Preview: Rangers at Royals

Current Conditions - Kansas City
Cloudy 85 °F
Wind: SSW 15.0
5-Day Forecast
GAME: Texas Rangers (55-42) at Kansas City Royals (48-47)
DATE/TIME: Saturday, July 23 - 7:15 PM EST
WHERE: Kauffman Stadium, Kansas City, Missouri
LINE: N/A TOTAL: N/A


The American League West-leading Texas Rangers look to halt their losing streak and notch just their second win since the All-Star break when they visit the Kansas City Royals on Saturday for the middle contest of their three-game set. Texas fell to 1-6 on its second half-opening nine-game road trip on Friday, dropping a 3-1 decision in the series opener for its fourth consecutive defeat.

Rougned Odor provided the only run for the Rangers with his 18th homer of the season but struck out for the ninth consecutive game. Kansas City scored a run in each of the first three innings while Danny Duffy and three relievers combined on a five-hitter to help the team avoid a third straight loss. Cheslor Cuthbert homered and Paulo Orlando continued to swing a hot bat, going 2-for-3 as he has hit safely in eight of his last 10 contests - registering four two-hit performances in that span. The reigning world champion Royals, who are 2-2 on their nine-game homestand, trail Toronto by five games for the second wild-card spot in the AL and Cleveland by eight for first place in the Central.

TV: 7:15 p.m. ET, FS1

PITCHING MATCHUP: Rangers LH Cole Hamels (10-2, 3.00 ERA) vs. Royals RH Yordano Ventura (6-7, 4.97)

Hamels was superb in his first outing after the All-Star break, limiting the Cubs to an unearned run and four hits while striking out seven over eight innings in a victory at Chicago on Sunday. The 32-year-old Californian was roughed up twice by AL-worst Minnesota to end the first half of the season, going 0-1 while surrendering 10 runs on 15 hits and nine walks over 8 1/3 frames in the two turns. Hamels lost his only career start against Kansas City as he was battered for eight runs on nine hits and four walks in 5 2/3 innings on April 7, 2013 while with Philadelphia.

Ventura's winless streak reached four starts on Sunday, when he settled for a no-decision at Detroit despite allowing only two runs in seven innings. The 25-year-old Dominican, who hasn't won since blanking the Tigers for 6 1/3 frames on June 17, went 0-3 with an 8.40 ERA in his previous three turns. Ventura has made four career starts against Texas, going 2-2 with a 4.84 ERA while recording 22 strikeouts in 22 1/3 innings.

WALK-OFFS

1. Rangers reliever Jake Diekman (finger) tossed a scoreless inning on Friday after being activated from the disabled list earlier in the day, while fellow LHP Cesar Ramos was designated for assignment.

2. Kansas City OF Lorenzo Cain elected to continue rehabilitating his left hamstring on Thursday instead of accompanying the team to the White House.

3. Texas DH Prince Fielder will receive a second opinion on his neck injury on Monday and then decide whether or not to have season-ending surgery.

PREDICTION: Rangers 6, Royals 2

Stats and Records

Team Comparison

  W/L Strk Home Away East Central West IL
Texas 55-42 L4 29-15 26-27 13-11 9-11 26-16 7-4
Kansas City 48-47 W1 31-15 17-32 8-11 23-15 9-12 8-9

Last Meeting

Texas Kansas City
Date Away Home Avg HR OPS Avg HR OPS
7/22/16 TEX 1 KC 3 .161 1 .493 .258 1 .722

Player Stats

Season Series
Batting Player Avg Hits OPS
TEX R. Rua .333 1 .833
KC A. Escobar .667 2 1.417
Offense Player HR Runs RBI
TEX R. Odor 1 1 1
KC C. Cuthbert 1 1 1
Pitching ERA Avg K
TEX 2.25 .161 12
KC 1.00 .258 5
Season
Batting Player Avg Hits OPS
TEX I. Desmond .316 120 .898
KC E. Hosmer .295 106 .815
Offense Player HR Runs RBI
TEX I. Desmond 18 69 58
KC K. Morales 15 37 47
Pitching ERA Avg K
TEX 4.51 .263 637
KC 4.24 .270 772

Matchup Stats - Full Matchup

Texas Overall Kansas City
55-42 W/L 48-47
54-43 RL W/L 50-45
51-41-5 O/U 42-48-5
4.78 Runs For 4.01
4.78 Runs Against 4.34
Texas A/H Kansas City
26-27 W/L 31-15
29-24 RL W/L 27-19
26-25-2 O/U 22-22-2
4.38 Runs For 4.85
4.57 Runs Against 4.33
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