Alexi Ogando (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

Chicago White Sox (22-26)at Texas Rangers (24-23) Preview Game 1

The Rangers are back starting tonight against the Chicago White Sox. The Rangers are coming off a win against the Phillies in which Matt Harrison pitched 8.1 innings allowing no runs and Neftali Feliz came in and – thankfully – secured the game.

Thankfully, it seems that the Rangers do a bit better at home (but what team doesn’t, right?) and some of the players definitely have some better offensive plays…especially Ian Kinsler. Kinsler got his first hit Saturday night against the Phillies after going 15 at-bats with no hits over his previous four appearances; however, he was unable to get in a hit last night. His best batting average is at home with .300.

More on some of the hitters….

Adrian Beltre has gotten a hit in four of his previous five games and has a .238 batting average. Young has gone two games in his previous five without getting a hit but he did go 3-for-4 on Saturday against Philly. He has a .309 batting average at home this year. Elvis Andrus has hit in all but one of his previous 10 games, went 2-for-5 yesterday and currently holds a .300 batting average in Arlington.

The real highlight of tonight’s game isn’t Kinsler probably coming out of his current slump but that the Rangers are set to welcome back outfielders Josh Hamilton and Nelson Cruz, who have been on the DL and rehabbing in the Minors pretty successfully. The team has struggled since Josh Hamilton went out and then it just went downhill from there with more players landing on the disabled list and more struggling for the entire team. They’ve managed to pull in a win here with the two power sluggers but with their power back in the lineup, who knows what is going to happen? All I know is that if they manage to bring their power to the plate, only great things can come out of this.

Pitching Matchups

The Rangers hand the ball over to Alexi Ogando with complete faith has he has been a consistent starter this year. He is 4-0 with an earned run average of 2.13 for the season and is 3-0 with an ERA of 1.48 at Arlington. He allowed more than two runs in just one game, which was also his first no decision of the year, which was against the Yankees on April 17 when he allowed five runs on six hits over 6.1 innings, which was his worse appearance this season but it has also been his only bad outing. Last time out, he allowed two runs on four hits over seven innings against Kansas City in a 5-4 victory.

Ogando has only thrown two innings to the White Sox, which were in relief last season; however, those two innings were scoreless. At home, he has allowed four runs on 16 hits over 24.1 innings while striking out 21 and walking seven.

The White Sox have John Danks, native of Austin, Texas, starting and they probably don’t have near as much faith in him as we do our starter. Why you may ask? Well, Danks has gone 0-6 over his previous and has an ERA of 4.32. The White Sox finally got a win with Danks on the mound, although it was a no decision for him last time against Texas on May 17.

Last time against Texas, the White Sox won 4-3 with Danks on the mound but he threw six walks. However, he did only allow four runs over 6.1 innings, which could have been much worse. In order for him to give his team a chance to win this go-around, he’s going to need to be solid as concrete because that’s just what his opposing pitcher is.

Pitchers vs. Hitters

RHP Alexi Ogando: Ogando has only seen the White Sox hitters in two innings of relief, which came last season. Only one batter, Alex Rios, even has a hit off the right-hander. In this hit, he batted in a run.

LHP John Danks: Josh Hamilton is 3-for-7 with two RBIs, Nelson Cruz is 4-for-10, Elvis Andrus is 5-for-8 with a double and two RBIs, Adrian Beltre is 6-for-24 with two homers and four RBIs, Ian Kinsler is 4-for-18 with one homer and two RBIs and Michael Young is 2-for-15 with one RBI. David Murphy, who was the No. 2 hitter yesterday, is 0-for-4 against Danks.

My Prediction

With Ogando on the mound, it’s a good day in Arlington (if it were anyone else, I’d be a little worried). With Hamilton and Cruz set to return, it’s an even better day in Arlington. I smell the scent of a win, how about you?

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Tags: Alexi Ogando Chicago White Sox Elvis Andrus Ian Kinsler John Danks Josh Hamilton Michael Young Nelson Cruz Rangers Texas Rangers White Sox At Rangers

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