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Ace-Off: Overhyped and Underdelivered

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Ace-Off: Overhyped and Underdelivered

NBC 5, Getty Images

Yu Darvish (1-0, 0.00 ERA) left, and Felix Hernandez (3-0, 2.11 ERA).

Texas Rangers ace and 2013 AL Cy Young runner-up Yu Darvish hasn't given up a run in 15 innings this year. Seattle Mariners ace and former Cy Young winner Felix Hernandez is 3-0 with a 2.11 ERA and leads the American League with 30 strikeouts.

Tonight at Globe Life Park, the two will face off in what should be a great pitchers' duel of the highest order.

But in their history against each other, Hernandez takes the cake in a big way. The two haven't faced each other since 2012, when they squared off twice. In Darvish's first MLB season, he was 0-2 with a 9.58 ERA in those two starts. Hernandez? Well, he was 2-0 with a 0.53 ERA.

Darvish is a much different pitcher now than he was two years ago. Hernandez is pretty much the same, and pretty much the same is really good.

But the Rangers have had Hernandez's number in his career, especially in Arlington. But guess what? The three active Rangers with the highest batting averages against Hernandez are, you guessed it, Adrian Beltre, Jurickson Profar and Geovany Soto. We all know what those three have in common.

What's all this mean? Absolutely nothing. As enticing as the matchup is between two of the league's premier pitchers, we've seen this before, and we've seen it blow up.

Last season, Yu Darvish faced Justin Verlander in Arlington last May, and the Rangers came away with a 10-4 win, as neither pitcher was very impressive and especially not Verlander, who was chased in the third inning.

So, be my guest. Go to Arlington tonight expecting to be home in time to catch the second period of Stars-Ducks. Maybe you will. But don't be shocked if you're at the ballpark until 11 p.m. and both pitchers can't make it out of the fifth inning. Stuff like that happens, even though it defies all logic.

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