Surging Texas Rangers to take on slumping Pittsburgh Pirates

Colorado Rockies v Texas Rangers
Colorado Rockies v Texas Rangers / Ron Jenkins/GettyImages

After a dominating series sweep of the Colorado Rockies, the Texas Rangers (29-17) head back on the road, this time to take on the fading Pittsburgh Pirates (24-22). The Rangers will not have another home game until Friday, June 2nd when they host the Seattle Mariners. In the meantime, they will have the three-game series in Pittsburgh, followed by an off day on Thursday, before taking on Baltimore and Detroit in three-game matchups.

Texas Rangers schedule against the Pittsburgh Pirates

Date and Time

Rangers Probable Pitcher

Pirates Probable Pitcher

Mon 22nd - 5:35 CT

Dane Dunning RHP 4-0, 1.69 ERA, 23 SO

Luis L. Ortiz RHP 0-2, 5.63 ERA, 4 SO

Tues 23rd - 5:35 CT

Nathan Eovaldi RHP 5-2, 2.83 ERA, 61 SO

Rich Hill LHP 4-3, 3.80 ERA, 43 SO

Wed 24th - 11:35 CT

Martin Perez LHP 5-1, 4.01 ERA, 38 SO

Johan Oviedo RHP 3-3, 4.69 ERA, 43 SO

Texas Rangers hit the road to take on the struggling Pittsburgh Pirates

If the season ended on Sunday night, both the Rangers and the Pirates would be in the playoffs. While that is the case, these two teams are heading in opposite directions at the moment. Minus the Tampa Bay Rays hot start to the season, no team was hotter in March and April than the Pirates. They amassed a 20-9 record through the end of April. For a team that was picked to be a cellar dweller, their early success was quite shocking to many. Pittsburgh appears to be regressing back to the mean, as their record in May is a dismal 4-13. Through the month of April, their offense averaged 5.38 runs per game, and yet in May they have averaged only 2.76.

Bryan Reynolds was the top player that many Ranger fans wanted to trade for to bolster the outfield. He is an All-Star and a fantastic player, but his season statistical breakdown lines up with the offensive decline from the Pirates this month. In 27 games through the end of April, Reynolds slashed .320/.353/.573, with five home runs, one triple, nine doubles, scored 17 runs, and drove in 23. When the calendar flipped to May, Reynold's numbers upended. This month, in 17 games, he is hitting .224/.288/.358, with one home run, no triples, six doubles, has scored nine runs, and has only four runs batted in.

One Pirate that the Rangers will not have to face this year in the regular season is their ace, Mitch Keller. He last pitched on Saturday, meaning that Texas will dodge his spot in the rotation. In 10 games and 62 2/3 innings pitched, Keller has a 5-1 record, has 77 strikeouts, a 2.44 ERA, and a 0.973 WHIP. As Keller is a member of both of my fantasy baseball teams, I am doubly excited that the Rangers will miss the young righty.

Ranger fans will want to pay special attention to Pirates closer, David Bednar. It was rumored that he might be on the trade market at some point this season, but when Pittsburgh got off to their hot start, those rumors quieted. Now, with the Bucs struggles, there is a chance that he could be made available. He is going to be on the extreme costly side of the reliever market as he is an All-Star that is shining once again. Not only that, but he also has three more years of club control after the 2023 season. This year in 17 innings pitched he is 2-0, has nine saves, 22 strike outs, one walk, has a 0.53 ERA, and a 0.765 WHIP. It would be expensive, but the Rangers might be getting an up-close look at their future closer over the next few days.

Texas Rangers "On the Road Again" to take on Pittsburgh Pirates

Manager Bruce Bochy has indicated that he enjoys the traveling part of baseball. I can just imagine Willie Nelson's "On the Road Again" playing from the overhead speakers on the team plane, as they departed the metroplex yesterday. Perhaps the Rangers can have similar results on this trip as they had on their recent West Coast road trip, when they went 7-3 against their division rivals. A series win in Pittsburgh will be a great way to kick off this trip.