Series Preview: Texas Rangers (77-53) @ Cleveland Indians (55-76)


There was a point this season when the Cleveland Indians were in first place. Really, there was. But, like last season, they had a significant collapse and now find themselves behind the Kansas City Royals who at one point were the worst team in baseball. And neither team is in the bottom of their division. Hi, Minnesota. Man, the AL Central has been weird this season.

Having said that, I have a soft spot for the Indians and actually enjoy when they do well. Maybe it’s the Major League-complex. Either way, success for the Indians will not come this season and the one reminder of success gone wrong for the Indians is pitching in the series opener: Ubaldo Jimenez. Jimenez was acquired by Cleveland when they thought they would contend and simultaneously both Jimenez and Cleveland lost what made them successful.

For the Rangers, after a winning series against the Rays, they just have to keep pace with the Athletics as the Angels somehow fall further and further out of the division race. It’s not assured for the Rangers – just need to remember last year – but barring a collapse they should be alright.

Series at a Glance

Texas Record: 77-53 (1st AL West)
Cleveland Record: 55-76 (4th AL Central, 17.5 GB)

Season Series: 2-1 Cleveland
Record at Cleveland: 1-2

Notable Transaction: December 6, 2002: The Cleveland Indians traded Einar Diaz and Ryan Drese to the Texas Rangers for Travis Hafner and Aaron Myette.

Probable Starters:

Friday 6:05 CDT TEX: RHP Ryan Dempster (3-1, 5.46 ERA/4.70 FIP) w/Texas – CLE: RHP Ubaldo Jimenez (9-13, 5.58 ERA/5.23 FIP)

Saturday 6:05 CDT TEX: RHP Scott Feldman (6-10, 4.95 ERA/3.88 FIP) – CLE: RHP Roberto Hernandez [formerly Fausto Carmona] (0-3, 7.53 ERA/7.29 FIP)

Sunday 12:05 CDT TEX: LHP Derek Holland (9-6, 4.90 ERA/4.76 FIP) – CLE: RHP Zach McAllister (5-5, 3.82 ERA/3.77 FIP)

Projected Indians Lineup
1 2B Jason Kipnis (L)
2 SS Asdrubal Cabrera (B)
3 RF Shin-Soo Choo (L)
4 C Carlos Santana (B)
5 CF Michael Brantley (L)
6 1B Casey Kotchman (L)
7 DH Matt LaPorta
8 3B Jack Hannahan (L) vs RHP
9 LF Ezequiel Carrera (L)

C Lou Marson
IF Jason Donald
IF/OF Brent Lillibridge vs LHP

CL RHP Chris Perez
SU RHP Vinnie Pestano
SU RHP Joe Smith
MID LHP Tony Sipp
MID RHP Cody Allen
MID RHP Esmil Rogers
MID RHP Jeanmar Gomez
LR LHP Chris Seddon

(source MLBDepthCharts)

For more information on the Indians see FanSided’s Indians page, Wahoo’s On First.