Series Preview: Tampa Bay Rays (70-57) @ Texas Rangers (75-52)


Ahh, the Rays and the Rangers. Playoff combatants the last two years are now facing off with both teams fighting for playoff positioning. The Rays are playing very well lately and will probably not need a collapse like last year to make the postseason. The Rangers are comfortably ahead of the Athletics and way ahead of the Angels for the AL West lead. The Angels, who were fighting for the division lead not too long ago? They are now 4 games behind Oakland and only 5 games ahead of the Seattle Mariners. Yep, totally worth trading for Zack Greinke.

All Angel-ribbing aside, this should be a great three game series as both teams have their some of their top starters going for them.

Series at a Glance

Texas Record: 75-52 (1st AL West)
Tampa Bay Record: 70-57 (2nd AL East, 4 GB – T-1st AL Wild Card)

Season Series: 2-1 Tampa Bay
Record at Texas: 1-2

Notable Transaction: March 31, 2012: The Tampa Bay Rays traded future considerations to the Texas Rangers for Kyle Hudson.

This is notable as being the only transaction between the two teams.

Probable Starters:

Monday 7:05 CDT TEX: LHP Derek Holland (8-6, 4.92 ERA/4.76 FIP) – TB: LHP David Price (16-4, 2.28 ERA/3.06 FIP)

Tuesday 7:05 CDT TEX: RHP Yu Darvish (12-9, 4.51 ERA/3.74 FIP) – TB: RHP James Shields (12-7, 4.01 ERA/3.68 FIP)

Wednesday 6:05 CDT TEX: LHP Matt Harrison (15-7, 3.04 ERA/3.77 FIP) – TB: RHP Alex Cobb (8-8, 4.32 ERA/3.40 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 1B Carlos Pena (L) vs RHP
7 DH Luke Scott (L)
8 2B Ryan Roberts
9 C Jose Molina

C Jose Lobaton (B)
IF Elliot Johnson (B)
IF Jeff Keppinger vs LHP
OF Sam Fuld (L)

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
LR RHP Burke Badenhop

(source MLBDepthCharts)

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