Toronto Blue Jays (50-49) at Texas Rangers (56-43) Game 1 of 3 Preview (7:05 pm CT)


The Texas Rangers are right where they need to be to start their seven-game homestand – at home – despite having their 12-game winning streak ended and are now on a 2-game losing streak. Those two games sure didn’t end how they expected, but they aren’t going to let that discourage them.

Sure, the Blue Jays have a three-game winning streak going on right now but I have a good feeling the Rangers will end that tonight because these guys always play better at home. Hamilton should do better than 0-for-3 since it’s not a day game!

At home, the Rangers are 31-18, which is the best in the American League, but they have also given up five of their last six against the Blue Jays at home. Regardless, the Rangers will be in their own environment tonight and should be able to start up another winning streak and increase the three-game lead over the Los Angeles Angels in the AL West while the Blue Jays are 10.5 games behind the Boston Red Sox in the AL East. Heading into tonight, both teams have won eight of their last 10 games.

Here’s a look at what to expect on the hill and at the plate tonight!

Pitching Matchups

RHP Colby Lewis, who is 9-7 with a 4.07 ERA, will come out tonight and try to get the job done, something he is getting better at as of late. His last time out he threw 8.2 scoreless innings while allowing only four hits, two walks and struck out eight hitters. For argument sake, I know it was the Seattle Mariners, but Lewis was strong the entire time he was out on the hill. Lewis has gotten the win (and one no decision) in three of his previous four starts – all four of which the Rangers won. The no decision came in the game against Oakland when he allowed five runs (four earned) on five this over six innings. Thanks to his seven runs of support from his team, he was able to squeeze out of the loss. He has four straight wins coming into tonight and he’ll be aiming to get his 10th win of the season so he can be added into the small list of pitchers that have reached double digits in wins. Last time against Toronto, he pitched five innings allowing six runs.

LHP Jo-Jo Reyes will get the start for the Blue Jays tonight at Arlington. Reyes is 5-7 with a 4.94 ERA. He may have won his last game but it sure wasn’t based on his impressive pitching but instead of the Blue Jays’ strong offense. Reyes allowed seven runs on 10 hits in only 5.1 innings against the New York Yankees, which was a tough battle anyway, but the Yanks ended up losing 16-7. I hope they don’t anticipate the same type of game in Arlington because I don’t think it will happen. Anyway, he pitched a complete one-hitter game on May 30 but has significantly dropped in performance since then. He has pitched no more than 6.1 innings and has pitched as few as 3.2 innings. In his previous five games, he has pitched 24.6 innings allowing 24 runs – 21 earned – on 40 hits. During that time, he has only struck out nine batters and has walked just as many. Last time against Texas, he last 2.2 innings in which he allowed six runs.

Pitchers vs. Hitters

RHP Colby Lewis: Rajai Davis is 6-for-16 with a double and two RBIs and Corey Patterson is 4-for-6 with one homer and four RBIs. Jose Bautista is 3-for-6 with two homers and two RBIs. The rest of the guys have either gotten one or no hits off Lewis.

LHP Jo-Jo Reyes: The Rangers don’t have much experience against Reyes. Nelson Cruz is 2-for-2 with one RBI, Mike Napoli has a double, two RBIs and is 1-for-2, Elvis Andrus is 1-for-2 with one RBI and Michael Young is 1-for-5 with a double and two RBIs. None of the Rangers have secured a homer against Reyes and among the guys that haven’t gotten a hit at all off Reyes (with their number of at-bats in parenthesis) include Ian Kinsler (3) , Adrian Beltre (1), Mitch Moreland (1), David Murphy (1) and Yorvit Torrealba (2).