After completing two trades for the best relievers in baseball, the Rangers are ready to begin the final stretch of the season and solidify their hold on the American League West. They will finish up this six game road trip in Detroit and take on the first-place Tigers.
The Tigers just finished a three game series with the Angels and managed to take two out of three from them, but the Rangers couldn't make up the ground Los Angeles lost as they were only able to win one in Toronto. The final stretch of the season is sure to be a battle of numbers between Texas and Los Angeles, so road games will be critical for both teams.
Here's a look at the next three days. Read on for more.
Rangers - Colby Lewis
Colby Lewis has had an unexpected season to say the least. He isn't quite the pitcher he was last year, and it's shown on the mound. He comes into this game with a record of 10-8 and an ERA of 4.00. Lewis has been a pretty good pitcher on the road as he showcases a road ERA of 2.74. Home runs have been eating him up as his ratio of home runs per nine innings has doubled from last year.
His worst game of the season was coincidentally against the Tigers, a game in which he surrendered 10 hits and 9 runs in 3.1 innings at Arlington.
Tigers - Max Scherzer
Max Scherzer has been gifted with great run support throughout the season and you can look no further than the progression in some key areas. His strikeouts per nine innings, home runs per nine innings, opposing batting average, and fielding independent ERA are all worse than last year, yet he's pulling a nice 11-6 record.
Scherzer has been the anti-Lewis with nice stats at home compared to the road. His record against Texas this season is 1-0 with seven earned runs over 11 innings pitched. He had a great start to the season, but is 5-4 since June.
Rangers - Matt Harrison
Harrison is having the best year of his career, and in a do-or-die season for him, this is great news. His record is 9-7, but it doesn't speak volumes for his progression since he was dealt in the Mark Teixiera trade from Atlanta. Compared to his best season, his ERA has dropped three points and his fielding-independent ERA dropped two. While his strikeout ratios has plateaued, the number of walks and home runs he issues per nine innings has been cut in half since last season.
His only appearance against Detroit this season lasted four innings, when he gave up four runs on 80+ pitches.
Tigers - Doug Fister
Fister makes his first appearance as a Tiger as he comes over in a trade from Seattle. Fister has a lopsided 3-12 record but beware, he's received the worst run support for a starting pitcher in baseball. He's posting the lowest ERA and fielding-independent ERA of his career, and has a .248 opposing batting average and has a nice wins above replacement value of 3.
In his only appearance against Texas this season he lasted 7.2 innings, giving up four runs on 108 pitches.
Rangers - Alexi Ogando
Ogando has been the surprise of the year for the Rangers. The reliever-turned-starter has been pitching lights out and made it all the way to the All-Star game in Arizona. He's 10-5 with a 2.88 ERA that has kept hitters to a .222 batting average. His walks-per-nine-innings ratio is at 2.51 and is cranking out seven strikeouts per nine innings.
He's appeared in two games against Detroit and has won both of them with one earned run and 11 strikeouts given out over 14.2 innings.
Tigers - Rick Porcello
Porcello is having a pretty good year and has shown a lot of progress throughout the season. He's 11-6 with an ERA of 4.50 with lots of run support as of late. His last loss was in late June and has kept his ERA below 3 in the month of July.
One of his best games of the season came against Texas where he gave up one run over six hits in six innings pitched.