After a month of basically nothing but home-and-homes against the rest of the American League West, the Rangers finally get a chance to play someone else from the American League. Almost appropriately, they head to Tampa to revisit their old haunt from past October glory against another team trying to regain their footing after being near the top of the league mountain.
Texas is coming off their first series win, and first winning streak, after sweeping the American League leading Houston Astros in Houston. With that sweep, the Rangers crawled out of the cellar in the AL West by a half game over Seattle.
The Rays recently took two games from the Boston Red Sox at Fenway in a three game series to move to second place in the AL East. The Rays were once October foes of the Rangers -- as each team was considered upper-echelon combatants in the American League throughout the first half of this decade -- before each team took a tumble last season.
Interestingly enough, the Rays and Rangers each made managerial changes this offseason after the departure of long-time mangers Joe Maddon and Ron Washington. The Rangers chose Jeff Banister over Kevin Cash with Cash ending up manning the bench in Tampa.
Thursday, May 07 6:10 pm: RHP Chris Archer vs RHP Nick Martinez
Friday, May 08 6:10 pm: RHP Nathan Karns vs RHP Yovani Gallardo
Saturday, May 09 5:10 pm: RHP Jake Odorizzi vs LHP Ross Detwiler
Sunday, May 10 12:10 pm: LHP Drew Smyly vs LHP Wandy Rodriguez
Tampa Bay Rays (15-13, 2nd Place in AL East)
Rangers' Record vs. Rays: 2-5 in 2014
Tampa Bay's Recent Results: 2-1 road series win against the Boston Red Sox
Tampa Bay's Home Record: 7-8
Tropicana Field Park Factors (LHB/RHB): HR: 95/89 - Runs: 98/94
SB Nation Rays Blog: DRaysBay
|Match-up: (as of 05/07)||Rangers||Rays||Advantage|
|Batting (RAR)||-22.3 (27th)||-2.0 (14th)||Rays|
|Base Running (RAR)||2.1 (9th)||-5.3 (28th)||Rangers|
|Bullpen (RAR)||3.7 (15th)||3.1 (17th)||Rangers|
|Defense (UZR)||-2.0 (21st)||8.4 (6th)||Rays|
|Overall (UZR + RAR)||-11.4||26.1||>:(|
Questions to Answer:
- Yay or Nay: Rougned Odor is still on the team when they return home on May 11?
- Who is your Return of the McLemore Approved Player to Watch in this series? (With Adrian Beltre heating up, I'd like to see him revisit Game 4 of the 2011 ALDS at the Trop.)
- Over/Under: 14.5 total Rangers runs scored in this four game series?
- What's your guess for line (IP/H/K/BB/ER) by Magic Wandy Rodriguez on Sunday as he looks to follow up Tuesday's stellar start?
- Which of these teams is the first to make it back the playoffs?