|TEXAS ( PEREZ )|
KANSAS CITY ( SANTANA )
|923||TEXAS||+110||Ov 7.5,-120||+120||Ov 7.5,+105|
|924||KANSAS CITY||-120||Un 7.5,+100||-130||Un 7.5,-125|
|vs Right-handed Starters||54-50||-11.4||37-59||4.2||0.253||0.307||3.9||0.251||0.312|
|Past 7 Games||1-6||-6.4||4-2||3.7||0.229||0.284||4.7||0.262||0.328|
|vs Left-handed Starters||22-23||-3.8||15-29||3.8||0.248||0.297||3.7||0.237||0.294|
|Past 7 Games||4-3||+1.1||4-2||4.1||0.279||0.331||2.7||0.225||0.273|
|9/6/2013||GARZA(R)||@ LA ANGELS||WILSON(L)||5-6||L||-105||7.5 ov||O||9||7||1||10||3||0|
|9/7/2013||HOLLAND(L)||@ LA ANGELS||RICHARDS(R)||3-8||L||-135||8 ev||O||9||6||4||11||8||1|
|9/8/2013||TEPESCH(R)||@ LA ANGELS||VARGAS(L)||4-3||W||-110||8.5 ov||U||9||8||0||9||8||0|
|9/16/2013||GARZA(R)||@ TAMPA BAY||COBB(R)||2-6||L||120||7 un||O||6||4||0||12||8||0|
|9/17/2013||OGANDO(R)||@ TAMPA BAY||HELLICKSON(R)||7-1||W||110||7.5 un||O||10||5||1||4||4||0|
|9/18/2013||HOLLAND(L)||@ TAMPA BAY||ARCHER(R)||3-4||L||110||7 un||P||7||7||0||10||8||0|
|9/19/2013||DARVISH(R)||@ TAMPA BAY||MOORE(L)|| |
|9/20/2013||PEREZ(L)||@ KANSAS CITY||SANTANA(R)|| |
|9/21/2013||GARZA(R)||@ KANSAS CITY||GUTHRIE(R)|| |
|9/22/2013||OGANDO(R)||@ KANSAS CITY||SHIELDS(R)|| |
|9/26/2013|| ||LA ANGELS|| || |
|9/27/2013|| ||LA ANGELS|| || |
|9/9/2013||SANTANA(R)||@ CLEVELAND||JIMENEZ(R)||3-4||L||-110||7.5 ev||U||10||7||1||5||0||1|
|9/10/2013||GUTHRIE(R)||@ CLEVELAND||MCALLISTER(R)||6-3||W||105||9 un||P||11||9||0||12||6||1|
|9/11/2013||SHIELDS(R)||@ CLEVELAND||KAZMIR(L)||6-2||W||-115||7.5 ov||O||11||6||2||4||5||2|
|9/13/2013||CHEN(L)||@ DETROIT||VERLANDER(R)||3-6||L||155||7.5 un||O||10||8||1||7||3||0|
|9/14/2013||SANTANA(R)||@ DETROIT||FISTER(R)||1-0||W||115||7.5 un||U||8||8||0||7||7||0|
|9/15/2013||GUTHRIE(R)||@ DETROIT||SCHERZER(R)||2-3||L||175||8 un||U||6||4||0||13||10||0|
|9/23/2013||VENTURA(R)||@ SEATTLE||IWAKUMA(R)|| |
|9/24/2013||CHEN(L)||@ SEATTLE||PAXTON(L)|| |
|9/25/2013||SANTANA(R)||@ SEATTLE||RAMIREZ(L)|| |
|9/26/2013|| ||@ CHI WHITE SOX|| || |
|9/27/2013|| ||@ CHI WHITE SOX|| || |
|TEXAS: HITTING: 2B IAN KINSLER will lead off again. A few less at-'em balls and he's an MVP candidate. SS ELVIS ANDRUS is coming along offensively, but his poor SB% could lead to fewer attempts. Injuries are the only thing that will keep OF JOSH HAMILTON out of the MVP discussion. He'll likely start declining at age 35, but DH MICHAEL YOUNG can't help but put up numbers batting cleanup in this lineup. 3B ADRIAN BELTRE was unstoppable in Arlington. Like Hamilton, he's an MVP candidate if healthy. Injuries are piling up for OF NELSON CRUZ, who still has monster power but doesn't run as much anymore. C MIKE NAPOLI is MLB's best offensive catcher and will play some 1B on 'off' days. Because their lineup is stacked, Texas can play defensive-minded/offensively limited 1B MITCH MORELAND. And because Ron Washington would prefer to play Hamilton in left, speedy CF CRAIG GENTRY looks to have the edge over DAVID MURPHY for the starting job in center. Cuban import LEONYS MARTIN will start the season in Triple-A, but JULIO BORBON could earn a significant OF role. |
STARTING PITCHING: COLBY LEWIS can overpower when he's on, but as a flyball pitcher in cozy Arlington he's going to have a handful of ugly days. The much-ballyhooed YU DARVISH brings a deep arsenal of pitches and a durable frame from Japan. He's probably the best Japanese arm to ever cross the Pacific. Lefty MATT HARRISON solidified his rotation spot. He has topped out as a respectable No. 3-type starter. DEREK HOLLAND has top-of-the-rotation upside. Consistency has been an issue, but hopefully another year and some big postseason moments helped to cure that. The big story is NEFTALI FELIZ moving to the rotation. He was considered a future ace in the minors, but the transition might not be easy. His K/BB ratio plummeted last year and his flyball tendencies could spell disaster in Arlington. Keep in mind the Rangers made a successful closer-to-ace switch with C.J. Wilson. Top prospect MARTIN PEREZ could be an option in the second half.
