There is no way that anyone could have anticipated the Texas Rangers (58-39) coming out of the All-Star break as hot as they have been. Yes, we all knew that they desperately needed a break after the grueling 30 games, in 31 days stretch. But to come out and sweep both the Guardians and the Rays in back-to-back series is a statement to the entire league, that this team isn't going anywhere and should be taken seriously moving forward.
For the third series in a row, the Rangers will play host to a first place team. The Los Angeles Dodgers (55-40) are leading the NL West by two games, over both the San Francisco Giants and the Arizona Diamondbacks. LA has been on quite a run over the last several years and are proving that they are once again one of the toughest opponents in MLB.
Texas Rangers schedule versus the Los Angeles Dodgers
Date and Time
Probable Pitcher Rangers
Probable Pitcher Dodgers
Fri 21st - 7:05 CT
Andrew Heaney LHP 6-6, 4.43 ERA, 97 SO
Tony Gonsolin RHP 5-3, 3.72 ERA, 57 SO
Sat 22nd - 3:05 CT
Dane Dunning RHP 8-2, 2.82 ERA, 63 SO
Bobby Miller RHP 5-1, 4.25 ERA, 47 SO
Sun 23rd - 1:35 CT
Martin Perez LHP 7-3, 4.84 ERA, 62 SO
Emmet Sheehan RHP 3-0, 4.91 ERA, 18 SO
The last time that the Dodgers were at Globe Life Field, Corey Seager was receiving the World Series MVP award, as Los Angeles had a muted celebration of the 2020 championship. There has been a ton of changes in the world and baseball since that time. Seager is now the dragon slaying shortstop for the Rangers, the Dodgers are still a great team, and Texas is back and giving their fans a summer to remember.
Speaking of Seager. This will be the first time that he has faced his former teammates. Seager was drafted by the Dodgers, 18th overall, in the 2012 MLB draft out of Northwest Cabarrus High School (Concord, NC). His ties obviously run deep with the Dodger blue, but in his second season in Rangers' blue and red, he appears to be right at home. He is slashing .346/.408/.615 and has a 176 OPS+ for the year. Seager is the best hitter on a Rangers' team that is putting up historic offensive numbers.
Seager won't be the only former Dodger going up against their former team tonight. Andrew Heaney will be on the bump for the opening game of the series. Heaney doesn't have the history with the Dodgers that Seager does, but he did pitch for them last year. The season was an up and down campaign that was marred by injuries and not a lack of performance. When Heaney was able to pitch for the Dodgers (14 starts and 2 relief appearances) he was very effective. His numbers in 2023 aren't stellar, but he is a serviceable fifth starter that can show flashes of brilliance from time to time.
When the Rangers and the Dodgers take to the field tonight, it will pit the AL West and NL West leaders against one another. This Rangers team has shown over and over this season, that they are up to playing hard ball with anyone. This wild west showdown should be fun to watch.