In a season that has played out like torture porn, the Rangers open a critical nine-game west coast road trip against the three teams ahead of them in the AL West standings.
Of course, they open this road trip on Friday the 13th during a full moon. But what's the worst that can happen? Nothing worse than the first couple of months for the Texas Rangers in 2014, I figure. The slashers and werewolves and killers and demons can't hurt the Rangers now. Ankles and necks and spines and tendons have already taken care of 'em.
That said, there's something harrowing about this road trip the Rangers are embarking on. Should the Rangers fall hard during this trip, it'll be easy to assume the season has been murdered once and for all. If the Rangers don't show well against the top of the West, they'll probably start the process of gutting the team. Should the Rangers somehow pull off a few series wins, maybe there will be some hope for a second-half revival.
And so, the whistle through the graveyard begins in Seattle where the Rangers used to travel for a nice reprieve. Now the Rangers are looking up at the Mariners in the West standings and draw Felix Hernandez and Hisashi Iwakuma in this three game series without Yu Darvish -- arguably their only decent starter at the moment -- coming to the rescue. Expect lots of blood, lots of gore, and a lot of carnage.
Here's a breakdown of the pitching match-ups against the dreams of a Wild Card in Seattle:
- Nick Tepesch: 2-2, 6.31 K/9, 3.86 BB/9, .304 BABIP, 76.5% LOB, 5.61 FIP, 4.65 xFIP, 0.0 WAR - Two starts in 2014: 10 runs allowed in 14.0 innings
- Felix Hernandez: 8-1, 9.73 K/9, 1.56 BB/9, .305 BABIP, 70.6% LOB, 1.93 FIP, 2.41 xFIP, 3.7 WAR - Last three starts: 3 runs allowed in 22.2 innings
- Joe Saunders: 0-2, 5.40 K/9, 4.50 BB/9, .361 BABIP, 80.1% LOB, 4.83 FIP, 4.90 xFIP, 0.1 WAR - Two starts in 2014: 4 runs allowed in 16.1 innings
- Erasmo Ramirez: 1-4, 7.88 K/9, 4.30 BB/9, .321 BABIP, 75.9% LOB, 5.95 FIP, 4.71 xFIP, -0.4 WAR - Last three appearances: 7 runs allowed in 13.2 innings
- Nick Martinez: 1-3, 4.24 K/9, 4.44 BB/9, .310 BABIP, 75.6% LOB, 5.85 FIP, 5.68 xFIP, -0.2 WAR - Last three starts: 16 runs allowed in 13.0 innings
- Hisashi Iwakuma: 4-3, 6.36 K/9, 0.93 BB/9, .268 BABIP, 79.8% LOB, 3.32 FIP, 2.90 xFIP, 1.0 WAR - Last three starts: 8 runs allowed in 20.1 innings
Seattle Mariners (34-32, 3rd Place in AL West)
Rangers' Record vs. Seattle: 5-4 (2-1 at Safeco)
Seattle's Recent Results: 0-3 swept at home by the New York Yankees
Seattle's Home Record: 14-18
Safeco Field Park Factors (LHB/RHB): HR: 96/91 - Runs: 85/96
SB Nation Mariners Blog: Lookout Landing
|Match-up: (as of 06/13)||Rangers||Mariners||Advantage|
|Batting (RAR)||-16.3 (17th)||-43.5 (26th)||At least the Mariners still suck at hitting|
|Base Running (RAR)||1.2 (10th)||0.4 (14th)||The Rangers aren't as bad as you thought|
|Starters (RAR)||-0.4||36.3||Felix is more valuable than the entire Ranger team|
|18.1 (9th)||Welcome Ben Rowan|
|Defense (UZR)||-7.6 (21st)||11.2 (8th)||Where Guti at?|
|Overall (UZR + RAR)||-1.6||22.5||
The Mariners would be pretty good if they could hit
Questions to Answer:
- Will the Rangers finish ahead of Seattle in the standings at the end of this season?
- Who is your Return of the McLemore Approved Player to Watch in this series? (I'm looking forward to the Beltre/Felix battle.)
- Over/Under: 7.5 runs scored by the Rangers in this series?
- What's your guess for line (IP/H/K/BB/ER) by Nick Tepesch tonight as he faces off against King Felix?
- Yea or Nay: The Rangers take this series and start their road trip on a positive note?