The Dallas Morning News and Houston Chronicle have teamed up this week to share items about the growing baseball rivalry between the Texas Rangers jersey cheap and Houston Astros jersey cheap. Please check back each day for new items from both newspapers about the two AL West favorites.
1. Pocket acesOver the final two months, the teams meet nine times. Expect six of those games to be started by Cole Hamels jersey cheap and a getting stronger Yu Darvish jersey cheap. And it’s not out of the realm of possibilities that, by August 1, the Rangers could have a third top tier starter (yes, it’s my Sonny Gray jersey cheap man crush showing again). The Rangers could could run No. 1 quality starters out there in all nine meetings. Houston’s Cy Young jersey cheap winning Dallas Keuchel jersey cheap can only pitch so often and is likely to be closing 650 innings over the last three years. That is a lot of wear and tear for a guy this early in his career.
2. The bullpenYes, the Rangers bullpen has gotten off to an unexpectedly rough start with a 5.22 ERA (24th in the majors), but so has the Astros (No. 26 at 6.16). The bottom line is the Rangers’ bullpen is deeper and, thus, should be fresher. With Matt Bush lurking, a healthy Luke Jackson jersey cheap and a recovered Tanner Scheppers jersey cheap the club should have strong reinforcements for a strong group. This should be one of the best bullpens in the AL. By September, there is every reason to believe the rough start will be a distant memory.
3. Strong finishersThe Rangers have three of the majors’ best offensive finishers over the last five years. Three of MLB’s top September October OPS’ since 2011 belong to Rangers: No. 3 Shin Soo Choo (.969); No. 5 Adrian Beltre jersey cheap (.958) and No. 7 Prince Fielder jersey cheap (.956). Choo should be fresher after missing a month early in the season; Beltre driven by the pursuit of that Cheap Jerseys from China
elusive ring and Fielder should be readjusted to the major league grind after struggling last September when he was coming back from missing a year.
4. The scheduleThe Rangers finish with 12 of their final 15 in Arlington, which should create a home field advantage in a tight race. The opponents are Oakland, the Angels, Milwaukee and Tampa Bay, four of which should be doing nothing but playing for the future. Houston: Nine on the road (including the last series of the season) vs. seven at home. Oh, and the Rangers play six vs. Oakland in the final 15; Houston plays seven against the Angels, who still could have a glimmer of hope.
5. The managerAt some point, Jeff Banister will find a reason to rush the field, bulge his neck veins and find reason to look like John Wayne cornering a bad guy in Rio Bravo. If the Rangers need a galvanizing moment, this will do the trick. It did last year.