The Texas Rangers currently have a six-game lead in the A.L. West over the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. So, as they say, this one is for all the cheddar.
Lactose intolerant? No problem. How’s this—this one may be for the title.
During this three game series, the Rangers have a chance to ostensibly put the A.L. West title on ice. Don’t just take my word for it, check out what Rev Halofan has to say about it on Halo’s Heaven…however if typos and poor sentence structure give you the willies, I’d advise against the visit.
If the Rangers can pull off the sweep, they’d be looking at a nine game advantage. Should the Halos run the table, the Rangers are still sitting pretty—albeit precariously—with a three-game advantage.
The Angels are fresh off of a series with the Detroit Tigers, where they lost three of four. The Rangers sandwiched in a two-game split with the A’s around two off days.
The Rangers are rested, and here’s hoping they’re ready…
Here’s a look at tonight’s starting lineups:
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (50-43, L 10: 4-6)
LF Mike Trout
RF Torii Hunter
1B Albert Pujols
DH Mark Trumbo
2B Howie Kendrick
3B Alberto Callaspo
SS Erick Aybar
CF Peter Bourjos
C Bobby Wilson
LHP Derek Holland (6-4, 4.57 ERA, 1.28 WHIP, 7.5 K/9)
This will be the Dutch Oven’s third start since being activated off of the disabled list, due to what is medically referred to as “Shoulder Influenza.”
Since Dutch’s one-month hiatus, all signs have pointed to him once again having a solid second half—he’s 2-0 with a 1.98 ERA since reactivation.
Holland has been tough to beat on the road all year. He’s 4-1 with a 2.58 ERA away from Arlington.
Right-handed batters hit him with power (10 HRs) but have put together a pedestrian slash line: .234/.289/.445. Left-handers bat: .267/.340/.378 with just two home runs.
Tonight will mark Dutchy’s first start against the Angels in 2012. Over his career, Holland is 5-3 with a 4.97 ERA covering nine starts at the Angel Stadium. The Halos are batting .291 off of the left-hander from Newark, Ohio.
Texas Rangers (55-36, L 10: 5-5)
2B Ian Kinsler
SS Elvis Andrus
LF Josh Hamilton
3B Adrian Beltre
1B Michael Young
RF Nelson Cruz
DH David Murphy
C Mike Napoli
CF Craig Gentry
RHP Jered Weaver (11-1, 2.26 ERA, 0.95 WHIP, 6.7 K/9)
Jered Weaver is one of the game’s elite pitchers. When he toes the rubber at home, he’s arguably the best in the game.
In his career, Weaver has only lost 18 times at the “Big A.” So far this season, he’s gone 6-0 with a microscopic 0.58 ERA.
Current Texas Rangers are batting .258 off the 6’ 7” right-hander, with Elvis Andrus (.429 BA, HR, 4 RBI) leading the charge. Josh Hamilton (.270, HR, 5 RBI), Michael Young (2 HRs) and Ian Kinsler (2 HRs) have also seen some success against the Northridge, CA native.
Right-handed batters produce a slash line of: .230/.279/.373 with 3 home runs off of him with left-handers fairing even worse: .187/.234/.264 with 5 home runs.
• Jered Weaver’s lone loss on the season came against the Rangers on May 13 at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. He lasted just 3 1/3 innings, while surrendering eight earned runs.
• Mike Trout has jettisoned past the “having a great year” realm and smack-dab into “greatest season ever by a 20-year-old” territory. So far in July, the fleet-footed center fielder is batting .414 with 6 home runs.
• The Angels are currently fifth in the A.L. in pitching with a 3.76 ERA. They’re in a three-way tie for second place with a .269 batting average…The Texas Rangers are the A.L. leaders in batting average, with a .278 mark, and are second in pitching, with a 3.68 ERA—so take that, Anaheim!
• In their previous six matchups coming into tonight, the Rangers and Angels have split the difference, with each team going 3-3, as the Rangers took two-of-three in Arlington in May, with the Angels doing the same in Anaheim last month.
RHP Yu Darvish (10-6, 3.96 ERA) vs. RHP Ervin Santana (4-9, 5.60 ERA)—Saturday, 3:05 (CT).