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Texas Rangers at Cleveland Indians series preview

What a difference a few series makes. Just 10 days ago, the Tribe was struggling mightily heading into their road trip in Arlington. The Rangers now visit Cleveland as the Indians try to keep their march back to 0.500 a possibility.

Kipnis' biggest challenge for comeback player of the year, Prince Fielder
Kipnis' biggest challenge for comeback player of the year, Prince Fielder
Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

As the Cincinnati Reds left Progressive yesterday, the Indians were owners of a six game winning streak and eight of their last ten. The Tribe now welcome the team that started that hot stretch, the Texas Rangers.

  • Monday, 4:10 PM: Klein (R) vs. Marcum (R)
  • Tuesday, 7:10 PM: Rodriguez (L) vs. Salazar (R)
  • Wednesday, 12:05 PM: Lewis (R) vs. Carrasco (R)

After losing two of three to the Indians in Arlington, the Rangers themselves on a bit of a hot streak. They took two of three in Fenway from the Red Sox, then swept the Yankees in New York over the weekend. Once the day game on Wednesday completes, the Tribe make their initial foray to the Pacific time zone with a four-game series in Seattle. They will visit Kansas City as well, before heading back home.

Division Watch: Royals at Yankees, Tigers at A's, Red Sox at Twins, White Sox at Blue Jays.

Team in a Box

Texas Rangers

Offense

AL Rank

Pitching

AL Rank

2014 Record

21-23

Runs/Game

4.5

7th

Runs/Game

4.5

12th

AL West

3rd

OBP

318

6th

H/9

9.1

14th

Last 10

6-4

SLG

398

8th

BB/9

3.0

9th

Last 30

15-15

Steals

32

3rd

SO/9

6.7

13th

The Rangers bats have really heated up in the past two weeks. Their OPS has jumped up to 845 in those two weeks, with 20 homers. They have also have scored 5.9 runs per game in that stretch. And they have needed most of those runs as the pitching staff hasn't really shown any improvement over that same stretch. The team ERA is 4.42 (4.6 runs/game) and a 1.36 WHIP and 6.3 K/9.

Projected Roster

Pos

Player

Bats

PA

BA

OPS

wRC+

C

Robinson Chirinos

R

109

191

735

99

1B

Mitch Moreland

L

103

311

912

148

2B

Thomas Field

R

36

250

783

114

3B

Adrian Beltre

R

193

256

690

83

SS

Elvis Andrus

R

198

230

570

54

LF

Josh Hamilton

L

-

-

-

-

CF

Delino DeShields

R

90

280

800

125

RF

Shin-Soo Choo

L

171

243

782

113

DH

Prince Fielder

L

194

358

964

165

OF

Leonys Martin

L

148

219

581

55

C

Carlos Corporan

S

68

193

582

60

IF

Adam Rosales

R

61

214

654

78

OF

Jake Smolinski

R

67

151

525

53

The Rangers will activate Josh Hamilton prior to the start of this series. They acquired him after the Angels tried to distance themselves from his relapse during the offseason while on rehab. His activation will likely result in Jake Smolinksi being sent back down after he was recently recalled when Kyle Blanks landed on the DL. I am also not sure who will start in center, DeShields or Martin, but I went with DeShields as has the better numbers so far.

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During the three game series in Texas, most of the Rangers hitters hit very well. Only Martin, DeShields had OPS under 800. They smacked six over the fence, including Chirinos, Beltre, Field, Choo, Fielder and Moreland. Beltre did the most damage with a 455/429/818 slash and Chirinos did awesome in his two games as well, 429/429/1000.

Projected Staff

Player

Throws

ERA

FIP

IP

WHIP

K/9

Yovani Gallardo

R

4.13

4.19

56.2

1.32

6.4

Colby Lewis

R

3.49

3.36

56.2

1.13

7.0

Nick Martinez

R

1.96

4.02

55.0

1.22

4.9

Wandy Rodriguez

L

3.38

3.61

34.2

1.15

7.5

Phil Klein

R

4.50

5.25

10.0

1.30

6.3

Neftai Feliz

R

5.09

4.45

17.2

1.76

7.6

Anthony Bass

R

4.39

4.01

26.2

1.24

5.7

Keone Kela

R

2.14

2.96

21.0

1.38

8.1

Shawn Tolleson

R

3.10

2.17

20.1

1.13

12.8

Alex Claudio

L

3.24

7.11

8.1

0.84

6.5

Tanner Scheppers

R

6.75

6.15

8.0

1.75

5.6

Sam Freeman

L

6.75

6.65

4.0

1.25

2.3

Ross Ohlendorf

R

2.45

6.15

3.2

1.36

9.8

Since the beginning of the last series, Ross Detwiler landed on the DL and Kyuji Fujikawa was released. They called up Phil Klein, Tanner Scheppers and Ross Ohlendorf with Klein moving into the rotation for Detwiler.

Klein opened the season in the pen and made six appearances before heading back down to AAA. After his recall, he started in Fenway and got the win in a 2-1 game, with five hits, one walk, four strikeouts and just one run on a home run in 5.1 innings. He did pitch in two games against Cleveland last year, with two runs in one inning pitched. Rodriguez took the loss on May 15, losing 8-3 with five earned runs in just 4.2 innings on eight hits and a walk. He pitched much better in his start in Boston, beating the Red Sox 3-1 with 6.2 very solid innings. Lewis didn't take the loss on May 16, but he also gave up five earned runs (six total) in five innings with seven hits, three walks and seven strikeouts. He got the win in the Yankees start but gave up five more earned runs.

The bullpen actually did pretty good in the previous matchups. It was only Fujikawa and Feliz that the hitters did well against.

On the Shelf
  • 1B Kyle Blanks [15 day DL], no timetable for return
  • P Lisalberto Bonilla [60 day DL], out for season
  • SP Yu Darvish [60 day DL], out for season
  • SP Ross Detwiler [15 day DL], no timetable for return
  • SP Matt Harrison [60 day DL], possible June return
  • SP Derek Holland [60 day DL], possible July return
  • RP Martin Perez [60 day DL], possible July return
  • 2B Jurickson Profar [60 day DL], out for season
  • OF Antoan Richardson [60 day DL], possible late May return
  • OF Ryan Rua [60 day DL], possible June return
  • SP Nick Tepesch [60 day DL], no timetable for return

Almanac

W

L

Pct

RS

RA

Pythag

2015

2

1

667

19

16

578

2014

6

1

857

50

23

806

Last 5*

18

20

474

166

181

461

Last 10*

39

42

481

405

444

458

All-Time

312

333

484

2934

2932

500

*Does not include 2015 stats

Prediction

I would love to call for another sweep after the Reds series, but the Rangers are on a roll themselves. Still, I think the Tribe takes two of three to win their fourth straight series.