Texas Rangers Series Preview: May 17 to 20

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The Yankees now travel to Arlington to face the Texas Rangers in a four game series. This is the first time they faced the Rangers since September 2019, where an already qualified for the postseason Yankees played basically for nothing.

The Yankees have sneakily not lost a series since mid-April. They don’t feel like they are totally rolling yet but there is more good than bad overall. Let’s hope they do their job against a Rangers team that is not that good, and manage to stop this kind of annoying trend of losing possible sweep games.

Their Story So Far

The Rangers are 18-24 for the season, good (or bad) enough for the last place of the AL West. They have lost their last 6 games in a row, being swept by the Astros (4 games) and the Giants (2 games).

For the season, Texas has hit for almost near perfetly average 99 wRC+. They are middle of the pack in OBP and SLG and have a tendency to strike out a ton, with a 26.2 K%. That’s the 3rd highest value in the American League. Individually, the Rangers have surprisingly many players doing well for the season, with 7 hitters rocking over 100 wRC+ values, and 3 of them over 130 (new sensation Adolis García, old friend Nick Solak and former Ray Nate Lowe).

The pitching is where things get really ugly really quick for this Texas team, with their whole staff accumulating a value of 1.7 WAR. For comparison, Gerrit Cole by himself has 2.7 WAR, Aroldis Chapman in 15 innings has a 1.1 WAR. Kyle Gibson has been their only above average starter with a 2.32 ERA in 54.1 innings. here are a couple of relievers doing really well that we’ll talk about later.

It’s also worth highlighting that Dane Dunning (who they got in the Lance Lynn trade) has a not so pretty ERA of 4.34, but amazing peripherals that indicate positive regression is coming (10.13 K/9, 3.13 BB/9 and a 55.6 GB%).

Injury Report

PlayerPositionInjuryRoster StatusEstimated Return
Brock Holt3BHamstring10-day ILMay 21
Kyle CodyRPShoulder60-day ILJune 25
Kohei AriharaSPFinger10-day ILMay 19
Sam HuffCKnee60-day ILJuly 2
Ronald Guzman1BKnee60-day ILOut for the season
Matt BushRPElbow60-day ILJuly 5
Jonathan HernándezRPElbow60-day ILOut for the season
Jose LeclercRPElbow60-day ILOut for the season

That many “Elbow” in the Injury columns is definitely not what you want. Yikes.

Spotlight: Joey Gallo

I was really tempted to go with old friend Nick Solak, who as highlighted before is having a good season, but Joey Gallo’s profile is just too much fun to pass up.

Gallo is the absolute poster boy for the Three True Outcomes hitter, and this season he is representing the TTO crew with a 35.1 K%, 15.5 BB% and 7 dingers that are good for a 4.16 HR%; all of those add up for a 54.74 TTO%. Personally, I love that.

Overall, he has been slashing .223/.357/.396 for the season that equates to a 118 wRC+. The power is not all the way there yet (despite the 7 homers) but that should correct soon enough, let’s just hope is not in this series. That overall line is not that far from his career .210/.329/.490 except for the power as mentioned before, but is definitely a far cry from his breakout 2019 season when he slashed a .253/.389/.598(!!!!) for a 144 wRC+. That was fueled by a sky high .368 BABIP (almost .100 over his career .276 value) but Gallo hits the ball so damn hard that I don’t think it’s that much of an outlier. I mean, look at this:

Gallo’s 2021 MLB Percentile Rankings taken from Baseball Savant

Those Barrel %, and Average Exit Velo are really good. When you hit the ball really hard it gives the defender less time to react, that’s a really good thing.

Also quite interesting to highlight is that he is a sneaky good outfielder. He is really good in RF with positive values of Statcast Out Above Average metric in multiple seasons (including this partial one), and can even do decently in ccenter, where he has a career 0 OAA value. Really cool stuff from a dude that is 6’5” and 250 lbs and mashes. It’s like a discount version of Aaron Judge.

Gallo is a player I personally like a lot, and we could be talking more about him in the not so distant future if the Yankees LF’s keep struggling or if Hicks can’t come back effectively. Gallo is a free agent before the 2023 season and I would think the Rangers aren’t too opposed to trading him before the deadline given their not so good roster.

