In very different ways, these are two of the most surprising teams in baseball. Almost no one expected the Orioles to finish anywhere but last in the AL East, and the Rangers were all but universally regarded as the best team in baseball. The O’s have shocked us all, and while the Rangers can still achieve their ultimate goal, they’re not quite the team we thought they’d be.
Those dynamics will be in play, as and meet in the AL wild-card game. The ara is staying calm over talk of a return to the Premier League.The former Arsenal trainee has been in top form for Steven Gerrard’s side, since his move from Dundee in January – and has been linked with Aston Villa.Going up to Scotland’s been good fwinner earns the right to face the in the ALDS.
The visiting Orioles haven’t yet decided whether they’ll pitch lefty (4.02 ERA, 174 2/3 IP with and Baltimore this season) or right-hander (2.11 ERA, 38 1/3 IP), but the Rangers have named (3.90 ERA, 191 1/3 IP) as their wild-card starter.
The rookie Darvish has yet to face the Orioles. While not specific to his Friday opponent, it’s worth noting that Darvish has been a wholly different pitcher . Over that seven-start span, he’s posted a 2.13 ERA and struck out 59 batters against just 10 walks.
In his career, Saunders has been cuffed around pretty badly by Brendan Rodgers has spoken highly of Liverpool playmaker Adam Lallana.The 31-year-old will become a free agent at the end of the season, with Leicester linked with a move, along with Tottenham and Arsenal.”Adam is a fantastic player and one I broughtcurrent Rangers hitters — cuffed around to the tune of .347/.407/.669. As with most numbers of this nature, we’re talking about a pretty small sample size, but that’s still a source of concern.
The rookie Johnson, meanwhile, has just one appearance against Texas, and it was in relief: 1.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 K, 0 BB. It’s worth noting that the Ranger offense this season has been slightly less effective against rin’t rule out leaving Barcelona this summer.Away with Brazil for the Copa America, the midfielder says any move, however, won’t be considered until after the tournament.Coutinho said, “Many things that come out are not true. “I am totally focused on tght-handers, so that’s a possible point for Johnson.
Texas won five of seven games against the Orioles this season, and in those seven games they out-scored the O’s by a margin of 56-24. They last met for a three-game set that concluded on Aug. 22, and the Rangers took two of three in Arlington.
… they lean heavily on a rested bullpen to keep the Texas bats in check.
The Rangers can rake in any environment but especially in their hitter-friendly home digs. Given the suspect nature of either Baltimore starter, a quick hook seems likely. Then it will fall to the bullpen to keep runs off the board.
The good news is that the Oriole bullpen has a very strong arrangement right now, and a number of their very best relievers — namely , and — are coming off a day of rest.
… Darvish pitches like he did down the stretch.
It’s that simple, really. The one wrinkle is whether Darvish’s recent neck soreness, which caused him to miss a recent scheduled start, will affect him in any way. If he’s on, there may be little the Orioles can do.
For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow on Twitter, subscribe to the and .