RELIEF PITCHING: Veteran JOE NATHAN was brought in and handed the closer's job. He struggled in his first year back from Tommy John surgery, but most pitchers who've had the procedure don't come all the way back until their second full season. If Nathan falters, MIKE ADAMS could be next in line. He had no trouble transitioning from pitcher-friendly San Diego in the National League to hitter-friendly Arlington and the A.L.'s superior bats. KOJI UEHARA would also be in the closer discussion if Nathan falters, but he was unhappy about being traded from Baltimore and faltered for the Rangers late last year. ALEXI OGANDO got a huge boost from his defense and his bullpen before a late-season collapse. He threw by far a career-high in innings; better stamina would allow him to take the next step and possibly rejoin the rotation.
|KANSAS CITY: HITTING: With Melky Cabrera gone, OF LORENZO CAIN will get first crack at leadoff and centerfield. If he falters, speedster JASON BOURGEOIS, vet MITCH MAIER and prospect WIL MYERS are waiting. Former Brewer YUNIESKY BETANCOURT will start at 2B and has good life in his bat for a middle infielder. OF ALEX GORDON may not hit for average, but his approach and power are there. DH BILLY BUTLER is rock solid, but it's fair to wonder whether his power will ever progress. 1B ERIC HOSMER has MVP-type upside, and he's on the verge of figuring out MLB pitching. OF JEFF FRANCOEUR still chases too many bad pitches, but the organization likes him and he still has some pop and speed. 3B MIKE MOUSTAKAS is too good for the minors, but he still hasn't caught up to major-league pitching. There's a good chance he finds his groove this year. C HUMBERTO QUINTERO will be the main backstop with BRAYAN PENA backing him up. Speedy SS ALCIDES ESCOBAR's bat hasn't caught up to his glove. |
STARTING PITCHING: K.C. once again hopes this is the year LUKE HOCHEVAR puts it all together. His velocity picked up late last year, allowing him to be more than a groundball guy. Lefty BRUCE CHEN's late-career renaissance continues. He'll be a reliable veteran arm in the middle of K.C.'s rotation again. FELIPE PAULINO has the biggest upside in this rotation. He's always had one of MLB's best fastballs. His problem was that, when he missed (which has been often), it was usually belt-high and over the middle of the plate. If he hits his spots as he did late last year, he's got potential. But Paulino will start the season on the DL with a sore elbow. The Royals hope to solve JONATHAN SANCHEZ's command issues. The lefty is a risk, but has legitimate No. 3 potential. Top prospect DANNY DUFFY will get every chance to pitch his way into the Opening Day rotation.
RELIEF PITCHING: JOAKIM SORIA is out for the season with Tommy John surgery, leaving GREG HOLLAND to pick up closer duties. Holland was the Royals' best bullpen arm in 2011 and his stuff has always been nearly unhittable. It's just a matter of whether last year's vastly improved walk rate was for real. JONATHAN BROXTON was a disaster last season, but he'll be given every chance to become the No. 2 guy in this bullpen because of his experience in Los Angeles. AARON CROW was a first-round pick (twice) for his college career as a starter, but wore down late last year, and walked too many batters.
|~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ PA SPORTSTICKER AL PREVIEW (TEXAS-KANSAS CITY) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ |
*Rangers-Royals Preview* ========================
By ALAN FERGUSON STATS Writer
Texas (82-69) at Kansas City (80-72), 8:10 p.m. EDT
Having regained their power in their most recent series, the Texas Rangers will try to keep slugging their way toward a playoff berth.
The Rangers will try to earn some much-needed victories in a three-game series against the Kansas City Royals, another AL wild-card contender, that begins Friday night.
Texas (83-69) hit seven home runs while winning two of its final three games against Tampa Bay, the team that's tied with the Rangers atop the wild-card standings. They went deep three times in the third inning Thursday while cruising to an 8-2 victory.
Before that stretch, Texas didn't have a home run during a season-high seven straight losses.
"You can see how everything's starting to fall on track," said shortstop Elvis Andrus, who has two homers and six RBIs in the last three games. "Everybody's feeling better, relaxed out there."
The Rangers will try to keep heading in the right direction by continuing their recent success against the Royals (80-72), who are three games back in the wild card. Kansas City took two of three from another contender Cleveland earlier this week and has stayed in the race by winning 16 of 24.
"We've got a lot of guys in here that believe we can do it," first baseman Eric Hosmer told the team's official website after a 7-2 win Wednesday. "When you've got guys that are fighting for one goal and doing anything we can to win ballgames, it's real fun to come to the field and play every day, and that's what we're doing."
Texas has won seven of 10 over the Royals and took two of three in the only other matchup this season May 31-June 2.
The Rangers are hoping Martin Perez (9-5, 3.64 ERA) can get this series off to a strong start by regaining his winning form. The left-hander is 0-2 with a 5.56 ERA in two outings since a six-start win streak but had a solid performance Sunday against Oakland, allowing three runs over 6 1-3 innings in a 5-1 loss.
"In September, it's a big month for us. When you like to compete, it's easier when the games are big," he told the team's website. "There is no pressure. I just do what I have to do and throw strikes."
Ervin Santana (9-9, 3.23) will try to build on an impressive outing that snapped a losing streak. Santana gave up five hits in 6 2-3 innings of a 1-0 win in Detroit on Saturday after going 0-3 with a 4.76 ERA in his previous seven outings.
"Everything was working pretty good," Santana said. "I threw a lot of strikes and most of the time ahead in the count. That was the key."
Santana is 2-5 with a 6.89 ERA in his last nine starts against the Rangers but gave up only an unearned run and three hits over seven innings in his only matchup this season, a 3-1 loss June 2.
Perez is facing Kansas City for the first time.
|Last Updated: 9/18/2014 10:48:32 PM EST|