Series Preview: Texas Rangers @ Seattle Mariners

MARINERS (43-48) Δ Ms RANGERS (51-41) EDGE
HITTING (wOBA) -104.9 (30th) -11.1 53.8 (4th)
Texas
FIELDING 26.4 (4th) 1.0 11.9 (9th)
Seattle
ROTATION (tRA)
41.1 (4th) -1.4 28.1 (6th) Seattle
BULLPEN (tRA)
-2.4 (19th) -6.1 -22.4 (29th)
Seattle
OVERALL(RAA)
-39.8 (24th) -17.5 71.3 (4th)
TEXAS

Oh, hey there baseball. I didn't see you come in. So you're back huh? How was the vacation? That sure didn't feel like only three days you know. One consequence of such a long break between series is that we hashed out much of what the previous series meant and how it went down. That leaves me with little new information to state here. Hey look, the offense sucks!

After what seems like ages of never facing left-handed starters, the Mariners come out of the gate and face three of them in this upcoming four game set with the Rangers. What effect will that have on the lineup? Is Chone Figgins going to re-appear being the only right-handed hitting option at third base? Will Greg Halman and Franklin Gutierrez take over left and center field? Does it matter? Do you matter?

Thu 14 Jul 19:10

JASON VARGAS* DEREK HOLLAND*

A mini reset of the rotation in the second half as Felix Hernandez, who pitched on Sunday will end up going on five days rest and Jason Vargas leads the team off from the break.

I wonder if people from eastern Netherlands (anyone from Utrecht or Eindhoven around?) are irked by Derek Holland like the way people who live on the east side of the Cascades probably get annoyed when other people make lame jokes about it raining all the time where they're from because idiots think all of Washington is Seattle. Not that I care. Live in a real city, easterners! Shoot, is it raining again?

Fri 15 Jul 19:10

DOUG FISTER COLBY LEWIS

A much less impressive season in 2011 for Colby Lewis than in 2010, though given what he's making ($3mil), still a great value for Texas who will almost certainly exercise their club option ($3mil) on him for 2012.

I just noticed that Doug Fister and Jason Vargas are trending toward each other! Look at their two charts above and then consider that in 2010, their absolute difference in swinging strikeout, walk and ground ball rates were 3, 1 and 9. This season those have all come closer together and are now 1, 0 and 7. Vargas made the big move upward in ground ball rate while Fister made a good jump up in swinging strikeouts. Those are both positive developments. This is something important and meaningful. They are feeding off each other's better qualities.

Sat 16 Jul 19:10

FELIX HERNANDEZ C.J. WILSON*

The rotational aces square off though you probably wouldn't guess that just looking at C.J. Wilson's pitch grades. How is he so successful? Lots of called strikeouts helps as does a low line drive rate.

Sun 17 Jul 13:10

BLAKE BEAVAN MATT HARRISON*

A marked improvement from Matt Harrison this season in regressing his home run rate. That's not actually on him, so credit to the ether I suppose. You delight me, precious ether.

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