The Texas Rangers are still in first place in the AL West with a record of 9 - 6. Following an impressive series win (2 -1) against defending the World Champion Houston Astros, the Texas Rangers will travel to Kansas City to take on the Royals for three-games. The series win in Houston marked the third series victory out of five played for the Rangers in the young 2023 season.
For the second time in the last eight days, the Rangers will square off against the Kansas City Royals. This series will be on the road and will mark the last time that the two clubs will play each other during the regular season. Texas took the two opening games of the series last week at home, before dropping the finale on Wednesday.
Date and Time
Rangers Probable Starter
Royals Probable Starter
Mon 17th - 6:40 CT
Jacob deGrom - RHP
Jordan Lyles - RHP
Tues 18th - 6:40 CT
Nathan Eovaldi - RHP
Brad Keller - RHP
Wed 19th - 1:10 CT
Martin Perez - LHP
Brady Singer - RHP
The first two pitching matchups will be a repeat from last week. In the opener, Ranger's ace Jacob deGrom will look to duplicate his performance from his last start. deGrom ended up taking a no decision against Kansas City but left after seven innings with the Rangers leading 4 to 2. He allowed 2 runs on seven hits and struck out nine. Jordan Lyles pitched well for the Royals, but Jonah Heim walked it off with a three-run home run in the bottom of the 10th, to win it 8 to 5.
On Tues evening, Nathan Eovaldi will be looking to bounce back from a rough outing the last time he pitched. Eovaldi gave up six runs on 10 hits, despite striking out seven Royals hitters. While Eovaldi will be looking for a better start this time around, Brad Keller will just be trying have an identical performance when he beat the Rangers in the series finale last Wednesday. Keller allowed one run on three hits and struck out seven across 6.2 innings pitched.
This week's series finale will pit Martin Perez against Brady Singer. Through three starts, Perez has pitched 15.2 innings, has a 2 - 1 record, a 2.87 ERA, and has 16 strikeouts. Singer is a former first round draft pick (18th selection) by the Royals in the 2018 MLB draft out of the University of Florida. He has struggled a bit this season. Through his three starts, Singer has pitched 16 innings, has a 1 - 1 record, a 7.88 ERA, and has 15 strikeouts.
In my Royals series preview last week I mentioned that Bobby Witt Jr. had been struggling at the plate and that I was hoping that some home cooking wasn't going to get him going. Well, I'm here to tell you that Witt Jr. is no longer struggling! Atlanta did hold him hitless on Sunday afternoon, but in the five games before that (three against the Rangers) Witt Jr. slashed .546/.565/.727, with two doubles, a triple, and four stolen bases. Hopefully the Rangers' pitchers will be able to keep the young super star in check this time around.
Only the Oakland A's (3 - 13) have a worse record than the Royals (4 - 12) at this stage of the season. The A's happen to be the Rangers' next opponent. The next six games aren't must-wins, but in order to be competitive and contend for a playoff spot, the Rangers need to make sure that they are taking care of business against clubs they should be beating. Anything less than two series wins will be a bit of a disappointment for sure.