A two-game series opens up tonight between the Texas Rangers and Los Angeles Dodgers. Texas looks to get their offense going against two tough Dodgers’ starters.
The Texas Rangers host the Los Angeles Dodgers for a two-game series beginning tonight at 7:05. Texas will miss Clayton Kershaw; however, it’s safe to say facing any of the other four Dodgers starting pitchers is no walk in the park either. Game one will feature Rangers’ rookie Ariel Jurado and Dodgers’ rookie Walker Buehler. Game two will be Mike Minor vs. Alex Wood.
Without a doubt, the Dodgers are not a team the Rangers need to be facing right now. The Texas offense has scored a total of 15 runs over their last six games. Against starting pitchers in the last six games…the Rangers have scored a total of seven runs. It’s been an ugly stretch, and the unfortunate trend may maintain over the next two days.
On the bright side, Texas scored 34 runs over their most recent six-game home stand. That averages to just below six runs per game. It will be interesting to see which triumphs tonight and tomorrow…the team’s stagnant offense or the home adrenaline?
If the name Walker Buehler rings a distant bell, it’s because his name floated around last July when the Rangers were trying to iron out a deal with the Dodgers for Yu Darvish. Buehler was Los Angeles’ #1 prospect at the time. For good reason, they did not want to include him in the Darvish deal. Instead, the Rangers settled (yes, I said settled) for Willie Calhoun.
Buehler has been every bit the rookie that the Dodgers hoped he would be. In 16 starts with the big league club, the 24-year-old is 6-4 with a 2.96 ERA. He also has a 1.01 WHIP and is averaging nearly 10 strikeouts per outing. When you watch him pitch tonight, you’ll see a consistent mid-90s fastball working alongside tremendous command of his breaking balls (curveball and slider). You’ll also be wishing the Dodgers included Buehler in the Darvish trade. The rookie is the real deal.
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Not to be shortchanged is Ariel Jurado. His numbers nor his potential compare to Walker Beuhler; however, we’ve seen Jurado put forth quality starts. His sinker will need to be sinking tonight, as the Dodgers are second in MLB with 182 team home runs. Aside from a start at Yankee Stadium in which he allowed four homers, Jurado has allowed just three long balls in his other five starts combined.
The Rangers offense sure could use a good start from a starting pitcher. It seems an overall team slump happens a handful of times within a season. The Rangers are suffering from one of those at the moment. Individual games may not mean a whole lot for the Texas Rangers at this point, but no one wants to see losses. Hopefully they’ll surprise us in a pair of games against two tough Los Angeles Dodgers starters.