Oakland, Cali – The Texas Rangers start a big 3-games series today against the first place Oakland Athletics. The Texas Rangers are going just want the needed to do this point in April, stay afloat in the division. They started the season with several big names on the disabled list such as Derek Holland, Joseph Ortiz, Colby Lewis, Matt Harrison and Geovany Soto. They lead the lead with 11 total on the disable list and currently have 10 there. Exceptions enter today’s game was that the Rangers would be around .500.
Playing with depth: Even though the Rangers are missing several key players, the depth of their farm system, scouting and recent acquisitions has made the losses easier to take. Kevin Kouzmanoff has played well above his career averages and has a made a huge impact in the Rangers’ line up. He started off his career with 9 consecutive games with a hit and has a batting average of .366 with 9 RBI and 2 home runs. He was named the A.L. player of the week today. Also, the platoon in the middle infield with Donnie Murphy and Josh Wilson has worked very well. They have lessen the the loss of Jurickson Profar. They have combined 9 RBI this season.
Yu and the O.com: Yu Darvish hasn’t had any luck over the past 2 years and 2 starts in Oakland. He’s been wild and he’s even started off a game with hitting a batter. He has an ERA of 9.58 with 8 walks and only 2 strike outs over 2 games/10.1 innings in Oakland. Darvish has pitched outstanding so far this year. He could reverse his trend tonight, but the Rangers offense will need to give him some support. So far over 3 starts, the Rangers haven’t give Darvish any run support at all. Why you may ask? I think the best answer is each time when Yu Darvish pitches, he normally squares off against the other team’s ace. That is what you would expect when that happens.
404 not found: The Oakland Athletics have a league leading 20 errors this season, they have been charge with 2 errors in each of their last 4-games and currently have an 9 games. One important thing tonight for the Rangers, they must capitalize on errors. There is no reason the Rangers shouldn’t give Darvish at least a run or two if the Athletics play that sloppy again. The Athletics have managed to play well enough though to limit the damage. They have only allowed 55 runs over 18 games to average about 3.05 runs per game. That means Darvish will need to pitch lights out and the Rangers need to hit that 3 run mark.
RC over JPA: It might come as a surprise, but Robinson Chirinos gets the nod over J.P. Arencibia. You wonder why it was even a thought, but Darvish seems to like Arencibia over Chirinos. There were reports that Darvish was upset after the last game because Chirinos wasn’t utilizing all of Darvish’s pitches. But Chirinos is batting well, about .150 points over Arencibia, but who isn’t. Also, the game that Arencibia caught last night went horrible for him. He’s batting average dropped to .061 and Robbie Ross Jr. had the his worst night of the year. Some reason that seems to follow Arencibia. While Chirinos isn’t the best catcher, he is the Rangers best catcher right now. I would expect Ron Washington to keep Chirinos in until the getaway day on Sunday.
The Rangers are coming off the worst loss this year and I expect them to rebound tonight. They don’t get beat that badly often and have only lost back-to-back games once this year (4-4/4-5). Darvish has an ERA of 0.82 with 4 walks and 23 strike outs. I think today is the day finally figures out how to win at the Overstock.com Coliesium.