Projected Lineup

Here’s Roster Resource‘s projected lineup and stats to date:

  1. Willie Calhoun, DH (.278/.343/.433, 121 wRC+)
  2. Nick Solak, 2B (.270/.352/.459, 131 wRC+)
  3. Nate Lowe, 1B (.269/.365/.442, 130 wRC+)
  4. Joey Gallo, RF (.223/.357/.396, 118 wRC+)
  5. Adolis García, CF (.289/.336/.570, 151 wRC+)
  6. David Dahl, LF (.220/.258/.366, 73 wRC+)
  7. Isiah Kiner-Falefa, SS (.293/.339/.449, 122 wRC+ yeah, this dude can play anywhere)
  8. Andy Ibáñez, 3B (.118/.158/.118, -23 wRC+ small sample size but yikes)
  9. Jose Trevino, C (.250/.267/.302, 59 wRC+)

Bench:

  • Jonah Heim, C (.173/.228/.346, 58 wRC+) 80 grade name tool right there.
  • Charlie Culberson, INF (.279/.319/.453, 114 wRC+) I would think he totally can’t play 3B or there is an error in Roster Resource, because he is a much better player than Ibáñez.
  • Krhris Davis, OF (.235/.300/.353, 81 wRC+) There was this dude on Twitter telling Randy he was as good as Giancarlo… LOL.

Pitching Matchups

Tonight, 8:05 pm ET:

RHP, Gerrit Cole

I’m sure he’s really pissed at the Rangers rocking a full stadium during a pandemic (and rightfully so) so let’s hope he channels that into more domination tonight.

RHP, Jordan Lyles

The righty journeyman is having a really rough season with a 6.63 ERA and his peripherals are just as bad as that number indicates. Last start he went 5 innings against the Giants, allowing 2 runs on 2 hits and 5 walks while K’ing 6 hitters.

Lyles.

Tomorrow, 8:05 pm ET:

RHP, Jameson Taillon

The righty was tagged for 4 runs by the Rays last start, the good news is that he is still getting K’s and that’s promising. Hopefully he turns it around soon with more reps.

RHP, Mike Foltynewicz

Folty! The righty has fallen from grace really hard after a really good 2018 with the Braves. The Rangers got him as a reclamation project and his velo has been trending back up. His last start he was tagged for 3 runs in 5 innings by the Astros, while allowing 8 hits 3 BB and k’ing 3.

Foltynewicz.

Wednesday, 8:05 pm ET:

RHP, Corey Kluber

The Klubot was roughed up a bit last time, but it was mostly in one bad inning. Let’s hope he keeps up the good results against his former team( albeit for a short time).

TBD

Oh yes, the almighty TBD.

Thursday, 2:05 pm ET:

RHP, Domingo Germán

Germán has been rolling for his last few starts, a high K% percentage lineup might be right up his alley to keep that up.

RHP, Dane Dunning

The young righty has been quite unlucky for the season as noted before, if he keeps those peripherals he will shortly turn it around. Last start he went 4 inning against the Astros, allowing 4 runs on 7 hits, 3 walks while getting 3 k’s.

Dunning.

Bullpen Status

PitcherSundaySaturdayFridayThursdayWednesday
Ian Kennedy (!!!)6
Joely Rodríguez301019
Josh Sborz121430
John King27
Brett Martin119
Hunter WOod18
Brett De Geus2512
Taylor Hearn28
Hyeon-Jong Yang72 (!)
Kolby Allard49

Their top guys in the bullpen are rested, with only Joely Rodríguez and Brett Martin having worked on Sunday. Hyeon-Jong Yang and Kolby Allard have recent really long appearances so they will probably be either sent down, or inactive for the first 2-3 games of the series.

The highlight here is IPK!!!! The dude is still rolling at 36 and has become a really good reliever to outlive his other big three counterparts. He has upped his 4-seamer spin rate to a 2439 value this year, and is now rocking that pitch 81% of his offerings while getting a healthy amount of K’s and limiting the walks. So yeah, who had IPK as the most successful pitcher of the big 3 while being a 4-seamer mainly reliever challenging hitters up in the zone? Definitely not me.

Lefty Joely Rodríguez and righty Josh Sborz are the setup men and they both have power stuff and interesting peripherals, so we should look out for that as well.

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1 Comment

  1. Gerreddardit Cole

    Must win series, Jamie. Let’s just hope Boone treats it as one. And with Cole on the mound tonight is a must win. The Sox are not going away. The Rays are hot. I said the other day that Stanton was out for the year and some guy said how do you know, it’s just s quad strain and he’ll be back in a couple days. No it’s not and no he won’t. He was just put on the IL. This management has a pattern of lying about these injuries and this medical staff has a pattern of turning stubbed toes into Ebola. That’s how I know what I know.

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