Texas Rangers (29-25) at Tampa Bay Rays (28-25) Preview Game 2

Coming off an 11-5 win against the Rays in the first game of this three-game series, you can clearly see that the Rangers have got hold of their offensive woes and placed them somewhere and hopefully, they threw away the key! The Rangers enter game two of three tonight with a winning streak of three games.

The Rays have now lost 10 of their previous 15 games and need to do some serious turning around, seven of which are out of their previous 10. The Rangers, on the other hand, have won six of their previous 10.

Last time the Rangers were at Tropicana field, aside from yesterday’s game, it was for the 2010 American League Division Series in which the Rangers were able to win three straight and advance on to the ALCS. With last night’s win, the Rangers have now won four consecutive games at Tropicana Field and will look to increase that number tonight.

C.J. Wilson against Chicago White Sox - AP Photo

Pitching Matchups

LHP C.J. Wilson will take the mound for the Rangers tonight. He leads the club with 65 strikeouts and is 5-3 with a 3.25 ERA this season. The 30-year-old hasn’t had consecutive wins since April 18 and 24 against the Angels and Royals respectively but will look for two straight wins tonight. His last time out was a 2-1 win in which he pitched 6.1 innings allowing the only run that the White Sox scored while also striking out five batters and walking zero. He successfully retired 17 of the first 19 batters that he faced prior to permitting three straight singles. In four starts, it was his first win.
Against the Rays, Wilson has 14 career games, only one of which is a start, and has gone 2-0 with an ERA of 2.45 allowing five earned runs over 18.1 innings. His last start against the Rays at Tropicana Field was the first week in October last year in which the Rangers celebrated a 6-0 victory in Game 2 of the ALDS.

RHP Alex Cobb gets on his home mound for the Rays. He has three strikeouts and is 0-0 for the season with an 8.31 ERA. The young 23-year-old was scratched from his previous start in AAA Durham so that he could start for the Rays in the Majors in the place of Andy Sonnanstine. His numbers in the Minors are some of the best among pitchers and he hasn’t pitched in the Bigs since May 1 against the Angels when he allowed four runs on four hits over 4.1 innings while also walking four batters in a home loss of 6-5.

Pitchers vs. Hitters

LHP C.J. Wilson: Johnny Damon is 2-for-8 with one RBI, Ben Zobrist is 2-for-6 with one double, Sean Rodriguez is 1-for-2 with an RBI and Kelly Shoppach is 1-for-1. In 5, 6 and 11 at-bats respectively, B.J. Upton, Evan Longoria and Casey Kotchman have been unable to get a solid hit off the left-handed Ranger pitcher.

RHP Alex Cobb: Cobb has never pitched to any of the Rangers, but they are currently on fire with Mike Napoli hitting two homers last night. Check out the recap from last night’s game to find out more on how the Rangers bats are heating up.

My Prediction

The Rays are usually pretty good offensively but their offense has been a little shaky as of late. Without having much to go on with Cobb then considering his last Major League appearance as well as the Rangers offense beginning to sizzle, I’m thinking Wilson and the Rangers are going to win tonight. We may be getting back to the way the club started the season off!

Topics: Alex Cobb, C. J. Wilson, Cj Wilson, Mike Napoli, Rangers, Rangers At Rays, Tampa Bay Rays, Texas Rangers

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