When Derek Holland takes the mound for the Texas Rangers this afternoon against Tampa Bay's David Price, believe it or not, the Rangers will have a distinct advantage.
Holland has been strong to quite strong over the last couple of months and has allowed one run in his last 13 2/3 innings of work. Guess what teams that was against? Try the Boston Red Sox and the Los Angeles Angels, two offenses that aren't littered with sub-.200 hitters like the Rays lineup is.
Holland has had 12 strikeouts and two walks in that time and will be going for his third straight quality start today, which is something he still remarkably has never done despite his nasty, filthy stuff.
David Price, on the other hand, is a recognized, bona fide major league ace for Tampa Bay with overpowering stuff to the tune of 195 strikeouts with just 50 walks.
He's coming off two straight 7-inning, double-digit strikeout outings against the Orioles and the Blue Jays with a win and a loss.
Price has never been good against the Rangers. In his career, he's 0-5 with a 5.85 ERA in seven career starts against the Rangers.
Put simply, this year the Rangers have owned the Rays when a guy named Shields isn't on the mound. A win today would put the Rangers back up 4 games going into tonight's Angels game against the Mariners.