Last weekend the Texas Rangers hit the Royals hard in their series win over the World Champions. The Rangers looked to get right against the Royals last weekend, and even put together a three-game winning streak with their wins in Kansas City and another against Oakland, but the charging A's took the last two in Arlington to put them back on the skids. Neither the Royals nor the Rangers have looked particularly good of late, but the Rangers took two of three last weekend, and they have the advantage of holding the lead in their division.
Game One - Thursday, 7:05 PM CDT
|Cole Hamels (L)||20||125.1||120||50||2.87||4.27||4.10||4.16||1.5||3.6|
In a rematch of last Saturday's game, Texas turns to its defacto ace - at least until Yu Darvish reestablishes that title - to get the series started. Hamels's walk rates are at career highs. His strikeouts are down, and his home runs are up. Yet thanks to a ridiculous 83.2 LOB% and robust 48.3 GB%, he has been beneficiary of a 2.87 ERA that far exceeds the way he's pitched. His peripherals suggest the performance of a pitcher with a 1.40 disparity between his ERA and his FIP. Something's got to give. Hopefully it happens tonight.
Game Two - Friday, 7:05 PM CDT
Griffin has been a solid find as a scrap heap find, but there is no looking at the former A's hurler without seeing a back-end starter. His fastball sits in the 80s, and he mixes in a slider, curveball, and change up. He has performed his duties admirably, but he is not the caliber of pitcher with whom the Royals should struggle. That hasn't stopped them before though.
Game Three - Saturday, 7:05 PM CDT
|Martin Perez (L)||21||125.1||58||52||4.38||4.86||4.98||5.38||0.7||1.1|
By virtually any measure, the young Rangers' southpaw has been underwhelming this season. The only qualified starting pitcher with a lower K/9 in baseball is Mike Pelfrey. He's a full 0.74 K/9 behind the next worst pitcher, Jered Weaver. K% tells the same story. His 1.1 K-BB% is inarguably abysmal and is also the second-worst mark amongst starters (again, to Pelfrey). The primary reason his ERA hasn't ballooned to well above where it stands now is likely his 52.6 GB% that has helped him limit the damage.
Game Four - Sunday, 1:05 PM CDT
After spending 2015 pitching in Korea, Lucas Harrell returned to the States this year, bouncing from Detroit to Atlanta before getting dealt to Texas to give them a temporary starter along with southpaw reliever, Dario Alvarez. They gave up former first round pick Travis Demeritte, who was putting things together in High-A ball, to get the pair, but that payment was largely for six-ish years of the strikeout machine Alvarez. Harrell will bridge the gap until Colby Lewis and Derek Holland are healthy enough to return. Harrell resides somewhere in the general vicinity of replacement level, hence his pitching in Korea last year, but his peripherals suggest that he's pitched roughly as well as both Griffin and Perez this year, although in a limited number of starts.
|Jurickson Profar (S)||1B||176||4||25||14||0||.296||.349||.414||.332||101||0.5||0.5|
|Rougned Odor (L)||2B||398||18||61||51||10||.277||.296||.480||.328||98||1.7||1.1|
|Mitch Moreland (L)||DH||311||14||31||40||0||.232||.299||.430||.309||85||0.1||0.5|
|Nomar Mazara (L)||RF||385||12||41||40||0||.282||.335||.417||.324||96||1.3||0.8|
|Joey Gallo (L)||IF||6||1||1||1||0||.167||.167||.667||.336||104||0.0||-0.1|
Stats through Wednesday, July 27
Joey Gallo finally rejoined the big league club this week, spending virtually the entire 2016 season thus far in Round Rock. With Gallo in the lineup, one can almost squint and see the future of the Rangers, as his monstrous power complements Jurickson Profar's bat, Odor's total package, and Nomar Mazara's impressive combination of power and cannon.
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