Series Preview: Cleveland Indians @ Texas Rangers - 30 for 30

That's how you get curses - David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

The Rangers look to climb over the .500 hurdle with a solid series against the equally mediocre Cleveland Indians

Series Schedule:

Friday, June 6 7:05: RHP Trevor Bauer vs. RHP Yu Darvish

Saturday, June 7 3:05: RHP Josh Tomlin vs. RHP Nick Tepesch

Sunday, June 8 2:05: RHP Justin Masterson vs. LHP Joe Saunders

Monday, June 9 7:05: LHP T.J. House vs. RHP Nick Martinez

Both the Rangers and Indians are 30-30 through 60 games this season but that's not important.

This is the only thing you need to know about this series and/or life:

From the gutter to the grail we rise up to win it

Wahoo's on first with the rise on the pennant

Going all in, Cleveland Indians

From the gutter to the bling now they call us champions

This is how we do it with beauty we be moving

Takin bases with ease

Born and bred we are the truest

Guard the wall we always cruisin

Gettin stupid throwin cheddar

Other teams are lookin clueless

Ain't nobody do it better

We get knocks

We flash leather for days

Kip and Cabbie amaze

With the top ten plays

Cody Allen turn the heat up

Reynolds hittin cleanup

You know we never ease up

2013 and we’re all up for the ring

Nasty Masty with the sink

Scotty K with the swings and whiffs

Hand it off to Smith just to flick at the wrist

Gettin filthy with the pitch

To Santana at the dish whippin the hose out

CP in the 9th, you know we gonna close out

So what do y’all know bout Swisher and his swag

Smokin pitchers like cigars

Are you picturing that?

Here's a breakdown of the pitching match-ups against Johnny Football's favorite baseball team:

  • Yu Darvish: 5-2, 10.77 K/9, 2.73 BB/9, .279 BABIP, 83.9% LOB, 2.23 FIP, 3.16 xFIP, 2.7 WAR - Two starts in 2014: 4 runs allowed in 23.0 innings
  • Trevor Bauer: 1-2, 11.69 K/9, 3.63 BB/9, .327 BABIP, 82.7% LOB, 4.14 FIP, 3.11 xFIP, 0.2 WAR - Last three starts: 8 runs allowed in 16.1 innings

Thoughts: Better pitcher: Yu Darvish

Better rapper: Yu Darvish

Better human: Yu Darvish

More likely to throw a complete game: Trevor Bauer :(

  • Nick Tepesch: 2-1, 7.52 K/9, 3.10 BB/9, .293 BABIP, 76.9% LOB, 5.13 FIP, 4.06 xFIP, 0.1 WAR - Two starts in 2014: 9 runs allowed in 15.0 innings
  • Josh Tomlin: 3-2, 8.35 K/9, 1.39 BB/9, .225 BABIP, 70.8% LOB, 4.09 FIP, 3.30 xFIP, 0.3 WAR - Last three appearances: 5 runs allowed in 13.2 innings

Thoughts: Big Dick Nick is learning quickly about the refractory period of pitching in the major leagues. Hopefully Josh Tomlin can be natural viagra for the limp Ranger offense.

  • Joe Saunders: 0-1, 7.36 K/9, 3.68 BB/9, .373 BABIP, 83.3% LOB, 4.64 FIP, 4.47 xFIP, 0.1 WAR - Last three starts: 6 runs allowed in 14.2 innings
  • Justin Masterson: 3-4, 8.23 K/9, 4.48 BB/9, .321 BABIP, 65.8% LOB, 3.89 FIP, 3.83 xFIP, 0.8 WAR - Last three starts: 6 runs allowed in 15.2 innings

Thoughts: Can someone explain to me how someone like Nasty Masty, who walks nearly five guys per nine innings, was able to throw 25 straight strikes in his last start? Baseball, you're one strange bird.

Every time I try to say Joe Saunders' name it comes out like a gross wet fart sound.

  • Nick Martinez: 1-2, 4.23 K/9, 4.03 BB/9, .302 BABIP, 81.5% LOB, 5.22 FIP, 5.53 xFIP, 0.1 WAR - Last three starts: 9 runs allowed in 17.0 innings
  • T.J. House: 0-1, 6.16 K/9, 2.37 BB/9, .333 BABIP, 84.7% LOB, 4.86 FIP, 3.56 xFIP, 0.0 WAR - Last three starts: 8 runs allowed in 18.0 innings

Thoughts: So that's 2.7 fWAR for Darvish and, including Nick Martinez, 0.3 fWAR combined for the other three starters going in this series for the Rangers. Yikes.

At least the Cleveland rotation, including T.J. House, has also been a disaster so far this season minus one guy. That one guy is Corey Kluber and the Rangers miss him in this series.

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Cleveland Indians (30-30, 3rd Place in AL Central)

Rangers' Record vs. Cleveland: First series in 2014 (1-5 in 2013)

Cleveland's Recent Results: 3-0 home series sweep of the Boston Red Sox

Cleveland's Road Record: 9-19

The Ballpark Park Factors (LHB/RHB): HR: 108/96 - Runs: 110/108

SB Nation Indians Blog: Let's Go Tribe

Match-up: (as of 06/06) Rangers Indians Advantage
Batting (RAR) -11.4 (18th) 14.3 (4th) The Tribe has an actual offense. Gulp.
Base Running (RAR) 1.2 (11th) 0.5 (14th) Wash is calling for a hit and run right now
Starters (RAR) 25.3 12.3 I have to praise Yu
Bullpen (RAR)

19.7 (7th)

13.9 (11th) Ogando's going to miss a month and still lead the AL in appearances
Defense (UZR) -7.6 (21st) -32.5 (30th) Here's your problem
Overall (UZR + RAR) 27.2 8.5

I could use a few 10 cent beers

Questions to Answer:

  • Where do you stand on the Chief Wahoo issue?
  • Who is your Return of the McLemore Approved Player to Watch in this series? (Alex Rios is pretty nice to look at.)
  • Over/Under: 15.5 innings you watch of this series after Yu Darvish exists tonight's game?
  • What's your guess for line (IP/H/K/BB/ER) by Nick Martinez in the finale on Monday as he tries to right the ship?
  • Yea or Nay: The Rangers win this series and escape .500 purgatory?
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