Texas Rangers and Baltimore Orioles square off in rematch of behemoths
By West Jones
The Texas Rangers completed another series victory on Wednesday afternoon, by taking the rubber game from the Pittsburgh Pirates. The series win marks the 11th series victory this season for the Rangers, to go along with a two-game split with Arizona, and four series loses.
Texas Rangers schedule against the Baltimore Orioles
Date and Time
Rangers Probable Pitcher
Orioles Probable Pitcher
Fri 26th - 6:05 CT
Jon Gray RHP 4-1, 3.02 ERA, 38 SO
Grayson Rodriguez RHP 2-1, 6.21 ERA, 50 SO
Sat 27th - 3:05 CT
Andrew Heaney LHP 3-3, 4.13 ERA, 52 SO
Dean Kremer RHP 5-1, 4.61 ERA, 43 SO
Sun 28th - 12:35 CT
Dane Dunning RHP 4-0, 1.67 ERA, 26 SO
Kyle Bradish RHP 2-1, 4.34 ERA, 32 SO
One of those series losses came at the hands of the Rangers next opponent, the Baltimore Orioles. In the second series of the season the Rangers hosted the Orioles and dropped the first two games, before taking the Wednesday day game when Jacob deGrom battled against Grayson Rodreguiz in his major league debut.
From that time forward, neither team has lost many games. In fact, when these two teams face each other, starting Friday night in Baltimore, the Orioles will boast the second-best MLB record (33-17) and the Rangers (31-18), the third best. Despite having the second-best record in baseball at the moment, the Orioles find themselves in second place in the AL East, trailing the Tampa Bay Rays who are off to an unconscious start to the season, with a 37-15 record.
Texas Rangers to take on impressive Baltimore Orioles
The pitching matchups for the series, will feature five of the six scheduled starters being pitchers that, in some form or fashion, faced the opponent in the earlier season series. For Texas, both Jon Gray and Andrew Heaney started games against Baltimore, and Dane Dunning came into Heaney's start early and pitched four solid innings as well. The Rangers' bats will see Grayson Rodriguez again, along with Kyle Bradish. However, Bradish only pitched 1 2/3 innings before he was removed from the game after being hit in the right foot with a 104-mph line drive off of the bat of Jonah Heim. The Rangers will get their first look at Dean Kramer this season as he is set to start on Saturday for the Orioles.
The Rangers will not only be looking to avenge the series loss from early in the year, they will be attempting to spoil the debut of Baltimore's new City Connect jerseys. The Orioles unveiled the new uniforms on Monday of this week. They will debut the uniforms on Friday night and are scheduled to wear them again on Saturday afternoon as well.
The uniforms appear to be pretty basic with a predominately black head to toe base color and white trim, but there is more to them than what first meets the eye. They actually designed the inside of the uniforms with bright colors and bold patterns. As with the Rangers' own City Connect uniforms, there was much thought and meaning that was poured into Baltimore's version. Like them, hate them, or love them, there is some cool elements that the Orioles will be sporting. Despite that, a 0-2 start for Baltimore when donning the City Connects would be a great, from the Rangers' perspective.
Texas Rangers welcome off day and extra rest
Baltimore will have played two full games on the road against the New York Yankees, since the Rangers recorded the final out in Pittsburgh Wednesday afternoon. The extra rest should be much appreciated. Ezequiel Duran came out of the game on Tuesday and was absent from the lineup on Wednesday due to some ribcage soreness, so a little added time off will not be bad for him. Also, after recording a five out save in Wednesday's contest, Rangers' closer, Will Smith will welcome the off day as well.
If you are a fan of day baseball, then you have already been in for a treat the last several days, and things are about to get even better for you. The Rangers are in the middle of an 11-game stretch that started last Saturday at home against Colorado, in which seven of those are of the day variety. Plus, the other four games are all in the eastern time zone as well, so they are earlier than normal start times. For the night owl fans, sorry, there are more West Coast trips coming, and for the day game enthusiasts, enjoy.
This will be the last of Baltimore that Texas sees in the regular season. The second leg of the current three city, nine game, 10-day road trip is easily the toughest on paper. If the Rangers are to even up the season series with the Orioles by taking two out of three, perhaps the two teams can settle things with some October baseball. That is a scenario that both organizations and fan bases would gladly accept.