The Texas Rangers (35-26) return home to face the Arizona Diamondbacks (30-30) as interleague play continues throughout baseball. The Rangers are mired in a slump as they try to fend off the suddenly on-fire Los Angeles Angels and they need to start stringing together wins, though as difficult as it may seem, once you consider the injuries to the pitching staff (Neftali Feliz, Derek Holland and Alexi Ogando) along with a "questionable" Nelson Cruz. If I could find any positive it would be the fact that the injuries are happening now and not in late August or September.
Colby Lewis has pitched great in his last two outings, not allowing a single home run yet. In fact in his last two starts combined he has allowed six runs (four earned) and ten hits while striking out eight and walking run. He also has a combined 0.75 WHIP in those outings yet is credited with two losses as the Rangers offense never gave him the support he needed. In interleague play he is 6-2 with a 2.14 ERA for his career and will be facing the Diamondbacks for the first time. Geoff Blum is currently on the DL for Arizona and that's a good thing as he his 4-for-4 against Lewis lifetime. However he pretty much owns the other D-Backs that he has faced before.
Ian Kennedy comes in hot having gone 2-1 with a 2.33 ERA and 26 K's in his last three appearances. None of the Rangers hitters really have a history with Kennedy with Adrian Beltre (1-for-3), Alberto Gonzalez (1-for-2) and Yorvit Torrealba (0-for-2) being the only ones to have faced him.
Game Two: Matt Harrison (TEX) versus Wade Miley (ARI)
Harrison is definitely on fire after he found his rhythm again and has won his past four starts with a 1.76 ERA. Only five Diamondbacks (not on the DL) have faced Harrison before and they are hitting a combined .363. Still, though, they haven't faced "this" Harrison which may put the game in his favor.
Miley has been the star of the Diamondbacks rotation this season. He is currently 7-2 with a 2.53 ERA . He's a rookie who has only faced Alberto Gonzalez (1-for-1) in his career.
Game Three: Scott Feldman (TEX) versus Daniel Hudson (ARI)
Feldman has started six games this season and has yet to win a single one. In his last five starts since taking over for Neftali Feliz he has given up 22 runs (17 earned) though he actually looked good in his last outing and was felled by the hibernating Rangers offense. He has a 5.20 ERA in interleague play yet has shown some success against the Diamondbacks hitters.
Daniel Hudson has only faced two of the Rangers hitters (Gonzalez and Torrealba)and they are a combined 0-for-12 against him.
There's really no way for me to say clearly who I think will win this series. If this was April then I would predict a Rangers sweep, but with the up and down Rangers offense and a shaky Scott Feldman I just don't know which way to go. Maybe it will be a good think that Texas really has yet to face any of Arizona's pitchers. Or it could be a bad thing. At least we're playing at home.
Until next time, I'll see you in the cheap seats!
James Holland is a lifelong fan of baseball and his hometown Texas Rangers. He is also a senior columnist for shutdowninning.com, the founding writer for clawandantlernation.com and a member of SABR. You can also follow him on Twitter where he waxes poetic about all things baseball @SDIJamesHolland.
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- Arizona Diamondbacks
- Colby Lewis
- Neftali Feliz
- Texas Rangers