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Series Preview: Texas Rangers @ Chicago White Sox - For Sale

The Rangers roll into the south side of Chicago for a series against the pale hose

That big contract really changed Elvis
That big contract really changed Elvis
Brian Kersey

Series Schedule:

Monday, August 04 7:10: RHP Hector Noesi vs. RHP Nick Martinez

Tuesday, August 05 7:10: LHP John Danks vs. RHP Colby Lewis

Wednesday, August 06 1:10: LHP Chris Sale vs. RHP Nick Tepesch

This is the worst kind of series. By that I mean it's a series where Yu Darvish isn't scheduled to pitch. But if you're a fan of slightly underrated rad ace pitchers, the good news is Chris Sale is scheduled to pitch in this series.

I've written before, and I'll write it again right now, but every time I've seen Chris Sale pitch, he's looked like the human being that is least likely to ever allow a hit on the planet. Look at this:


That becomes this:


Which becomes this:


And then you've suddenly got this:


h/t Fangraphs

It's all elbows and terror and Chris Sale is like a spider who learned to pitch. It's horrifying. He's like an emaciated left-handed Brandon McCarthy with Randy Johnson action. I'm afraid of him. He looks like a scary bird. And I'm afraid for him because I don't know how a human body is able to do the things Chris Sale does with his. I know the consensus view is eventually Chris Sale is going to throw a pitch and his arm is going to go flying off into the stratosphere, but until that happens, he's pretty great at flinging baseballs with his ghastly, fragile appendage.

I guess I say Chris Sale is slightly underrated because, besides being amazing (He's been probably the second or third best pitcher in the American League this season in a year where you can't count King Felix as King Felix has ascended to the level of man-god or something), it took a Final Vote campaign for Sale to be selected to the All-Star Game.

So, while we don't get to see Yu Darvish pitch over the next few days, we do get to see Chris Sale pitch. Unfortunately, he pitches for the White Sox. Were it a guarantee that Chris Sale could remain healthy, I'd trade just about anything for him to be a Ranger. Mostly because I just don't understand how anyone ever hits a small little round thing with a little piece of wood that comes out of this:


Here's a breakdown of the pitching match-ups against the slingers from the south side:

  • Nick Martinez: 1-7, 3.92 K/9, 4.04 BB/9, .392 BABIP, 70.5% LOB, 5.78 FIP, 5.68 xFIP, -0.2 WAR - Last three starts: 12 runs allowed in 16.0 innings
  • Hector Noesi: 5-8, 6.56 K/9, 3.45 BB/9, .302 BABIP, 68.1% LOB, 4.81 FIP, 4.41 xFIP, 0.4 WAR - Last three starts: 11 runs allowed in 19.2 innings

Thoughts: I honestly can't think of a worse 2014 pitching match-up. It's a guy who should be pitching in Frisco vs a guy so bad the 2014 Rangers released him. That's right, in case you forgot, Hector Noesi was once on the 2014 Rangers. In fact, his worst appearance as a Ranger came against these White Sox when he allowed seven runs in an inning of work.

  • Colby Lewis: 7-8, 7.39 K/9, 2.99 BB/9, .382 BABIP, 67.2% LOB, 4.29 FIP, 4.46 xFIP, 1.2 WAR - Last three starts: 7 runs allowed in 18.1 innings
  • John Danks: 9-6, 6.22 K/9, 3.31 BB/9, .290 BABIP, 75.1% LOB, 4.85 FIP, 4.71 xFIP, 0.6 WAR - Last three starts: 15 runs allowed in 16.1 innings

Thoughts: Maybe, just maybe, Colby Lewis is getting it back. He's got his K/9 rate over seven, his BB/9 rate is under three, his BABIP is below .400 and he's allowed three or fewer runs in every start in a month barring that atrocious start against the Angels where he allowed 11 runs. Maybe Colby is figuring out how to pitch with a bionic hip.

Brandon McCarthy has been better than John Danks for several years now including this season. JD WAS RIGHT!!

  • Nick Tepesch: 3-7, 4.97 K/9, 3.09 BB/9, .274 BABIP, 73.2% LOB, 5.34 FIP, 4.76 xFIP, 0.2 WAR - Last three starts: 11 runs allowed in 16.1 innings
  • Chris Sale: 10-1, 10.01 K/9, 1.55 BB/9, .273 BABIP, 79.9% LOB, 2.29 FIP, 2.82 xFIP, 4.2 WAR - Last three starts: 5 runs allowed in 21.0 innings

Thoughts: I think one of the more disappointing aspects of the 2014 season is Nick Tepesch just hasn't taken a step forward. Last season, he looked like he could be a guy to fill a spot in the back end of the rotation for years to come and maybe grap MORP status some day. He hasn't been that guy this season. He's been a guy who's filling a spot in the back end of the rotation only because there's no one else.

As for Chris Sale, I mean, look at him!


It shouldn't be!


Chicago White Sox (54-58, 4th Place in AL Central)

Rangers' Record vs. Chicago: 2-1 (All at The Ballpark)

Chicago's Recent Results: 1-2 home series loss to the Minnesota Twins

Chicago's Home Record: 28-26

US Cellular Field Park Factors (LHB/RHB): HR: 111/118 - Runs: 101/106

SB Nation White Sox Blog: South Side Sox

Match-up: (as of 08/04) Rangers White Sox Advantage
Batting (RAR) -60.1 (26th) -4.4 (9th) The Rangers are almost as bad at hitting as the Mariners
Base Running (RAR) 4.6 (6th) -6.7 (27th) Your extra base is ours
Starters (RAR) 10.6 43.9 Yikes
Bullpen (RAR)

27.8 (9th)

0.8 (26th) Somebody tell Feliz he's supposed to be good
Defense (UZR) -16.1 (23rd) -20.8 (26th) I'm embarrassed
Overall (UZR + RAR) -33.2 12.8

Pretty sure the Rangers aren't very good

Questions to Answer:

  • Who is your favorite non-Yu underrated rad ace?
  • Who is your Return of the McLemore Approved Player to Watch in this series? (Robinson Chirinos is my pick to click.)
  • Over/Under: 10.5 times Hawk Harrelson says "He gone" during Chris Sale's start on Wednesday?
  • What's your guess for line (IP/H/K/BB/ER) by Colby Lewis on Tuesday as tries to follow up his best outing of the 2014 season?
  • Yea or Nay: The Rangers beat Chris Sale on Wednesday?