Fresh off an emotionally charged series against a division rival, it might be easy for the Texas Rangers to experience a bit of a letdown this weekend – and that would be a mistake. The Texas Rangers may be in tough Friday as they open a three-game set against the suddenly surging Kansas City Royals. Texas earned a wild win Wednesday to earn a split of its four-game series against the Los Angeles Angels, but now faces a Royals club that swept the Cleveland Indians for the first time since 2006.
A 15-9 win in the series finale – on the heels of an 11-10 triumph a night earlier – left the Rangers’ bullpen taxed. They’ll be hoping for a long, productive outing from Friday starter Matt Harrison, who is coming off back-to-back losses since tossing a complete-game shutout in Seattle on July 15. Harrison will face Royals righty Jeremy Guthrie, whose brief return to the American League has been a disaster. This is the second meeting of the season between the teams, with the Royals sweeping a two-game mini-series in Texas in mid-May.
Rangers Royals Betting
When: 8:10 PM ET, Friday, August 3, 2012
Where: Kauffman Stadium, Kansas City, Missouri
TV: 8:10 p.m. ET, KTXA (Texas), FSKC (Kansas City)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Rangers LH Matt Harrison (12-6, 3.19 ERA) vs. Royals RH Jeremy Guthrie (0-2, 9.58)
Harrison had built plenty of momentum heading into July but has sputtered since, losing three of his last four starts. He was tagged for five runs on seven hits over seven innings last time out, surrendering two home runs in a game for the first time since May 7. Harrison didn’t face the Royals during their last encounter; he’s 2-1 with a 4.70 ERA in five career games versus Kansas City, including four starts.
Guthrie’s nightmarish season has followed him from Colorado to Kansas City, where he has been tagged for 11 runs in just 10 1/3 frames. The former Cleveland Indians and Baltimore Orioles veteran is 3-11 with a 6.68 ERA between the Rockies and Royals, and hasn’t thrown more than six innings since a May 31 victory over the Houston Astros. Guthrie has held his own against Texas over his career, going 3-2 with a 3.84 ERA in 10 games (nine starts).
1. Current members of the Rangers are batting a collective .275 against Guthrie. Texas OF Josh Hamilton is 5-for-17 with a pair of solo home runs off him.
2. Rangers prospect Mike Olt, who made his major-league debut Thursday, is expected to start at first base and will also see time at designated hitter against left-handers.
3. Royals 1B Eric Hosmer homered Thursday night for the first time since June 25, a span of 32 games.