August 29, 2012; Arlington, TX, USA; Tampa Bay Rays right fielder Sam Fuld (5) steals second ahead of the tag by Texas Rangers second baseman Michael Young (10) in the sixth inning at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. Mandatory Credit: Jim Cowsert-US PRESSWIRE

Series Preview: Texas Rangers (82-55) @ Tampa Bay Rays (75-62)


The end of a roadtrip is always something a team looks forward to, especially after winning a four game series and avoiding a split. The Rangers face Tampa Bay for the second time in three series this time at Tropicana Field.

The Rangers are probably sending two of their top starters once again as Yu Darvish and Matt Harrison look to battle the Rays again. The Rangers will see David Price and James Shields as well as young fireballer Jeremy Hellickson. Derek Holland, who has been very good lately, starts opposite him in the opener.

It will be interesting to see if the youngsters Mike Olt and Jurickson Profar are used at all in this series. Profar hasn’t played since going 2/4 with a homerun in his Major League debut against the Royals. Talk about going out on a high. We also haven’t seen Brandon Snyder, Martin Perez or Leonys Martin since they were recalled September 1.

Series at a Glance

Texas Record: 82-55 (1st AL West)
Tampa Bay Record: 75-62 (3rd AL East, 2 GB – 0.5 GB 2nd Wild Card [Oakland])

Season Series: 3-3
Record at Tampa Bay:  0-0

Notable Transaction: NONE

Probable Starters:

Friday 6:10 CDT TEX: LHP Derek Holland (10-6, 4.79 ERA/4.73 FIP) – TB: RHP Jeremy Hellickson (8-10, 3.41 ERA/4.98 FIP)

Saturday 6:10 CDT TEX: RHP Yu Darvish (14-9, 4.29 ERA/3.55 FIP) – TB: LHP David Price (17-5, 2.54 ERA/3.21 FIP)

Sunday 12:40 CDT TEX: LHP Matt Harrison (15-9, 3.37 ERA/3.96 FIP) – TB: RHP James Shields (13-8, 3.88 ERA/3.41 FIP)

Projected Rays Lineup
1 LF Desmond Jennings
2 CF B.J. Upton
3 RF Matthew Joyce (L)
4 3B Evan Longoria
5 SS Ben Zobrist (B)
6 DH Luke Scott (L)
7 1B Carlos Pena (L) vs RHP
8 2B Ryan Roberts
9 C Jose Molina

Bench
C Jose Lobaton (B)
C/1B/OF Stephen Vogt (L)
C/OF Chris Gimenez
SS Reid Brignac (L)
IF Elliot Johnson (B)
IF Jeff Keppinger 1B vs LHP
OF Ben Francisco
OF Sam Fuld (L)
OF Rich Thompson (L)

Bullpen
CL RHP Fernando Rodney
SU RHP Joel Peralta
SU RHP Wade Davis
MID LHP Jake McGee
MID RHP Kyle Farnsworth
MID LHP J.P. Howell
MID RHP Brandon Gomes
MID LHP Cesar Ramos
MID RHP Dane De La Rosa
LR RHP Burke Badenhop

(source MLBDepthCharts)

For more information on the Rays see FanSided’s Rays page, Rays Colored Glasses.

Tags: Tampa Bay Rays Texas Rangers