An interleague battle gets underway Tuesday afternoon as the Texas Rangers head west to play the San Francisco Giants at Oracle Park for game two of their three-game series. The Rangers are coming off a series win against the Mariners while the Astros took the series from the Blue Jays. Texas will give the ball to right-hander Jordan Lyles for Tuesday’s start and San Francisco has right-hander Logan Webb starting on the mound.
Texas Moving in the Right DirectionIt was back on April 26th, after a loss to the Los Angeles Angels, that Texas was in fifth place in the AL West with a 9-14 record. What a difference a couple of weeks can make. Since that loss, the Rangers have gone 9-4 over their last 13 games, and pulling into fourth place and only a half a game behind Seattle for third with an 18-18 record. If you look at their last 11 games, they have won three series in a row with wins over Boston, Minnesota, and Seattle this past weekend.
Oh, and by the way, the Rangers have scored 19 runs in their past two games too. Sunday’s game looked like it may not go Texas’ way after Seattle scored two in the top of the sixth to take a 2-1 lead. But, just as they have done many times this season, the Rangers would come back by scoring six runs in the bottom of the sixth inning en route to a 10-2 win. That means that the Rangers’ last seven wins have been comeback victories. Rookie center fielder Adolis Garcia had a monstrous game, going three for four, including his ninth home run, and driving in five runs.
A Giant Surprise Out WestNobody had San Francisco pinned as one of the better teams in their preseason predictions but here they are, all alone atop the National League West in first place, looking down at preseason favorites like the Dodgers and Padres. In fact, the Giants just took their weekend series against the Padres, two games to one, and are now a game and a half up on San Diego and two and a half games up on Los Angeles. Despite being in first place, San Francisco is starting to come back down to earth as they’ve gone 4-3 over their last seven games.
The Giants’ first place surprise is due to contributions from both their pitchers and hitters as their well-balanced team has been their strength. Their pitching has especially been their bread and butter as opponents have only mustered a .639 OPS against them and only average 3.75 runs per nine innings, both ranking fifth in MLB. They’re only allowing 1.03 home runs per game (seventh overall) and opposing batters are only averaging .217 against Giants pitchers (eighth). At the plate, San Francisco is averaging 1.29 home runs per game, good for fifth overall while fielding a .728 OPS, which is ranked eighth.
-Rangers are 5-2 in their last 7 games as an underdog. -Rangers are 5-2 in their last 7 games on grass. -Rangers are 8-4 over their last 12 games.