The AL West leading Texas Rangers (22-14) were able to do something this week that they had not accomplished since the end of May 2019. They won a series in Seattle. The Rangers have now taken a series from each of their AL West foes this season.
Texas will now head to Oakland (8-30) for the final leg of this 10 day, 10 game West Coast road trip. The Athletics will host the Rangers in what will be their second series against each other this year. The Rangers won the previous meeting, which was in Arlington, two games out of three. This matchup will be a four game variety starting on Thursday night and wrapping up on Sunday afternoon.
Dates and Times
Rangers Probable Pitcher
A's Probable Pitcher
Thurs 11th - 8:40 CT
Nathan Eovaldi - RHP 4-2, 3.22 ERA, 44 SO
Fri 12th - 8:40 CT
Martin Perez - LHP 4-1, 3.86 ERA, 28 SO
Ken Waldichuk - LHP 1-2, 7.25 ERA, 31 SO
Sat 13th - 3:07
Jon Gray - RHP 2-1, 3.82 ERA, 27 SO
JP Sears - LHP 0-3, 5.54 ERA, 38 SO
Sun 14th - 3:07
Andrew Heaney - LHP 2-3, 5.25 ERA, 38 SO
Drew Rucinski - RHP 0-3, 8.16 ERA, 6 SO
Saturday's game will be broadcast on FS1 for all of those fans that might not have Bally Sports Southwest. If you currently don't have access to watch many Rangers' game I would encourage you to do so if you can. I understand that some places and circumstances don't allow it, but this team is fun to watch. And if you can't watch on television, the radio broadcast crew of Matt Hicks, Jared Sandler, and Eric Nadel, on 105.3 FM does a tremendous job bringing you Rangers games as well.
While the Rangers have been playing the last six games on the road, so have the Athletics. In fact, they just finished up a series in New York against the Yankees Wednesday afternoon before having to fly cross-country for the Rangers' game Thursday night at home. Oakland was swept in that Yankee series and has dropped four-games in a row. However, they did pick up their first series victory over the weekend in Kansas City, as they won two out of three against the Royals.
Brent Rooker has been a huge bright spot for the Athletics this season. The outfielder and designated hitter is leading MLB in four categories: on base percentage, slugging percentage, OPS, and OPS+. Rooker is slashing .317/.430/.654, has 10 home runs, 26 runs batted in, 18 runs scored, and a 208 OPS+. I don't anticipate the Rangers' staff will pitch around Rooker, but I would guess that they will be tasked to not let him beat them. Unless the situation dictates that the Rangers can or must give Rooker something to hit, there is no reason to allow a hitter as hot as he is to get much to swing at.
When the Rangers hosted Oakland a few weeks ago, I pointed out that there wasn't much positive going on with the Athletics. One thing that is irrefutable in my mind, however, is how magnificent Oakland's kelly green uniforms are. I am not sure what dictates when they wear them or not but let's hope that they don them at least a few times during the four-game slate.
The Rangers have shown that they can win in a multitude of ways. The offense sputtered in Seattle, which was more of a reflection of Seattle's pitching and not so much the Rangers' hitting. Texas only plated six runs in the three-game series, and yet was able to come out on top in two of the contests. Hopefully the offense will find the opposing pitching in Oakland to be a little more favorable than what they faced against the Mariners. The Athletics pitchers have allowed an MLB worst 289 runs which is 57 runs more than the 29th ranked Chicago White Sox and 144 more runs than Rangers' pitchers have given up.
It is worth mentioning that even though the Oakland Athletics have the worst MLB record, they did win a game in Arlington against the Rangers a few short weeks ago. A four-game sweep would be icing on the cake for an already successful road trip, but a more realistic goal would be taking three of four. The Rangers will return home for a six-game, seven-day homestand against the Atlanta Braves and the Colorado Rockies starting on Monday night.