Across the Diamond: Texas Rangers
Just like the Jays, the Rangers have been stuck in and around the middle of the pack all year long from an offensive perspective. Their wRC+ of 97 is only one point above the Jays, and their .263/.321/.415 puts them right around league average.
Their lineup is an intriguing mix of young and veteran talent, but the player that came into the year as the best left-handed hitter in the lineup is dragging them down. Prince Fielder is hitting a putrid .198/.260/.298 for a 44 wRC+. Here we are worried about Troy Tulowitzki.
Despite Fielders struggles, Rougned Odor has been a fantastic blend of power and speed from a weak offensive position, Nomar Mazara is showing that he definitely belongs in the big leagues, and they’re getting roughly what they should expect from veterans Elvis Andrus, Ian Desmond and Adrian Beltre.
It’s a lineup I like quite a bit, but much like the Jays, they’ve been unable to consistently put together games of strong performances. Despite that, and the fact that their bullpen has been much worse than the Jays, they sit at five games above .500.
The numbers would skew the Jays fairly heavily, but the fact of the matter is that they’ve won a number of close ball games, and the Jays have been on the losing side of many of those games.
Unfortunately, the Jays miss Derek Holland in this series, or the Rangers are simply doing anything they can to avoid his against the Jays, but they get Cesar Ramos instead, who shouldn’t provide any more of a challenge than Holland would.
It really is time for the Jays to break out here. They get three favourable matchups in a very hitter friendly ballpark, and the time has come for them to emerge as one of the league’s top offensive units.
Now, let’s dive in to the individual pitching matchups for each game…
Next: Is Dickey about to turn it around?