Series Preview: Texas Heads To Chicago To Play White Sox

Apr 5, 2016; Arlington, TX, USA; Texas Rangers starting pitcher Martin Perez (33) pitches against the Seattle Mariners during the fourth inning at Globe Life Park in Arlington. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 5, 2016; Arlington, TX, USA; Texas Rangers starting pitcher Martin Perez (33) pitches against the Seattle Mariners during the fourth inning at Globe Life Park in Arlington. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports /
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The Texas Rangers will head to Chicago to play the red hot, White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field as they look to build on their momentum.

The Texas Rangers (10-6) will hit the road for a three-game series against the Chicago White Sox (10-6) at U.S. Cellular Field tonight with first pitch schedule for 7:10 CT.

Previous Series

The Chicago White Sox will host the Texas Rangers this weekend after splitting a four-game home series against the Los Angeles Angels. Pitching played a big factor for Chicago holding the Angels to three runs or less in three of the four games.

The Texas Rangers will arrive in Chicago fresh off a three-game home sweep of the Houston Astros that saw Texas win games through both hitting and pitching.

Keys To The Series

The Texas Rangers will have to work to keep their bats hot against this impressive White Sox rotation. They’ll avoid facing dominant lefty, Chris Sale, but they still face Quintana who has pitched well this season and Mat Latos who is arguably the best pitcher in baseball currently. The Rangers offense will need to work to make solid contact and push across as many runs as possible.

In conjunction with the offense having to fight for every run, the Rangers pitching staff will need to keep doing their job in keeping games close. If the Texas rotation and bullpen can match that of the White Sox, they’ll have a great shot at coming away with the series win.

The middle of the order has started to heat up over the past couple of games with Mazara, Beltre and Desmond all producing runs. Nomar Mazara continues to get on base early in the order giving the 3-4-5 hitters a chance to drive in runs. Mazara has shown that he’s able to go up against the best pitchers in the game evidenced by his double off of Keuchel yesterday. Facing Quintana and Latos shouldn’t be an issue if he can keep his swing smooth and quick.

Ian Desmond got a day off a week ago to get his mind right according to manager Jeff Banister and that decision has proved invaluable. Over the last three games, Desmond is hitting over .350 with four runs scored and four runs batted in. Desmond will need to continue this production heading into what could likely turn into a pitchers duel of a series.

Martin Perez will be looking to pick up his first win of the 2016 season. He’s pitched well in his previous starts and just fell short on a couple of decisions. The key for Perez will be locating his fastball early in counts to get ahead of hitters. If Perez can get ahead in at-bats, he drastically reduces run scoring opportunities because of the quality of his off speed and breaking pitches.

Projected Starters

Fri., 7:10 CT: Martin Perez (0-1, 3.44 ERA) vs. Jose Quintana (1-1, 2.55 ERA)

Sat., 1:10 CT: Colby Lewis (1-0, 4.00 ERA) vs. Carlos Rodon (1-2, 4.73 ERA)

Sun., 1:10 CT: Derek Holland (2-0, 2.70 ERA) vs. Mat Latos (3-0, 0.49 ERA)

Injury Report

Chicago:

none available

Texas:

Keone Kela (P)- right elbow impingement

Robinson Chirinos (C)– broken right forearm

Shin Soo Choo (RF)– right calf strain

Yu Darvish (P)– Tommy John surgery

Chris Gimenez (C)– left ankle infection

Josh Hamilton (LF)– left knee surgery

Tanner Scheppers (P)– left knee surgery

Outlook

Much like the Astros series prediction, I believe the Rangers will come away with a series win in Chicago. They’ll need to jump on Quintana and Rodon in the first two games because, honestly, I feel a loss coming against Latos who has been absolutely stellar so far this season. I think Texas picks up a win in the first two games of the series with game 2 being less of a pitchers duel than the first and third games. By the end of the series though, Texas should be 12-7 on the year.

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