The Texas Rangers will go head to head against the Tampa Bay Rays for the right to beat the Yankees. Yes, I'm counting on the Twins to lose once again against the Beast From the East, so it will be up the victor of this series to lop off the head of the beast so folks can breathe easy once again.
For those tired of the Angels and Red Sox this series is a breath of fresh air as those tired old franchises get shunted aside this October for some new blood. The Rays have a spotty offense but from afar the best rotation this side of the Golden Gate bridge. The Rangers seems to have an explosive offense with not much of a rotation. Both teams would appear to have killer bullpens. Is any of this true, let's find out:
I guess not, the Rays vaunted rotation ranked only 9th in FIP at 4.24, just one spot above the Rangers 4.27. The Rays did have the 2nd best bullpen at 3.76 with the Rangers 4th at 3.99. Offensively the Rays came in 8th with a wOBA of .328, while the Rangers were only fifth at .333. I expected less from the Rays and more from the Rangers.
1st Base- Carlos Pena versus Mitch Moreland. Everyone knows about Pena, a home run hitting strike out machine who gets a fair share of walks, but only those who follow baseball closely have heard of Mitch Moreland. Moreland bailed out the Rangers when they traded Justin Smoak for Cliff and handed the first base job to Chris Davis. Chris Davis proceeded to pull a David Ross, so they handed those at bats to Mitch Moreland who more then adequately filled the bill with an OPS of .833. He kills right hand pitching and hopefully will not see a left handed pitcher. That is what Jorge Cantu is for.
2nd Base - Who Knows versus Ian Kinsler - Ian Kinsler when he's not hurt is the AL answer to Chase Utley, but he's hurt all the time. The Rays seem to use everyone at 2nd base from Sean Rodriguez (96 games) to Reid Brignac (68) to Zobrist (55). None of the Rays were very good
That is as far as I got before work intervened.
Enjoy the Show