Series Preview in Blog: Texas Rangers

Coming out of the break the Twins get the Rangers for three games at home. The Rangers are currently 50-46 in third place in the West (7.5 back of LA). That’s pretty good considering they started the year 7-16. Their season turned around from that horrific start after winning two of three against the Twins. Texas has been an even 25-25 on the road, while the Twins are 32-18 at home.

As the Rangers are close to contending and close to falling out of the race, there’s a lot of speculation on who they should drop, pick up, or keep. The Rangers have long been known as a team that relies on offense without any pitching. That hasn’t changed at all this year. A look at the top performers includes a lot of offense and no pitching whatsoever.

One of those top performers has no doubt been Milton Bradley, described in the previous link as a “sabermetric deity”. “Jake Taylor” Bradley was the starting DH for the AL All-Star team and wrote a short entry for the NY Times baseball blog about the pride he felt being chosen (even if it did interrupt his dominoes game with Eddie Guardado). It obviously meant a lot to him, he was quoted as saying, “If they had said, to make the team you have to shine the shoes, I would have shined the shoes.”

Probable Pitchers

Kevin Millwood v. Glen Perkins

Millwood has been described as “boring” and he certainly doesn’t have an overpowering pitch, but that entry has a link to this, which describes all his pitches in excruciating detail.

Eric Hurley v. Livan Hernandez

Now that’s a pitching matchup! Apparently this guy isn’t all that excited. Hurley got called up in June and made four starts before going on the DL with a strained hamstring after collecting his first win (and the congratulations that came with it). In his four starts this season, Hurley has amassed a 5.0 VORP which is the highest of any Texas starting pitcher.

Vicente Padilla v. Scott Baker

Padilla is also coming off the DL, he hasn’t pitched in two weeks. He had a 4.97 ERA with a 1.69 WHIP coming into his last start against the Twins. Of course he pitched a complete game shutout and has gone 8-3 since then (although his ERA is 4.60 ERA and a 1.37 WHIP indicate that might be a function of the 7.1 R/G the Texas offense has scored for him).

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