Series Preview: Texas Rangers @ Minnesota Twins - Not Dead Yet

Say Hrbek! - Hannah Foslien

The Rangers take a surging offense to Minnesota looking to keep their road winning ways on track

Series Schedule:

Monday, May 26 12:10: RHP Kevin Corriea vs. RHP Nick Tepesch

Tuesday, May 27 7:10: RHP Phil Hughes vs. RHP Yu Darvish

Wednesday, May 28 7:10: RHP Kyle Gibson vs. LHP Joe Saunders

Thursday, May 29 12:10: RHP Samuel Deduno vs. RHP Nick Martinez

Even though today's game starts early again, I wanted to put a little something together. Here's a quick series preview:

Recent years, a .500 record nearing June would have been considered a pretty big let down. In 2014, with every possible injury to a bone, joint, or muscle in the human body represented by a Texas Ranger, it's something of a triumph. It's especially encouraging that the Rangers took 3 of 4 from Detroit and the offense has started to click. In an era where it's easier to make the playoffs than ever before, maybe these Rangers aren't dead yet.

It would help, however, if the Rangers could beat the Twins. Last season the Rangers went 3-4 against Minnesota. That included a four-game split at Target Field and a home series loss. Last year the Twins were a stone's throw away from being Astro-bad and the Rangers couldn't handle them. The 2014 Twins -- at a game under .500 coming into this series -- are perhaps more on the Rangers' level this year. Taking this series from the Twins would be a preliminary good start in changing course from that dubious fate.

Here's a breakdown of the pitching match-ups against the land of 10,000 nondescript white guys:

  • Nick Tepesch: Only two starts of 2014: 4 runs allowed in 11.2 innings
  • Kevin Correia: Last three starts: 12 runs allowed in 14.1 innings

Thoughts: I want to say Big Dick Nick has the advantage but a repeat of this game by Correia would make for the ultimate flaccid Monday.

  • Yu Darvish: Last three starts: 4 runs allowed in 23.2 innings
  • Phil Hughes: 1 run allowed in 20.0 innings

Thoughts: Getting away from the short porches of New York seems to have done wonders for Phil Hughes. Suddenly this is looking like some hot Ace on Ace action.

  • Joe Saunders: Only start of 2014: 4 runs allowed in 3.2 innings
  • Kyle Gibson: Last three starts: 12 runs allowed in 14.0 innings

Thoughts: This is the complete opposite of whatever hot Ace on Ace action is. This is cold deuce on deuce action.

  • Nick Martinez: Last three appearances: 3 runs allowed in 12.1 innings
  • Samuel Deduno: Last three starts: 7 runs allowed in 17.2 innings

Thoughts: Hopefully Small Dick Nick doesn't show any signs of shrinkage in the frosty northern lands.

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Minnesota Twins (23-24, 3rd Place in AL Central)

Rangers' Record vs. Minnesota: Haven't played (4-3 in 2013)

Minnesota's Recent Results: Swept 0-3 by the Giants in San Francisco

Minnesota's Home Record: 12-11

Target Field Park Factors (LHB/RHB): HR: 105/94 - Runs: 112/109

SB Nation Twins Blog: Twinkie Town

Match-up: (as of 05/26) Rangers Twins Advantage
Batting (RAR) -12.6 (17th) -5.3 (13th) What a difference a week makes
Base Running (RAR) 0.3 (4th) 0.5 (15th) Alex Avila is wrecking this stat
Starters (RAR) 23.3 29.8 It's Yu Darvish and a bag of dicks
Bullpen (RAR)

16.7 (7th)

16.9 (13th) Nice of the Rangers to let Soria in a game yesterday
Defense (UZR) -7.5 (22nd) -10.8 (24th) Yay! It's something the Rangers are better than the Twins at
Overall (UZR + RAR) 20.3 31.1

So this is what it's come to

Questions to Answer:

  • Will Yu Darvish throw a complete game this season?
  • Who is your Return of the McLemore Approved Player to Watch in this series? (All righties for the Twins means a heaping helping of Rougned Odor.)
  • Over/Under: 10.5 outs Ron Washington just hands the Twins on the bases or by bunt attempts in this series?
  • What's your guess for line (IP/H/K/BB/ER) by Joe Saunders as he unfortunately makes his re-debut in the the Ranger rotation on Wednesday?
  • Yea or Nay: The Rangers keep the ball rolling and take this series against the Twins?
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