Series Preview: Kansas City Royals @ Texas Rangers - Two-Game Set

What Billy Butler's pitch-face would look like

I don't like two-games series. I don't know why the Scheduling Wizards continue to allow them to happen (Though, I suspect in this case it has been done to force in the interleague rivalry series for this weekend). I want the Rangers to get several opportunities to row with the Royals before they're allowed to slouch back to Kansas City, not just a couple. Two games is barely enough innings to even bruise much less bloody.

And yet, the Rangers are playing their first of consecutive two-game series starting tonight. First up are these KC Royals and then the Rangers get to play the Oakland Athletics for the first time this season. After those two two-and-two series, the Rangers play the Astros for round one in the immortal battle for the Silver Boot. After that weekend series with the Astros, the Rangers play the Mariners beginning on May 21.

So what's this schedule breakdown all about then? You say you understand baseball games will happen and you demand answers? Well, what's interesting, to perhaps only me, scheduling-wise, is the Rangers will have played EVERY American League team in at least one series--and even a National League team--before playing a second series against an opponent. And while that may seem like that's the way it should shake out, keep in mind the Angels have already played the Twins three times. The series with the Mariners will be the first time the Rangers will get even a second look at a team. Weird.

For comparison's sake, the Rangers played a team a second time last year as early as May 3 but didn't finishing playing every team in the American League until they played the Cleveland Indians on June 2. Scheduling quirks are interesting to me. Leave me alone.

I don't know how often this has happened but it seems like the Scheduling Wizards did their job. The Rangers will have completed a full tour of the American League before late May and in great shape. There will be no surprises. Everyone knows where they stand. Generally, that's behind the Texas Rangers. The only problem, of course, to accomplish this symmetry, we've got these damned two-game series.

Monday, May 14 7:05: LHP Bruce Chen vs. RHP Scott Feldman

Tuesday, May 15 7:05: RHP Vin Mazzaro (Maybe?) vs. RHP Colby Lewis

Here's a breakdown of the possibly maybe pitching match-ups against the Kansas City Royals:

  • Scott Feldman: 0-0, 5.23 K/9, 2.61 BB/9, .314 BABIP, 73.5% LOB, 3.92 FIP, 4.38 xFIP, 0.1 WAR - Last three starts: 3 runs allowed in 4.2 innings
  • Bruce Chen: 1-4, 5.93 K/9, 1.54 BB/9, .281 BABIP, 61.9% LOB, 3.80 FIP, 4.08 xFIP, 0.6 WAR - Last three starts: 15 runs allowed in 16.0 innings

Advantage: Scott Feldman spot starting over BURN YOUR BRUCE CHEN JERSEY SCHOOLLY BURN IT

  • Colby Lewis: 3-2, 8.35 K/9, 1.17 BB/9, .276 BABIP, 90.7% LOB, 4.76 FIP, 3.65 xFIP, 0.3 WAR - Last three starts: 4 runs allowed in 21.1 innings
  • Vin Mazzaro: 0-0, 0.00 K/9, 0.00 BB/9, .000 BABIP, 100.0% LOB, 2.95 FIP, 2.95 xFIP, 0.0 WAR - Last three starts: 0 runs allowed in 1.0 inning

Advantage: Colby Lewis dominating the Orioles when not allowing a handful of dingers last time out over I have no idea who the Royals are starting in this game, it could be Mazzaro or Mike Montgomery or Nate Adcock or anyone really, so here's some Vin Mazzaro stats for one inning.

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Kansas City Royals (13-20, 4th Place AL Central)

Rangers 2011 Record vs. Kansas City: 6-2

Kansas City's Recent Results: 2-1 series win against the Chicago White Sox

Kansas City's Road Record: 9-7 (31-50 in 2011)

Ballpark In Arlington Park Factors (LHB/RHB): HR: 119/114 - wOBA: 103/107

SB Nation Royals Blog: Royals Review

Match-up: (as of 05/13) Rangers Royals Advantage
Batting (RAR) 40.4 (2nd) 1.1 (13th) Rangers
Base Running (RAR) -0.2 (15th) -2.8 (27th) Rangers
Starters (RAR) 4.5 6.2 Royals
Bullpen (RAR) 16.9 (2nd) 6.5 (14th) Rangers
Defense (UZR) 16.3 (1st) 3.5 (13th) Rangers
Overall (UZR + RAR) 77.9 14.5 Rangers

Questions to Answer:

  • Should Schoolly burn his Bruce Chen jersey?
  • Who is your pick to lead the Rangers in innings in this series? (All bets are off if Colby gets dong'd again.)
  • Over/Under: 1.5 home runs hit by Josh Hamilton in this short series?
  • Are you bummed we'll miss out on a Luis Mendoza start? Zth9w_medium
  • What are your thoughts on two-game series? They're dumb right?
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