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Series Preview: Texas Rangers @ Seattle Mariners - Cruz Control

The Rangers begin a nine-game west coast road trip in Seattle as they get to face old friend Nelson Cruz

They don't love you like I love you
They don't love you like I love you
Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

You ever have a dream where nothing crazy happens and no monsters chase you while your legs suddenly don't work but everything is super mundane and actually accurate to reality? I had a dream where I was explaining to my sister that Shin-Soo Choo is the most expensive player who has never made an All-Star Game in professional sports. I then started listing Cleveland Indians that made the Midsummer Classic instead of him.

Two winters ago, the Rangers basically made the decision to let Nelson Cruz walk and sign Choo. The idea was to get elite on-base potential at the top of the order for Adrian Beltre and newly-acquired Prince Fielder to drive in. In retrospect, that looks like a mistake as Cruz is aging like a delicious slab of dry-aged beef while, though a nice player when healthy, Choo is getting paid like a super star to under-perform thus far.

I think there's still hope for Choo, especially over the next several seasons, but he's here for like another decade. He's going to be like 50 years old when his contract expires.

After leading baseball with 40 dingers last year, Cruz is on a 2011 ALCS-esque tear to begin his first season with Seattle. Cruz already has hit six home runs in baseball's first ten or so days. He's hit a homer in five straight games and has just two fewer dongs than the entire Texas Rangers team. All of his home runs have come either in Oakland or at Dodger Stadium. Each of those parks are notorious for suppressing right-handed power. When Nelson Cruz is hot, he simply doesn't care.

In baseball 2015, Nelson Cruz is a unicorn. Baseball players don't hit home runs anymore. 40 home runs in a season is basically 100 home runs. So, it makes me mad that he's doing this for the Mariners. It's not because I want Nellie Cruz to do poorly. I love Nellie.

That was perhaps the best birthday present I've ever received.

It's not even because he's doing well with a division rival. What ticks me off about the Mariners having one of the last real sluggers is how little their smart fans seemed to want him. Now those buttholes are cheering on as Nellie makes an impact for their team as they are hopeful for October baseball. They don't deserve Nelson Cruz.

He's our Nellie. And they have him.

It bums me out.

Series Schedule:

Friday, April 17 9:10 pm: LHP J.A. Happ vs RHP Yovani Gallardo

Saturday, April 18 8:10 pm: RHP Felix Hernandez vs RHP Colby Lewis

Sunday, April 19 3:10 pm: LHP James Paxton vs LHP Ross Detwiler

Go Rangers!

Seattle Mariners (3-6, 5th Place in AL West)

Rangers' 2014 Record vs. Mariners: 10-9 (5-4 at Safeco Field)

Seattle's Recent Results: 0-3 sweep at the hands of the Los Angeles Dodgers

Seattle's Home Record: 1-2

Safeco Field Park Factors (LHB/RHB): HR: 106/84 - Runs: 84/86

SB Nation Mariners Blog: Lookout Landing

Match-up: (as of 04/17) Rangers Mariners Advantage
Batting (RAR) -12.1 (28th) -7.4 (22nd) I miss Nelson Cruz
Base Running (RAR) 0.4 (12th) -0.7 (22nd) LOL Cano
Starters (RAR) Time for a Colby Classic in Seattle Thanks for going as Jay, J.A. Sure, Paxton is going to carve up the Rangers but at least they get to face Felix
Bullpen (RAR) 2.0 (14th) 3.7 (10th) LOL Rodney
Defense (UZR) Roogie looks like a young Roberto Alomar Logan Morrison looks like an old Kevin Reimer Is Brad Miller the best shortstop in the American League?
Overall (UZR + RAR) It's too early Doesn't matter If not for Kyle Seager, I'd favor the Rangers

Questions to Answer:

  • Yay or Nay: Prince Fielder ends up with more home runs than Nelson Cruz by season's end?
  • Who is your Return of the McLemore Approved Player to Watch in this series? (Adrian Beltre against King Felix and the Mariners always seems fun.)
  • Over/Under: 1.5 late-inning dingers by Kyle Seager to take the lead or win a game in this series?
  • What's your guess for line (IP/H/K/BB/ER) by Felix Hernandez as he tries to ward off the team that owns his kryptonite?
  • Do the Mariners make the playoffs (remember, Wild Card game doesn't count) this season?