PREGAME: Six weeks ago a Rangers team riding a 3 game win streak came into Comerica Park and got swept. Tonight a Rangers team on a 7 game winning streak returns to Detroit.
These aren’t your typical Rangers. Sure, they still slug the snot out of the ball (their slugging percentage is 32 points higher than the 2nd ranking team), but now they can prevent runs as well. The Rangers have a 4.54 team ERA. While it significantly outpaces their 5.11 FIP, there is some realness to it because they rank 2nd in terms of defensive efficiency.
In other words, Dontrelle Willis will have his work cut out for him tonight as he makes his second start. Willis didn’t have his control problems last time out, but he wasn’t fooling the Twins either and came out after 4.2 innings. He benefits in one respect that Josh Hamilton is out of the lineup, but the Rangers bring a lot of thump in Ian Kinsler and company from the right side.
Brandon McCarthy gets the nod for the Rangers. He has been susceptible to the long ball with 10 homers allowed in 38 innings. While 7 of those homers have come in Arlington, he still has a OPS allowed over 1.000 on the road. Lefties have also beaten him up pretty good so Jim Leyland has 5 in the lineup tonight.