Previewing the Texas Rangers' ninth series of the season: New York Yankees

Texas Rangers v Cincinnati Reds
Texas Rangers v Cincinnati Reds / Dylan Buell/GettyImages

Well, that little early-week Texas Ranger trip to Cincinnati didn't go so well. You could almost feel a loss or two coming at the hands of the Reds, but I don't think that anyone saw the Rangers getting swept as they did. Now Texas will turn its attention to the New York Yankees as they come to Arlington for a four-game series beginning Thursday. The last time that the Rangers won a season series over the Yankees was in 2016 when Texas took four out of seven games.

Texas Rangers look to bounce back from a dismal series in Cincinnati, as they host the New York Yankees for four games starting Thursday

Some home cooking will be good for the Rangers, but they will not be able to ease into the series, as they are set to face Yankee ace Gerrit Cole on Thursday night. Cole is the early favorite in the American League Cy Young race. In five games and 34 innings pitched, he has 36 strikeouts, a 0.79 ERA, and a 0.794 WHIP. Cole isn't the pitcher you want to face when you have lost three in a row, but with the series being four games, the Rangers were more than likely going to have to see the big righty sooner or later.

The Texas Rangers are clinging to their lead in the AL West and have a record of 14 - 10. The Yankees are currently in fourth place in the always-competitive AL East with a record of 14 - 11. Offensively the Yankees have been struggling a bit. They currently rank ninth in the American League for runs scored with 108 (they did score 12 on Wednesday though) and the Rangers rank second with 154 runs scored. Pitching and defense is where the Bronx Bombers turn the tide as they sit second in the American League with only 90 runs against and the Rangers slot in the fifth position as they have allowed 98 runs.

Date and Time

Rangers Probable Pitcher

Yankees Probable Pitcher

Thurs 27th 7:05 CT

Andrew Heaney - LHP 2-1, 4.34 ERA, 20 SO

Gerrit Cole - RHP 4-0, 0.79 ERA, 36 SO

Fri 28th 7:05 CT

Jacob deGrom - RHP 2-0, 3.04 ERA, 43 SO

Clarke Schmidt - RHP 0-2, 6.30 ERA, 24 SO

Sat 29th 6:05 CT

Nathan Eovaldi - RHP 2-2, 5.20 ERA, 31 SO

Jhony Brito - RHP 2-2, 6.11 ERA, 12 SO

Sun 30th 1:35 CT

Martin Perez - LHP 3-1, 2.60 ERA, 24 SO

Nestor Cortes - LHP 3-1, 3.49 ERA, 28 SO

Anytime the Yankees come to town, there are sure to be large crowds. Like them, love them, or hate them, the New York Yankees are the top-in-class franchise in MLB. Since 1913, the Yankees have been to the playoffs 58 times, won 40 pennants, and have won the World Series 27 times. The Rangers by contrast, since 1972 have been to the playoffs 8 times, have 2 pennants, and of course zero World Series titles as of this writing. In the last 28 seasons, the New York Yankees have been to the playoffs 24 times and won the Word Series five times.

The last time that the Yankees were in Arlington, Aaron Judge was setting a new American League homerun record. While Judge isn't off to a torrid start to the 2023 campaign, he is still having a solid season and is a bat to be handled with care. After betting on himself going into last season, Judge's bet paid off nicely. This offseason, he signed a 9-year, $360 million contract and was named the new Yankee captain. That's not a bad gig if you can get it! At 6'7" and 282 pounds, Judge should be up for the task of carrying the Yankees Empire on his broad shoulders for many years to come.

Judge has also taken a special interest in rookie shortstop Anthony Volpe. The two were recently seen out at a New York Rangers hockey game along with Harrison Bader. It was also reported that Judge was picking up the tab on a new custom suit for Volpe to wear on road trips. Volpe has been struggling a bit at the plate but seems to love the spotlight in New York and isn't afraid of what comes with that scrutiny. He is a threat to steal anytime he gets on base. Volpe has already moved up the order to the leadoff spot for the Yankees and has eight stolen bases already.

There has been much gnashing of teeth when it comes to the Rangers bullpen this week, and rightly so. In the series with Cincinnati, the only reliever that made it out unscathed, so to speak, was Josh Sborz. The funny thing about that is he didn't even make the team out of spring training and was only called back up when Taylor Hearne was sent down. Is the bullpen the best? Not by a long shot. Is it the worst? Not by a long shot. Baseball is hard and the MLB baseball season is long.

There will be stretches where everything works (much of the first few weeks has been this way) and there will be stretches where nothing works. One or the other in a vacuum doesn't indicate what the bullpen is or isn't. If the Rangers are still in contention at the trade deadline, I would anticipate a move or two to shore things up. But until then, we all need to take a deep breath and be thankful that the Rangers are even good enough to be aggravated when they lose. We have come a long way in a short time and still have a way to go. We need to trust the system and enjoy some quality baseball by our Texas Rangers.

The Rangers have this four-game home series against the Yankees and then a short, two-game home series against the Arizona Diamondbacks next Tuesday and Wednesday. After that, it will be on the road for much of May. Out of the Rangers' 27 scheduled games in May, 19 of them are set to be on the road. That will be quite a test, but one that the Rangers should be able to handle. First off, the boys need to get back in the win column, and a split with the Yankees would probably seem really nice after the last few days.