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Derek Holland, not Colby Lewis, will start Game 4

If there is a Game Four of the ALDS, the Rangers will send Derek Holland to the mound to start, not Colby Lewis

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

The Texas Rangers probable starter for Game Four of the ALDS will be Derek Holland, not Colby Lewis, the team announced today.

This could end up being moot if the Rangers win tomorrow, making a Game 4 unnecessary; however, should the Blue Jays win tomorrow, lefty Derek Holland will get the start on Monday against Toronto.

Colby Lewis and Derek Holland are both on the ALDS roster, and I think the general feeling was that the two of them would end up starting along with Cole Hamels, leaving one spot in the rotation for either Yovani Gallardo or Martin Perez.  Instead, Gallardo started Game 1 and Perez is starting Game 3.

Colby pitched a career-high 204.2 IP this season, with a 4.66 ERA and 4.17 FIP.  Colby has run hot and cold this year...he had a near no-hitter on September 11, when he threw a 2 hit complete game shutout against the Oakland A's, but failed to make it five innings in his final two starts, contributing to concerns that Lewis was running out of gas late in the season.

Derek Holland, meanwhile, pitched one inning in April before landing on the disabled list with a shoulder injury before returning in mid-August.  He was great in his first four starts, but struggled in September before finishing out the year with a 6.1 IP, 3 run outing against the Angels on October 1.  He ended the year with a 4.91 ERA and a 5.30 FIP.

It isn't an easy choice, opting for one of Holland or Lewis.  Lewis has pitched better this year, and has a terrific track record in the playoffs, and Toronto hits lefties better than righties.  However, a healthy, "on" Holland is a better pitcher than Lewis, and has a better chance of putting up a dominant outing than Lewis does.

Holland and Lewis have both been available out of the bullpen in the first two games, and I suspect Lewis will be primed to pitch tomorrow should Martin Perez get into trouble early in the game.