Well, as Jonathan said, the Rangers won a game that they were not expected to. Coming from behind, it was a hell of a game to say the least. I was very impressed with the magnitude of these guys and I was impressed with the play by the Indians as they have not been the best team the past couple of MLB seasons.
Despite that, though, the starter that gets on the mound tonight isn’t going to allow many runs – if any at all. Both starters for tonight – from both sides of the field – started off tremendously well this year; however, one of them has fallen through in a few games and guess what? It wasn’t ours!
Let’s have a look at the pitching matchups and pitchers vs. hitters heading into the second game of the four game set in Cleveland at Progressive Field.
Pitching MatchupsRHP Alexi Ogando gets the start for Texas tonight. Ogando is looking to go 6-0 as he takes the mound. Ogando is 5-0 with a 5.33 ERA and has 47 strikeouts on the year. His last time out was only his second bad outing for the year. The 27-year-old allowed five earned runs on seven hits over six innings against the Royals on April 29 and got a no decision. The outing before that on April 23 was Ogando’s first career Major League shutout. Further, in his 10 games this 2011 season, he has only allowed more than two runs twice.
On the road, Ogando has allowed eight runs on 17 hits over 26.1 innings and has a 2.73 ERA and 0.80 WHIP with 16 strikeouts and four walks. Ogando faced Cleveland once last year and permitted just a single home run over 2.1 innings.
RHP Justin Masterson takes the mound for the Indians tonight. He is 5-3 with a 3.07 ERA and 51 strikeouts on the season. After starting the year with five consecutive wins, the 26-year-old has gotten three losses and three no decisions in his last six starts. Last time out at Tampa Bay, he allowed seven runs on eight hits in only five innings before being pulled resulting in a 7-0 loss. In his last 10 starts, he has allowed two or fewer runs in six games.
At home, Masterson has allowed 14 earned runs on 35 hits over 41 innings and has a 3.07 ERA and 1.17 WHIP with 26 strikeouts and 13 walks.
Pitchers vs. Hitters
RHP Justin Masterson: Adrian Beltre and Michael Young have both struggled against the right-hander for Cleveland going 1-for-11 and 0-for-6. Josh Hamilton is 4-for-6 with one double, one homer and two RBIs, Ian Kinsler is 2-for-5 with a double, Elvis Andrus is 2-for-4 with one RBI, Nelson Cruz is 2-for-7 with one homer and one RBI and Mike Napoli is 2-for-8 with a home run and one RBI.
My prediction is always in favor of the Rangers when Ogando is on the mound. He is so incredibly impressive. I think he’ll go 6-0 tonight and as long as his offense backs him up as they have been recently, it’s going to be one hell of a game – maybe even Ogando’s second career shutout.