5-22-23 – By Gary Morgan – @garymo2007 on Twitter
When & Who
Texas Rangers (29-17) at Pittsburgh Pirates (24-22)
Game 1 – (5/22, 6:35 EST)
For the Pirates – Luis Ortiz (0-2, 5.63 ERA)
For the Rangers – Dane Dunning (4-0, 1.69)
Game 2 – (5/23, 6:35 EST)
For the Pirates – Rich Hill (4-3, 3.80 ERA)
For the Rangers – Nathan Eovaldi (5-2, 2.83)
Game 3 – (5/24, 12:35 EST)
For the Pirates – Johan Oviedo (3-3, 4.69 ERA)
For the Rangers – Martin Perez (5-1, 4.01)
The Rangers are at least a bit of a surprise early on here. Leading the AL West and 7-3 in their last 10 contests, the Rangers who were in the conversation for the top pick and or draft lottery each of the past handful of seasons finally look like they’ve started to arrive.
Pittsburgh just dropped the final two games of their series against the Diamondbacks. One could argue they won the game of the series they had least business winning and dropped the two they should have taken.
For the Rangers – Marcus Semien – In his last 60 at bats, he has 21 hits, good for a .350 average and an OPS of .944. Truth be told, I could have picked Leody Taveras, Nathaniel Lowe, or Ezequiel Duran. Just a well rounded lineup, and it’s going to create a hell of a challenge for Pirates Pitching.
For the Pirates – Andrew McCutchen – In his past 20 at bats, butch has reached base 9 times. Good for a .350 average and a .759 OPS. There really isn’t much competition, the offense aside from a couple blowout wins has been pretty paltry.
For the Rangers – Jon Gray – In his last 3 starts, Jon has a 3-0 record, with a 0.90 ERA and a 0.80 WHIP. Lights out, holding opponents to a .171 Average over that span. Fortunately the Pirates will miss him, but Nathan Eovaldi has been almost just as strong, and they do get him in this set. He’s posted a 1.72 ERA and an 0.70 WHIP over his last 2.
For the Pirates – Carlos Santana – He’s still playing crazy good defense, but in his last 12 games, Carlos is slashing .171/.306/.244 with a .550 OPS. He’s just not been the same in the past couple weeks and the Pirates need badly to find ways to get him fresh.
Series Overview & Prediction
The 20-9 Pirates were made up of largely the same players who created the 4-13 stretch we’ve been watching. Winning this series is in there and for what it’s worth, the Pirates have almost done better against pitchers they were supposed to not be able to touch recently. The Rangers are undoubtedly hot, and holding off the defending champion Astros by a 2 game margin at the moment.
It’s hard to predict outcomes when the bats either explode or stay home all together. I’ll go with the Pirates taking 2 of 3 in this one, and you can just call it a feeling. I like Rich Hill’s chances to mystify this predominantly young lineup and as good as Eovaldi has been, the Pirates have specialized in hitting pitchers on a roll. After that, One of Ortiz of Oviedo could be a wildcard and shove. Chances are the Rangers don’t have a lot of tape on Ortiz just yet.
3 thoughts on “Pittsburgh Pirates vs Texas Rangers Series Preview”
Hope you are right on the Pirates winning 2 of 3. The Pirates success this year is mostly due to the pitching staff, and if they are going to need to manufacture their runs they need to think about more speed at the top of the order and let the power guys hit later.
Confounding for sure. Jekyll and Hyde.
Does the Rangers’ “Who’s Not” mean you couldn’t find anyone cold on the Texas roster, so you expounded on two of the starters to prove it?
Lol, no just screwed up. Didn’t know I was grabbing this one til last night.