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Series Preview: Oakland A's @ Texas Rangers - Desperately Seeking Ws

If ever a testy team meeting after getting swept at home could pay off, this is the series for it

Bummed Josh Donaldson makes me smile
Bummed Josh Donaldson makes me smile
Thearon W. Henderson

Series Schedule:

Monday, June 17 7:05: RHP Dan Straily vs. RHP Nick Tepesch

Tuesday, June 18 7:05: RHP Jarrod Parker vs. RHP Yu Darvish

Wednesday, June 19 7:05: LHP Tommy Milone vs. RHP Justin Grimm

Thursday, June 20 1:05: RHP A.J. Griffin vs. RHP Josh Lindblom

I don't want to talk about it, but...

Baseball's island of misfit toys continue to win by way of spare parts, platoons, and upside-shrugging starting pitching. If the A's were a shop, they'd be a pay-by-the-pound thrift store. Now they make their way to Arlington fully exposed as the wolf no longer in sheep's clothing.

You can look at where these two teams are at coming into this series as one of two ways: Either the A's can use this series to bury a wounded and clearly worn down Rangers team having one of the more dreadful months in memory, or, the Rangers can use this series against the A's as an opportunity to drag themselves up from this seemingly never ending June swoon and get right back in the race.

Do the Rangers have a bounce-back series in them after a demoralizing weekend or do the A's smell blood?

It's a perilous prospect, considering what we saw against the Blue Jays, but it's an exciting one nonetheless. This is the kind of series that makes your wonder if Bud Selig is either the devil or his schedule-makers are omniscient.

Barring a tied series, one team is going to head into the weekend feeling good while the other team is going to feel the sting of a missed opportunity.

Here are all of the possible outcomes we could be facing come Friday:

  • Rangers sweep - The Rangers lead the A's in the AL West by 1 game
  • Rangers win 3 of 4 - The A's lead the Rangers in the AL West by 1 game
  • Series Spilt - The A's lead the Rangers in the AL West by 3 games
  • A's win 3 of 4 - The A's lead the Rangers in the AL West by 5 games
  • A's sweep - The A's lead the Rangers in the AL West by 7 games

Here's a breakdown of the pitching match-ups against the Alameda County Anomalies:

  • Nick Tepesch: 3-6, 6.72 K/9, 2.28 BB/9, .291 BABIP, 72.7% LOB, 4.30 FIP, 3.77 xFIP, 0.8 WAR - Last three starts: 11 runs allowed in 18.1 innings
  • Dan Straily: 4-2, 7.21 K/9, 2.45 BB/9, .259 BABIP, 58.9% LOB, 3.15 FIP, 4.26 xFIP, 1.4 WAR - Last three starts: 7 runs allowed in 19.2 innings



  • Yu Darvish: 7-2, 11.99 K/9, 2.74 BB/9, .255 BABIP, 80.1% LOB, 2.69 FIP, 2.53 xFIP, 3.0 WAR - Last three starts: 3 runs allowed in 21.0 innings
  • Jarrod Parker: 5-6, 6.18 K/9, 3.47 BB/9, .275 BABIP, 74.6% LOB, 5.02 FIP, 4.70 xFIP, 0.0 WAR - Last three starts: 5 runs allowed in 21.1 innings



  • Justin Grimm: 5-5, 7.32 K/9, 2.93 BB/9, .344 BABIP, 66.7% LOB, 4.18 FIP, 4.12 xFIP, 0.9 WAR - Last three starts: 19 runs allowed in 15.0 innings
  • Tommy Milone: 6-6, 7.33 K/9, 1.91 BB/9, .271 BABIP, 76.4% LOB, 4.13 FIP, 4.08 xFIP, 0.9 WAR - Last three starts: 5 runs allowed in 20.2 innings



  • Josh Lindblom: 0-2, 6.48 K/9, 1.62 BB/9, .275 BABIP, 57.0% LOB, 4.50 FIP, 3.93 xFIP, 0.2 WAR - Last three starts: 7 runs allowed in 12.0 innings
  • A.J. Griffin: 5-6, 6.95 K/9, 2.22 BB/9, .261 BABIP, 74.1% LOB, 4.33 FIP, 4.30 xFIP, 0.8 WAR - Last three starts: 8 runs allowed in 20.1 innings




Oakland A's (42-29, 1st Place in AL West)

Rangers' 2013 Record vs. Oakland: 3-3 (1-2 at The Ballpark)

Oakland's Recent Results: 1-2 home series loss to the Seattle Mariners

Oakland's 2013 Road Record: 20-17

Rangers Ballpark in Arlington Park Factors (LHB/RHB): HR: 115/110 - Runs: 114/115

SB Nation Athletic's Blog: Athletics Nation

Match-up: (as of 06/17) Rangers A's Advantage
Batting (RAR) -5.1 (14th) 13.4 (8th) This is a problem
Base Running (RAR) -5.6 (28th) 5.4 (6th) This is also a problem
Starters (RAR) 44.5 29.0 The rookies need to go back to being A's-like
Bullpen (RAR) 24.7 (5th) 23.3 (6th) Pretty evenly matched
Defense (UZR) 0.3 (14th) -1.3 (17th) Another area the injuries have hurt
Overall (UZR + RAR) 58.8 69.8


Questions to Answer:

  • On a scale of 1-10: How awkward do you suspect it was for the A's and Mariners to have to shower together after a sewage backup in the A's clubhouse at O.Co yesterday?
  • Who is your Return of the McLemore Approved Player to Watch in this series? (I'm not sure that I want to watch any player on the Rangers right now but I'm hoping for a big series from Ian Kinsler.)
  • Over/Under: 8.5 runs scored by the Rangers in this four-game series?
  • What's your guess for line (IP/H/K/BB/ER) by Justin Grimm on Wednesday as he tries to get back on track after an awful start to June?
  • Yea or Nay: The Rangers go into the weekend up a game or down only one game in the AL West?