers send their left-hander, Mike Minor, for Saturday’s contest.
Colorado will be without Ian Desmond in 2020, who opted out of the season. In his place, the Rockies look at Blackmon, Sam Hilliard, David Dahl, Ramiel Tapia, or Garrett Hampson. On the other side, the Rangers hope their hot hitters out of the gate, Rougned Odor, Isiah Kiner-Falefa, and Nick Solak continue to keep their steamy streak going. Career-wise, Odor is a .304 hitter against the Rockies (fifth-best against any opponent) and a slugging percentage of .652 (best against any opposition).
Projected pitching matchups:
Friday, July 24 (7:05 pm): German Marquez (COL) vs. Lance Lynn (TEX)
Saturday, July 25 (3:05 pm) Jon Gray vs. Mike Minor (TEX)
Sunday, July 26 (1:35 pm) Kyle Freeland (COL) vs. Corey Kluber (TEX)
**Fox Sports Southwest will broadcast all three games***
A Player to Watch this weekend:
Texas: Elvis Andrus
Last season Elvis Andrus came out of the gate hot, and even though he missed a small increment of time, he still managed to have a considerable first portion of the season. However, the end of 2019 wasn’t ideal, and Elvis’s evaluation was on the slightly meets expectations category rather than exceeds. Elvis Andrus’ first go-around in 2020 will come against a pitching staff that ranked third to last in the National League in WHIP against right-handed hitters. The Rangers are stacked with more righties in their lineup in 2019 compared to this season with the departure of Nomar Mazara.
Colorado: Trevor Story
Story will join three Rockies, DFW natives (Blackmon and Sam Hilliard as the others), who will take part in the first regular-season game at Globe Life Field. Story enters his fifth season in the majors and is improving each year. It’s a player’s dream with a new park to become the first to make their mark. Trevor grew up going to games at Globe Life Park and now becomes a part of history where he’ll open up the new stadium.
Note: Rockies’ outfielder Sam Hilliard, a Mansfield native, will have his father at Globe Life Field this weekend. Hilliard’s father, Jim, was diagnosed with ALS, and while fans aren’t allowed at stadiums, the Rangers made an exception. Texas is allowing Jim to come to watch his son play this weekend in Arlington.
— Texas Rangers (@Rangers) July 24, 2020
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