Series Preview: Texas Rangers @ Anaheim Angels - Colby Lewis and Clark

Nightmare fuel - Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

The Rangers make their way to Anaheim to play the Angels for the first time this season

Series Schedule:

Friday, April 02 9:05: LHP Hector Santiago vs. RHP Colby Lewis

Saturday, April 03 8:05: RHP Garrett Richards vs. LHP Matt Harrison

Sunday, April 04 2:35: LHP Tyler Skaggs vs. RHP Yu Darvish

Strange bit o'schedule for the Rangers right now. End a 10 game homestand on April 20 in Arlington. Travel to Oakland and then Seattle for a brisk six-game AL West road trip. Come home to play Oakland for three games in Arlington. Travel to Anaheim to face the Angels for the first time a month into the season. Follow that up with two games against the Rockies in Colorado and then two games against Colorado in Arlington.

Here's how those 15 days or so visually look:

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Welcome to the Bermuda Triangle of Mike Scioscia fart faces and umpirical Illuminati conspiracies portion of your Ranger season.

The Rangers weren't quite against-the-Astros good against Anaheim last season, but going 15-4 isn't anything to sneeze at, either. Frankly, the Rangers manhandled the Angels all season. Of the things that happened during the 2013 season, that was probably the most enjoyable one. Obviously spurred on by the Rangermanship movement, the Rangers went 6-3 in Anaheim and lost only once to the Angels in Arlington. The Rangers were a combined 32-6 against the Angels and Astros last year. That's how you keep your 90+ win season streak alive! Thanks, Anaheim!

Of course, that record against the Angels was inflated a little by this happening:

I'm only embedding that video here because I'm sure Angel fans hated it as much as we enjoyed it. That's the kind of balance I enjoy.

Here's a breakdown of the pitching match-ups against somehow LA's phoniest team:

  • Colby Lewis: 1-1, 8.04 K/9, 2.30 BB/9, .340 BABIP, 81.7% LOB, 4.97 FIP, 4.12 xFIP, 0.1 WAR - Last three starts: 8 runs allowed in 15.2 innings
  • Hector Santiago: 0-4, 7.86 K/9, 4.44 BB/9, .293 BABIP, 69.8% LOB, 4.56 FIP, 4.99 xFIP, 0.2 WAR - Last three starts: 5 runs allowed in 17.0 innings

Thoughts: I hate to admit it but I'm pretty terrified of Colby Lewis versus Mike Trout and Albert Pujols. Come on, Marine Layer! I'm also pretty terrified of the Rangers versus no-name lefty Hector Santiago because I'm a baseball fan which means me certain that my team never hits no-name lefties.

  • Matt Harrison: 0-0, 6.00 K/9, 3.00 BB/9, .176 BABIP, 66.7% LOB, 3.29 FIP, 4.36 xFIP, 0.2 WAR - In 2014 debut: 2 runs allowed in 6.0 innings
  • Garrett Richards: 2-0, 8.72 K/9, 4.50 BB/9, .195 BABIP, 76.0% LOB, 3.18 FIP, 3.70 xFIP, 0.6 WAR - Last three starts: 8 runs allowed in 20.0 innings

Thoughts: Matt Harrison in One Day at HorrorLand against Garrett Richards.

Man, I've been afraid of Garrett Richards for a while now because he has great stuff and no one wants the Angels to have a pitcher with great stuff. My hope was that the Angels would dick around with him in the bullpen and he'd languish away. Unfortunately, the Angels have wised up and inserted him in the rotation for good. Now he seems to be turning that dreaded corner this season from guy with great stuff to pitcher with good results while actualizing all my fears.

  • Yu Darvish: 1-1, 9.48 K/9, 2.87 BB/9, .322 BABIP, 80.3% LOB, 2.48 FIP, 3.67 xFIP, 1.1 WAR - Last three starts: 9 runs allowed in 17.1 innings
  • Tyler Skaggs: 2-0, 5.66 K/9, 2.31 BB/9, .235 BABIP, 70.1% LOB, 3.84 FIP, 3.90 xFIP, 0.4 WAR - Last three starts: 9 runs allowed in 20.0 innings

Thoughts: Yay! Since Yu Darvish isn't facing the A's, we can return to our regularly scheduled enjoyment of Yu Darvish starts!

Jerry Dipoto must have that JD Matt Garza love for Tyler Skaggs because he's traded for him as a prospect with another franchise only to become employed by the franchise that he took Skaggs from where he then made a trade to bring him back to his originally drafted franchise and now has him in his rotation. And he's pitching pretty well this season which renders as leagues better than Matt Garza already.

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Anaheim Angels (14-13, 3rd Place in AL West)

Rangers' 2013 Record vs. Anaheim: 15-4

Anaheim's Recent Results: 3-0 home series sweep of the Cleveland Indians

Anaheim's Road Record: 6-6

Angel Stadium Park Factors (LHB/RHB): HR: 94/90 - Runs: 98/91

SB Nation Angels Blog: Halos Heaven (Could you not?)

Match-up: (as of 05/02) Rangers Angels Advantage
Batting (RAR) -11.5 (22nd) 20.2 (2nd) Did you know the Rangers are 29th in hitting HRs?
Base Running (RAR) 2.3 (6th) 4.9 (1st) Blame Trout
Starters (RAR) 11.7 12.2 Where art thou, C.J.?
Bullpen (RAR) 7.2 (10th) -5.2 (27th) Bring us the head of Ernesto Frieri!
Defense (UZR) -0.3 (14th) 20.8 (1st) Probably also Trout's fault
Overall (UZR + RAR) 9.4 52.9

Welp.

Questions to Answer:

  • How violently ill will you become once you've seen David Freese in an Angel uniform for the first time live with your eyeballs: Bad shellfish food poisoning ill or imagining yourself in a Mike Scioscia/Jered Weaver Human Centipede ill?
  • Who is your Return of the McLemore Approved Player to Watch in this series? (Adrian Beltre does work against the Angelic franchise that spurned him.)
  • Over/Under: 15.5 home runs hit by the Rangers this month? (They hit 14 in April. Robinson Chirinos is on pace to lead the team with 12 dongs.)
  • What's your guess for line (IP/H/K/BB/ER) by Yu Darvish on Sunday in his first start against a team that isn't the A's in like two weeks?
  • Yea or Nay: The Rangers continue the 2013 legacy of beating the crap out of the Angels and win this series?
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