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Texas Rangers series preview: Cellar dwellers collide

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The worst in the west comes to the K

Colorado Rockies v Texas Rangers
What might have been
Photo by Ron Jenkins/Getty Images

Just five games better than the Royals, the Texas Rangers have been a complete disaster this season. Coming into action with a 29-44 record, they are already 19 games out of first in the American League West, and own the fourth-worst record in the AL. Put succinctly, prepare yourselves for some bad baseball this week.

Game times and pitching matchups are as follows:

  • Monday, June 18 — 7:15 PM CDT — Bartolo Colon versus Ian Kennedy
  • Tuesday, June 19 — 7:15 PM CDT — Cole Hamels (L) versus Jason Hammel
  • Wednesday, June 20 — 7:15 PM CDT — Yohander Méndez (L) versus Jakob Junis

All stats courtesy of FanGraphs and Baseball Reference

Rangers at Royals pitching matchups

Pitcher G IP K K% BB BB% ERA FIP xFIP SIERA fWAR rWAR
Pitcher G IP K K% BB BB% ERA FIP xFIP SIERA fWAR rWAR
Game 1
Bartolo Colon 14 74.2 48 15.6 11 3.6 4.94 5.64 4.09 4.24 -0.3 0.6
Ian Kennedy 14 73.2 67 20.2 28 8.5 5.13 4.53 4.51 4.50 0.6 0.0
Game 2
Cole Hamels (L) 14 85.1 85 23.2 33 9.0 3.69 5.35 4.23 4.08 0.0 1.9
Jason Hammel 14 84.2 55 14.9 21 5.7 5.00 4.02 4.85 4.78 1.0 0.2
Game 3
Yohander Méndez (L) 2 3.2 1 4.8 2 9.5 14.73 7.73 6.85 6.57 -0.1 -0.3
Jakob Junis 14 85.1 79 21.9 20 5.5 4.43 4.86 4.26 3.91 0.3 1.1

At least Bartolo Colon is fun to watch pitch. Cole Hamels is either replacement level or very good, depending on where you come down on the fWAR/rWAR debate. To be fair to Hamels, he has outperformed his FIP almost every year of his career, though this level of outperformance should be expected to regress to the mean.

Yohander Méndez is the new face the Royals will see this week. Promoted just last week, the southpaw top pitching prospect in the Rangers’ organization got shellacked by the Rockies last week, giving up six earned in just three innings of labored work. He spent most of last year in the Texas League and pitched well, but his stint this year in the Pacific Coast League went decidedly less swimmingly, with his walk-rates increasing and his K-rates decreasing with the return to AAA, where he pitched some in 2016 (but not 2017). Méndez has been a bit frustrating as a prospect, with his plus-velo from the left side and solid changeup being the things keeping him afloat while he struggled with his command and trying to spin a breaking ball consistently (neither his curve nor slider are particularly good).

Texas Rangers position players

Name Pos PA HR R RBI SB AVG OBP SLG wOBA wRC+ fWAR rWAR
Name Pos PA HR R RBI SB AVG OBP SLG wOBA wRC+ fWAR rWAR
Shin-Soo Choo (L) DH/RF 320 12 42 31 2 .274 .384 .459 .368 131 1.6 2.0
Jurickson Profar (S) SS 267 8 34 41 4 .243 .315 .456 .329 104 1.2 0.8
Nomar Mazara (L) RF 291 14 39 45 1 .263 .333 .485 .349 118 0.9 1.3
Joey Gallo (L) LF 286 18 36 42 2 .198 .294 .452 .320 98 0.8 -0.2
Delino DeShields CF 229 2 35 8 15 .223 .330 .301 .289 77 0.6 2.0
Adrián Beltré 3B 167 2 14 19 0 .326 .383 .444 .352 120 0.6 1.2
Robinson Chirinos C 199 8 19 22 1 .194 .307 .382 .306 88 0.6 0.5
Isiah Kiner-Falefa IF 226 2 29 20 5 .244 .321 .345 .295 81 0.4 1.6
Ronald Guzmán (L) 1B 189 7 17 29 1 .224 .302 .412 .309 90 0.2 0.6
Jose Trevino C 8 0 0 3 0 .250 .250 .250 .220 29 0.0 -0.1
Rougned Odor (L) 2B 173 1 17 15 1 .217 .292 .309 .267 61 -0.4 -0.8
Carlos Tocci OF 29 0 0 0 0 .077 .143 .077 .113 -45 -0.5 -0.8
Ryan Rua 1B/OF 93 2 10 5 3 .163 .207 .267 .208 21 -0.8 -1.0

As a group, the Rangers are slashing .231/.315/.391 with a .308 wOBA and 90 wRC+. In other words, their offense is a little better than the Royals, but that’s hardly good.

Poll

How will the Royals fare against the Rangers?

This poll is closed

  • 6%
    Royals sweep
    (4 votes)
  • 20%
    Royals take two of three
    (12 votes)
  • 63%
    Rangers take two of three
    (38 votes)
  • 10%
    Rangers sweep
    (6 votes)
60 votes total Vote Now