Texas Rangers: On Deck-Boston Red Sox

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Jul 6, 2016; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Red Sox left fielder Bryce Brentz (64) gets a base hit to drive in two runs against Texas Rangers starting pitcher Martin Perez (33) in the fourth inning at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports
Jul 6, 2016; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Red Sox left fielder Bryce Brentz (64) gets a base hit to drive in two runs against Texas Rangers starting pitcher Martin Perez (33) in the fourth inning at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports /
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The Texas Rangers head to Boston on Tuesday to take on the Red Sox. It’ll be the first time they’ve faced off this year and ought to make an interesting series. They’ll be greeted by a familiar face in Mitch Moreland.

The Texas Rangers and Red Sox clash in a three game series starting at 6:10 CT on Tuesday. The Rangers are riding high, having won 11 of their last 12, and look to keep that going. The Red Sox on the other hand, have had a bit of a rough stretch lately, dropping 3 of their past 4 series.

So what should we expect from this series? I’ve broken it down game-by-game.

Tuesday, May 23 (Cashner vs. Porcello)

Rick Porcello was the AL Cy Young Award winner last year and has been around the game for a while. The Rangers have struggled against past successful veterans but Porcello has not looked like the same guy that won the Cy Young last year. He’s just 2-5 on the year with a 4.23 ERA. It’s not entirely his fault, he actually has the highest K/9 rate of his career at 9.43. And he’s not just allowing free baserunners either. He walks less than 2 batters per 9 innings.

The biggest difference between this year and last year is that when hitters do make contact, they hit it hard. His slugging percentage rose over 100 points (from .367 to .483), as he’s already allowed 10 home runs in 9 starts this year. He gave up just 23 in all of 2016.

And the Rangers are one of the best home run hitting teams in the country. They’re tied for the sixth most in the league with 62.

Andrew Cashner will take the mound to matchup with Porcello. His win percentage is bad (1-3) but it’s not indicative of how he’s pitched. His ERA of 2.45 on the other hand, is. Since his first outing, he has yet to allow more than 3 runs in a game, and never more than 2 of them were earned.

However, he has only really faced one good offense in Houston. Surprisingly, that was actually his best game (2 ER on 3 H through 6 IP) though he still recorded a loss. I expect another solid outing from Cashner Tuesday as he faces a Red Sox offense that has only put up more than 4 runs once in the past two weeks.

Prediction: Rangers win as they homer three times, at least two of them coming off of Porcello.

Wednesday, May 24 (Perez vs. Sale)

Martin Perez will pitch for the Rangers in game two. Perez ended his string of losses in his last start, tossing 7 innings and giving up just a pair of runs. He’s struggled to find success on the road though and Fenway Park is not an easy place to win.

His ERA is nearly a full point higher on the road than at home and he’s given up 21 hits in just 14.2 innings. Hopefully he’ll continue to build on his start from his last game.

Regardless, it hardly matters how well he pitches since he tends to have terrible run support (3.3 RS/IP). And that number will more than likely go down on Wednesday as Chris Sale is taking the mound on the other side of the ball.

Sale has been one of the most dominant starters in the game this season. With his last start, he tied his own record of most consecutive games to start the season with at least 10 strikeouts. That number is sitting at 8 right now and you know he’s going to do everything in his power to beat that record. He’s not unbeatable, his record is just 4-2, but Perez will have to be lights out to give the Rangers a chance and I don’t see that happening.

Prediction: Rangers pose a comeback in the late innings of the game but it’s not enough as the Red Sox come out on top.

Thursday, May 25 (Martinez vs. Pomeranz)

Nick Martinez had a couple of bad starts after his early success but righted the ship with his last outing. He looks to continue down that road against a tough Red Sox team.

So far though, his 4.33 ERA is the second-worst in the Ranger’s rotation. And speaking of guys who struggle to find run support, Martinez’s 2.0 RS/IP is even worse than Perez’s.

The Rangers have an opportunity to drive that number up tomorrow though as they will face Drew Pomeranz. Drew hasn’t made it more than 4 innings in his past 3 starts. He did leave one of those early due to tricep tightness. His 4.97 ERA ought to have the Rangers lineup chomping at the bit for a piece of him.

Prediction: The Rangers take the game and series in a high scoring affair.

Common Opponents

Rangers: Athletic’s (6-3); Detroit (2-1); Twins (1-2)

Red Sox: Athletic’s (1-3); Detroit (1-3); Twins (2-1)

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