Texas Rangers: Battle of the aces to open big series in Boston

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MINNEAPOLIS, MN - JUNE 22: Mike Minor #36 of the Texas Rangers delivers a pitch against the Minnesota Twins during the second inning of the game on June 22, 2018 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
MINNEAPOLIS, MN - JUNE 22: Mike Minor #36 of the Texas Rangers delivers a pitch against the Minnesota Twins during the second inning of the game on June 22, 2018 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) /
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The Texas Rangers open a four-game series in Boston tonight. Get ready for a premier matchup, as Mike Minor will take the mound against Chris Sale.

After a somewhat cushy homestand against the Royals, Orioles and Athletics, the Texas Rangers head to Boston for a four-game series. They’ll have their ace on the bump tonight in Mike Minor, while the Red Sox will have their ace taking the mound in Chris Sale.

It’s only the second week of June, but each team has plenty to play for. The Rangers are four games over .500 and working hard to prove to their AL counterparts that they’re a force to be reckoned with in 2019. A series win vs. the defending World Series champs would undoubtedly work wonders for the unit’s confidence.

The Red Sox are having a disappointing year based on their lofty standards. They already sit seven games back in a top-heavy American League East and they’re coming off a losing series against the division front-runners — the Tampa Bay Rays. Alex Cora and company surely want to be hitting their stride soon.

Texas Rangers
ARLINGTON, TX – SEPTEMBER 22: Mike Minor #36 of the Texas Rangers pitches in the first inning against the at Globe Life Park in Arlington on September 22, 2018 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images) /

The respective aces haven’t gotten the support they deserve. Despite Mike Minor’s 2.55 ERA and 4.0 WAR, the Texas Rangers are a measly 6-7 in his starts. The Red Sox are just 4-9 in Chris Sale’s starts.

Minor had two appearances against Boston in 2018. Combined, he pitched 11.1 innings, allowed five earned runs and struck out eight. He went 1-1. His outing at Fenway Park saw 5.1 innings and two earned runs, though resulted in a loss.

Historically, Sale has owned the Rangers. He’s 7-2 in 14 appearances against them, boasting a 2.82 ERA and 11.0 K/9. To be fair, the lean lefty has owned just about every team he’s faced over the last 10 years.

He has experienced worse results against left-handed hitters this year, which could play into Texas’ favor. Sale has a .262 opponent’s batting average vs. lefties, a mark that is 71 points higher compared to righties. Based on that, Shin-Soo Choo, Nomar Mazara, Rougned Odor and Ronald Guzman should each get the nod tonight.

The Rangers offense ranks second in MLB with 356 runs scored and the Red Sox rank fourth with 346. It will be key for Minor to keep the bases clean when Mookie Betts and J.D. Martinez step to the plate — that’s not exactly a hot take. He’s done a fantastic job of inducing soft contact this season, and has held opponents to .246 batting average, a number that is 21st best in the league.

Look for big games from Shin-Soo Choo and Nomar Mazara, each swinging hot bats of late. Texas needs the top of their lineup to show up, as they don’t want to allow Chris Sale to settle in.

Next. The Rangers have the Worst Offensive Player in MLB. dark

First pitch is 6:10 CST. Ace vs. ace, high-powered offense vs. high-powered offence… should be a fun one!

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