clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Texas Rangers preview: These guys again?

New, 10 comments

The Royals face the Rangers again, this time in Texas.

Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

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.

*All stats courtesy of FanGraphs and Baseball-Reference

Pitching match-ups

Game One - Thursday, 7:05 PM CDT

Pitcher G IP K BB ERA FIP xFIP SIERA fWAR rWAR
Yordano Ventura 19 106.1 80 45 4.99 4.73 4.72 4.81 0.8 0.3
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

Pitcher G IP K BB ERA FIP xFIP SIERA fWAR rWAR
Edinson Volquez 21 124.1 94 47 4.56 4.11 4.39 4.49 1.6 0.8
A.J. Griffin 12 62.0 53 26 4.06 4.67 4.91 4.71 0.7 1.0

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

Pitcher G IP K BB ERA FIP xFIP SIERA fWAR rWAR
Ian Kennedy 20 114.1 117 39 4.41 5.34 4.56 4.05 0.1 1.1
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

Pitcher G IP K BB ERA FIP xFIP SIERA fWAR rWAR
TBD









Lucas Harrell 5 29.1 21 12 3.38 3.69 5.17 4.99 0.5 0.5

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.

The Batsmen

Name Pos PA HR R RBI SB BA OBP SLG wOBA wRC+ fWAR rWAR
Jurickson Profar (S) 1B 176 4 25 14 0 .296 .349 .414 .332 101 0.5 0.5
Ian Desmond CF 437 20 73 62 16 .308 .359 .527 .375 130 4.7 3.6
Rougned Odor (L) 2B 398 18 61 51 10 .277 .296 .480 .328 98 1.7 1.1
Adrian Beltre 3B 400 16 53 64 0 .282 .338 .466 .342 108 2.9 3.5
Mitch Moreland (L) DH 311 14 31 40 0 .232 .299 .430 .309 85 0.1 0.5
Ryan Rua LF 219 7 36 20 7 .273 .347 .428 .334 102 0.8 1.1
Elvis Andrus SS 367 4 45 45 13 .293 .352 .412 .330 100 1.3 1.7
Nomar Mazara (L) RF 385 12 41 40 0 .282 .335 .417 .324 96 1.3 0.8
Robinson Chirinos C 107 8 12 17 0 .200 .280 .505 .330 99 0.4 0.4
Bench Pos PA HR R RBI SB BA OBP SLG wOBA wRC+ fWAR rWAR
Bobby Wilson C 138 3 11 21 0 .238 .261 .341 .259 51 -0.1 -0.4
Delino DeShields OF 141 3 19 9 5 .220 .297 .325 .277 63 0.4 -0.1
Joey Gallo (L) IF 6 1 1 1 0 .167 .167 .667 .336 104 0.0 -0.1
Hanser Alberto IF 39 0 2 3 1 .162 .162 .162 .142 -29 -0.2 -0.2

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.

Editor's Note: New players win cash in their first daily fantasy league or get their entry fee refunded! Offered in SB Nation's partnership with FanDuel, your hub for daily fantasy baseball and more.