The Rangers head out to Oakland for a three game series against the Swingin’ A’s, who are currently only 2 games back in the AL West. While the Rangers are the in the driver’s seat and have locked up a position in the post-season, the division title is on the line; not to mention avoiding the craziness of a one game Wild Card game if the division is lost.
Jarrod Parker vs. Martin Perez
Can Perez lock up the division in Game 1 of the series?
With the season on the line, could we ask for anyone better to be on the mound tonight for the Rangers? Yes.
- Perez has faced Oakland twice this season, both starts, and is 1-1 with a 10.50 ERA and a 2.167 WHIP across 6 innings of work.
- Most recent start against the A’s was last Wednesday when he was quickly dispatched after giving up 5 runs on 6 hits after just 2/3 of an inning.
- His other start against Oakland, came on June 30th (Baseball Do Field Trip!), where he got the win, giving up 2 earned runs over 5 1/3 innings.
- His body of work is really too small to read into it too much….
We know Perez has the ability to be great. We know he has the stuff to shut down the opposition. We have seen glimpses, but nothing sustained. Could he put it together for a solid 6 innings tonight against the A’s? One can always hope.
- Oakland’s team batting average over the last 14 days is .253, compared to .237 across all of 2012.
- During that same 14 day span, Yoenis Cespedes has a 1.027 OPS and Coco Crisp has a 1.300 OPS.
- Oakland’s team BABIP over that same span is .302 compared to .280 for the season.
The A’s are playing great baseball and seem to have a ton of momentum with just the right amount of lady luck mixed in.
Jarrod Parker hates you
The A’s counter the Rangers young left-hander with a youngster of their own in 23 year-old Jarrod Parker. Parker enters tonight’s match-up with a 12-8 record on the season with a 3.44 ERA and 1.260 WHIP.
- Parker is 3-1 with a 2.31 ERA over the last month of the season, striking out 27 and walking only 6 during the span.
- Parker has two starts against the Rangers on the season, and has earned the victory in both of them, going 2-0 with a 1.93 ERA and a 0.857 WHIP.
- 14 of Parker’s 28 starts have come at home, where he has proven to be more effective with a 2.49 ERA and a 1.170 WHIP.
It’s not all doom and gloom…he’s not untouchable…as proven by the Kansas City Royals, who beat his ass back on August 14th. Rangers need to channel Alex Gordon and Alcides Escobar.
Parker faces a Rangers offense that we all know is capable of knocking any pitcher in baseball out early…but has been inconsistent throughout the large majority of the 2012 season. Could the Rangers bats be on the verge of a post-season breakout?
- Mike Napoli has posted a 1.130 OPS (compared to .818 on the season) over the last 14 days with 5 home runs.
- Nelson Cruz is also experiencing a surge with a .940 OPS (compared to .786 on the season) over that same span.
Outside of one inning, the Rangers bats haven’t had much luck against Parker, but given the match-up tonight, that trend has to change.
If the Rangers are going to wrap up the AL West division tonight, it’s going to be a high-scoring affair. Realistically, I just don’t see how Perez will be able to keep the Oakland bats completely at bay. I do think the Rangers can get to Parker, but will it be enough to overcome?