Game #120 Lineups and Outlooks
As we race through the quarter pole the competition for the top draft picks has tightened considerably thanks to the sellers selling at the trade deadline. One of the biggest buyers, the Texas Rangers, will be rolling into town just as the Rays seem to be losing their taste for a top-five draft pick. Boasting a balanced lineup that doesn’t need to sacrifice defense to get there, the Rangers present a real challenge to most opponents. Making it even tougher will be taking on their ace in Cole Hamels to kick this thing off:
I see the Rangers as a very nice play today with a much better chance of winning than the gamblers seem to think. Longoria looks like the sole decent matchup for the day while their lineup has multiple hitters coming in around Longo’s expected wOBA and even higher. The bloom is off the Andriese rose a bit as the league has started to figure him out. This came to a head in his last start as the Yankees battered the lad. I’d expect a better performance than that last one, but he’ll need to be at his very best as I don’t expect the Rays to do much against Hamels.
The Rangers currently have a four-man rotation allowing them to carry a full bench and the jumbo bullpen. This might make them reluctant to use Martinez so that he could make a spot start if needed, but I don’t think they would hesitate to use him if their starter gets beat up early. The can score runs in bunches and have some nice options versus a lefty on the bench so it makes sense that they can get themselves back into most games if need be. The Rays bench is pretty beat up right now and that’s with Duffy back in the starting lineup.