The Rangers just completed a stretch where they played two national league teams with an AL East team sandwiched in the middle. It is about time they get back to fighting against their own division. The Rangers are currently sitting in first place, and Eric has graded how the first half of the season has gone for the Rangers so far according to him here and here. You should read them if you haven’t.
So, after winning their fourth series in a row, which I might add began with an AL West team in the Oakland Athletics, The Rangers took the day off yesterday to get ready for the Seattle Mariners. The Rangers and Mariners have already faced off in ten games, and the Rangers have taken seven of those. The Rangers have an ERA of 2.16 against Seattle so far in 2013, and the M’s line looks like this against Rangers pitching – .229/.292/.327. The Rangers have pitched well so far against the Mariners, and they need to keep it up if they want to hold that ever so slim lead against the Athletics.
Tuesday Night, we get to watch Justin Grimm (WAR of -0.5, RAR of -4) go up against Joe Saunders (WAR of 0.3, RAR of 6). Saunders has presented problems for the Rangers in the past, but they were able to hand him his first loss ever in Safco last time they faced him, so hopefully that bad feeling he got from that game will carry over to this one. Grimm has a 6.62 ERA in his last three starts, and I hope he does better than that against the Mariners on Tuesday night.
After that we get to see Derek Holland (6-4, 3.14 ERA) up against King Felix Hernandez (8-4, 2.70 ERA). We all know that the King is tough to get hits off of, but ask the Yankees how easy it is to hit off of Derek when he is on. If he can build on his last outing , this should be a really fun game to watch if you like pitchers duels. Hopefully the Rangers will get some hits off of the King early and give Derek a bit of a cushion to work with.
July 4th will have Martin Perez (2-1, 2.37 ERA) facing off against Hisashi Iwakuma (7-3, 2.42 ERA). What a great American Matchup for independence day! Martin looked really good in his last outing and I hope that continues. Iwakuma is a good pitcher for the Mariners and he should present a challenge for the Rangers.
The Rangers are playing good ball right now, so I see now reason why they will not win another series and keep the good times rolling against the Seattle Mariners, and then it is time to get ready for the Houston Astros. Buckle up, everyone, cause AL West ball is back for the next week or so!