The Texas Rangers continue their homestand by hosting the Detroit Tigers for a three game series.
After a big win to open up the series against the Boston Red Sox, the Rangers dropped their next three and are in need of a major rebound. The Tigers, like Texas, have lost three of their last four and are looking for a drastic turnaround. To this point in the season, the Rangers sit at 13-23 and are 9 games back of the AL West leading Angels. Detroit is sitting in a better spot at 14-19 and only 2.5 games back in the AL Central.
Here’s what to watch for.
Monday: 7:05 CT (Matt Moore v. Michael Fulmer)
Tuesday: 7:05 CT (Mike Minor v. Mike Fiers)
Wednesday: 1:05 CT (Bartolo Colon v. Francisco Liriano)
Can Matt Moore Turn It Around?
The Rangers will send lefty, Matt Moore to the mound Monday as the series opener starter. Moore is off to an absolutely dreadful start on the mound and I believe this should be his last start if there’s no improvement. Moore has made six starts for Texas this year compiling a 1-4 record with a 7.67 ERA. He’s only struck out 18 in his 29.1 innings this season while walking 13. The 28-year old has only pitched past the 5th inning once this season which coincidentally was his lone win.
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Moore’s most recent start was by far his worst allowing 10 earned runs in just 4 innings. His inability to get hitters out has led to numerous big innings and a 1.9 WHIP. Matt Moore will get a big opportunity to turn it around facing a quality Tigers team but his leash should be short and I think he’s running out of chances.
Keep Giving Leclerc More Opportunities
I have been and will continue to be a Jose Leclerc advocate. The young relief pitcher has been one of the top arms in the Rangers bullpen despite bouncing back and forth between Triple-A Round Rock and the Majors. Leclerc has allowed just 3 earned runs on 3 hits in his 10 innings of work this season all of which came against the Red Sox. Up to that point, Leclerc had 8 scoreless innings for Texas. With the Rangers scrambling to find consistency in their bullpen, Leclerc presents a flexible option that is bound to give a quality appearance night in and night out. Look for Jeff Banister to continue working Leclerc into games more often.
Joey Gallo Seems To Be Heating Up
Joey Gallo will never be a hit for average kind of player. But the slugger, known for his ability to hit moonshots and break Statcast, has seen his power production heat up as of late. Gallo has four homeruns in his last five games which may be a peek at what is to come. He currently sits second in baseball among homerun leaders. Hopefully he can continue this power surge while also raising that .223 average up a bit.
Wednesday will be Texas Chili Company Dollar Hotdog Night so make sure to make it out to the game.
Let us know what you’re looking for in this division series in a comment below.