Texas Rangers (15-10) at Oakland Athletics (12-13) Game 1 Preview


After suffering a series loss to the Toronto Blue Jays, the Rangers will head to Oakland in hopes of gaining back their momentum that they started this month off with. They will start their four-game series today between a team in their own division, a division in which they currently lead with one win over the LA Angels, which will end on Monday just before they head to Seattle to face the Mariners for a second time this season.

The Rangers may have hit a bit of a slump as of late, but their defense and offense is still stellar. Adrian Beltre, a wonderful offseason addition for the Rangers, has been playing both sides of the plate very well. He made some fantastic plays in Wednesday night’s game against the Blue Jays and he is currently second in both home runs and RBIs in the American League with 7 homers and 20 runs batted in.

Yesterday, Ian Kinsler was all about stealing bases. Elvis Andrus is currently fifth in the AL with four stolen bases but goes up against Oakland’s Coco Crisp who has eight. Michael Young is second with 12 doubles in the AL and Julio Borbon has two triples but Oakland’s Crisp has three. Michael Young is second in hits with 34 for the season so far and Kinsler is tied in fourth for runs with 17. Michael Young is fourth in batting average in the American League with a .347 batting average. And despite the fact that Oakland seems to be right there with them in a couple of the offensive stats, the Rangers are simply better.

Let’s go ahead and take a look at the pitching matchups as well as how the teams have fared against the pitchers they’ll be facing when they get to the plate.

Pitchings Matchups

LHP CJ Wilson will get the start for the Rangers. Wilson is 3-0 with a 3.51 ERA in five starts and has 31 strikeouts. His third win of the season came his last time out against the Royals last Sunday in an 8-7 victory. He pitched seven innings in which he allowed four runs on eight hitts while striking out 10 batters and walking one. This was his third career game in which he threw 10 strikeouts, which is the most ever in Arlington since 11 strikes from Cliff Lee in August of last year against the Yankees.

Against Oakland, Wilson is 2-3 with an earned run average of 4.39. He’s pitched 41 innings allowing 20 earned runs. He has five saves over his 31 career games, two of which are starts. In his two starts, he is 1-0 with a 2.84 earned run average in which he allowed four earned runs over 12.2 innings. He has never started in Oakland at the Coliseum but in his 13 relief appearances, he is 0-1 with two saves and an earned run average of 4.91 allowing six earned runs over 11 pitched innings.

RHP Trevor Cahill gets on the mound for the A’s. Cahill is also 3-0 for the season with a 2.30 ERA in his five starts with 29 strikeouts. He got his third win of the season last time out against the Seattle Mariners in which he pitched six innings allowing one run on seven hits striking out two and walking one. Against Detroit, he got a season-high of nine strikeouts while not walking a hitter, which was for the eight time for his career.

Against Texas, Cahill is 6-2 with an earned run average of 2.56. He has pitched 56.1 innings allowing 19 runs, 16 earned, on 49 hits walking 15 and striking out 33. He has allowed 6 homers as well. This all in his nine starts against Texas for his career. Last year, he met the Rangers for five starts and went 3-1 with an earned run average of 2.64 allowing 9 earned runs over 30.2 innings.

Pitchers vs. Hitters

LHP CJ Wilson: Most of the A’s haven’t hit well against Wilson. Ryan Sweeney is 2-for-3, Kevin Kouzmanoff is 3-for-6 with two doubles and Josh Donaldson is 1-for-2 with one RBI. Coco Crisp is 1-for-5 with one double and two RBIs and Mark Ellis is 2-for-10 with one RBI. Hideki Matsui is 2-for-13 while David DeJesus is 1-for-8 with one RBI. Daric Barton, Cliff Pennington and Landon Powell have been unable to get a hit out of five, six and seven at-bats respectively.

RHP Trevor Cahill: The same can be said for the Rangers against this right-hander. Andres Blanco is 2-for-5, David Murphy is 7-for-23 with one homer and three RBIs, Michael Young is 2-for-17 with one homer and three RBIs and Adrian Beltre is 4-for-15. Ian Kinsler is 1-for-11, Nelson Cruz is 1-for-13 with one RBI and Mitch Moreland is 1-for-6 with his single hit being a homer and has two RBIs. Chris Davis is 2-for-13 with one homer and one RBI, Julio Borbon is 3-for-19 with two RBIs and Elvis Andrus is 4-for-20. In 10 at-bats, Mike Napoli is the only one who has faced Cahill but been unable to get a hit.