Rangers Royals, Battle of Opposites

Texas hits well. Kansas City pitches well. The two very different teams will clash this weekend in Arlington

If the old adage, “Good pitching beats good hitting” holds true this weekend in Arlington, the Texas Rangers just might be hosed.

The 5-4 Kansas City Royals are coming to town on Friday, owners of a 3.26 team ERA, and an 82-20 walk to strikeout ratio.
Texas’ team ERA as of Thursday is 6.49, and they have a 40-28 strikeout to walk ratio.
This, obviously, is not a good harbinger.

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But there is certainly some silver lining here: Kansas City’s pitching seems to be inversely related to its hitting. That is, they are not exactly frightening as a lineup; thus, as you can imagine, the 5-4 record.
Texas’ team batting average is exactly 75 points higher than Kansas City’s; they have hit 11 more home runs than the Royals, and their slugging percentage is nearly 200 points higher.
And, as they proved on Thursday, they have the capacity to do some pretty amazing things.
Gil Meche will get the ball on Friday for the Royals, facing the Rangers’ Matt Harrison.
Meche (0-0), Kansas City’s opening day starter, has pitched well in two outings thus far this season, though he has yet to get his first win. He comes into Friday with a 3.21 ERA on the season.
Matt Harrison (0-1) got the loss last Thursday against the Royals, surrendering four runs on nine hits and five walks over 5 2/3. He, like a few Texas starters I can think of, had trouble controlling his fastball.
Texas lost that game 4-3.
Traditional thought says that good pitching beats good hitting; this is true in almost every case. But traditional thinking doesn’t account for off-nights.
And, as any pitcher who has faced these Rangers could tell you, when you come to Arlington, off-nights tend to happen.
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