Texas Rangers To Play Division Rival Los Angeles Angels

Apr 27, 2016; Arlington, TX, USA; Texas Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre (29) hits an rbi single during the third inning against the New York Yankees at Globe Life Park in Arlington. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 27, 2016; Arlington, TX, USA; Texas Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre (29) hits an rbi single during the third inning against the New York Yankees at Globe Life Park in Arlington. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports /
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The Texas Rangers are set to take on their AL West rivals, the Los Angeles Angels, in a series starting on Friday.

The Texas Rangers (12-10) will stay at Globe Life Park in Arlington as they play host to the Los Angeles Angels (11-11) in a three-game series starting Friday night at 7:05 CT.

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Previous Series

The Angels are coming off of a three-game series with the Kansas City Royals where the Angels picked up a big sweep. Offense has played a big role in the past three wins, scoring at least four runs in each game of the sweep.

Texas is coming off a series win against the New York Yankees where the Rangers dropped the first game of the series and then bounced back to win the last two games. Texas’ starting pitching has kept them close in almost every game this season with the starter going 5 innings in all 22 games thus far.

Keys To The Series

The Texas Rangers are looking to build up their lead in the AL West early this season and a series win against a divisional opponent is the best way to do that. The biggest key for Texas is for their starters to do exactly what they have done all season and that’s produce quality starts. Rangers starters have gone 5 innings deep in each of the team’s games so far this season generally giving the team a chance to win the game. The Rangers starters will have to keep the Angels offense in check for the team to pick up at least two wins in the series.

On the offensive side of things, the Rangers will have to produce at the top of the lineup giving the middle and back end of the lineup chances to drive in runs. Delino DeShields has struggled recently in the lead off spot, even losing that spot for a couple of games because of lack of production. DeShields will need to step up his production to keep his spot in the early part of the lineup.

Nomar Mazara yet again will be mentioned as a big offensive catalyst for Texas. Mazara consistently gets on base for the Rangers at the top of the lineup and is a big reason why Texas is playing as well as they are. If he can continue that play, Texas will have a good shot at picking up a couple of wins. Ian Desmond will also be a big factor considering his production as of late. Over the last 7 games, Desmond is hitting .409 with 3 homeruns and a .519 OBP.

Cole Hamels will start Sunday against the Angels after being scratched from his last start earlier this week. Hamels was dealing with a groin strain and was scratched as a preemptive measure to make sure it didn’t become a recurring issue. Hamels has pitching phenomenally this season with a 3-0 record and a 2.52 ERA. Hopefully the groin issue has gone away and Hamels can continue his hot start from this season.

Projected Starters

Fri., 7:05 CT: Colby Lewis (1-0, 3.38 ERA) vs. Hector Santiago (2-0, 2.70 ERA)

Sat., 7:05 CT: Derek Holland (2-1, 3.13 ERA) vs. Matt Shoemaker (1-3, 6.87 ERA)

Sun., 2:05 CT: Cole Hamels (3-0, 2.52 ERA) vs. Garrett Richards (1-3, 2.35 ERA)

Injury Report

Los Angeles

Andrew Heaney (P)- left flexor muscle strain [shutdown from throwing as of 4/26]

Texas

Shin Soo Choo (RF)– right calf strain [15-day DL]

Yu Darvish (P)– Tommy John surgery [15-day DL; making rehab start May 1st for Frisco]

Josh Hamilton (LF)– left knee surgery [15-day DL; made extended ST start on 4/27]

Outlook

If Rangers fans get the series turn out they want, Texas will win two of the three games which is a likely scenario. Personally, I think if this happens, the Rangers will drop the first game of the series and win the last two with Hamels pitching a gem in game three.

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