Wednesday, May 29, 2024
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MLB Preview: Texas Rangers (18-12) at Los Angeles Angels (18-14)


WINS AND LOSSES: Texas lost to Arizona in last game on Wed., 12-7, and club finished with a 4-2 record on the 6-G, 7-day homestand against NYY (3-1) and ARI (1-1) that preceded this road trip…the loss on Wed. snapped Rangers’ win streak at 4 G, tied for longest in ‘23 (also 4/16-19)…team is now 4-1 in last 5 G since a season-long 4-G losing skid that was the club’s longest drought since an 0-7 span from 9/28- 10/4/22…team is 4-5 in last 9 G, but still 10-6 in last 16 G and 14-8 in last 22 G beg. 4/9…have a 15-12 record last 27 G since club’s 3-0 start to the season.

• At 18-12 (.600), TEX owns the 3rd-best record in the A.L. to only TB (.813, 26-6) and BAL (.677, 21-10), and club’s 18 wins are T4th-most (26-TB, 21-BAL, 19-BOS, 18-TEX/LAA/ MIN/TOR)…the .600 win pct. is 5th in MLB and 18 wins rank T7th in MLB.

• TEX enters tonight at 6 G above .500, seeking to match high point of the season at 7-over (2x: 14-7 thru 4/23, 18- 11 thru 5/2)…Texas has been .500-or-better following every game in 2023…prior to ‘23, team had not been at least 7-over since 7/13/19 (50-43),…TEX recorded its 18th win in 2022 on 5/20.

STANDINGS: The Rangers enter tonight with a 1.0-game lead in the A.L. West over 2nd-place LAA, as club has lost 1.5 games in the division over the past 2 days…the 1.0-G lead is Rangers’ smallest since last Friday (+1.0 GA)…TEX has been alone in 1st place for 19 of the last 20 days beg. 4/14), as club was T1st on 4/27…have had sole possession of 1st place in the West for 25 days overall in ‘23…reached a season-best 3.5-game lead in the West with off day on 4/20, which was team’s largest lead in the West since the end of the ‘16 campaign (won division by 9.0 G)…TEX has been alone or tied atop the division for 35 of the season’s first 36 days (exception: 4/8)…from 2017-22, TEX had 1 day in which it held, or was tied for, 1st place in the West (1-0 on 7/24/20, tied for division lead).

SERIES STUFF: TEX is 6-3-1 overall in series this year, going 4-1-1 at home 2-2-0 on the road…club did not win a 6th series in 2022 until 5/26-29/22 at OAK…TEX won 4 straight series from 4/10-23, longest such span since going 5-0-0 from 6/15-7/1/18…club has won 2 of last 3 road series, although team was swept in last away series 4/24-26 at CIN (0-3).

ON ROAD: The Rangers are 6-6 (.500) on the road this season, T7th-best away win pct. in the A.L…the Rangers’ 12 road games are tied with HOU for fewest in MLB…enter this trip on a 3-G away losing skid, this after winning previous 4 straight and 6 of previous 7 road contests…the 4-G win streak (4/16-19) was longest away win streak since a 4-0 span 6/11-17/22.

THE ROAD GOES ON FOREVER: Tonight’s game begins a 10-game, 10-day road trip, the 1st of 3 different 3-city road trips for Texas in 2023…this trip has the most games (10) of any roadie for the club this season.

• Beginning tonight, TEX is slated to play 10 straight and 19 of the last 25 games in May on the road…from 4/14-5/31, the Rangers are scheduled to play 28 of 43 games away from Arlington.

VS. LOS ANGELES-AL: Rangers meet the Angels for the 1st time this season, the 1st of 4 series overall (6/12-15 and 8/14-16 at GLF, 9/25-27 at Big A)…TEX finished 10-9 vs. LAA in 2022, securing a season series victory vs. Halos for the 3rd time in last 4 years…TEX lost 3 straight to end ‘22, but has won 6 of 11 and 9 of last 15 G vs. Halos…Rangers were 4-5 at The Big A in ‘22, but are 11-24 here beg. 9/11/18.

• Entering this all-A.L. West road trip, Texas is 4-2 in division games this season, taking both series (road at HOU, home vs. OAK)…TEX was 31-45 (.408) in division games in ‘22, incl. 15-23 on the road…went 7-16 in last 23 division road games last year.

BACK IN TIME: Tonight’s matchup features the top 2 teams in the A.L. West entering the day…according to Elias Sports Bureau, the last Rangers/Angels matchup after May 1 in which the clubs occupied the top 2 spots in the division (no ties) came on August 1-2, 2012…those marked the last 2 games of a wild 4-G set in Arlington, with Rangers winning both contests to maintain a comfortable division lead…it was the final year of a 4-team A.L. West, as Houston would be added to the league and division in 2013.

CAN’T GET NO SATISFACTION: Hours after being announced as A.L. Rookie of the Month for April, Josh Jung posted his 3rd career multi-HR game on Wed. vs. ARI, including a 2-R HR in the 5th inning that gave Texas a 7-6 lead… Jung leads all MLB rookies in HR (8) and RBI (tied-24), along
with an A.L.-best 13 XBH…7 of his last 8 hits have been XBH (5 HR, 2 2B, 1 1B).

• With 5 months remaining in his full rookie campaign, Jung now has 3 career multi-HR games (1 in 2022, 2 in 2023), tied with Dave Hostetler (1982) and Adolis García (2021) for most ever by a Texas rookie…Jung (2 multi-HR games in ‘23) joins LAD’s James Outman (2) as the only MLB rookies with multiple games of 2+ HR in 2023.

FROM ONE HITTERS PARK TO ANOTHER: The Rangers’ last game on Wed. vs. ARI featured 8 HR (4 for each team), a Globe Life Field record for combined HR in any single contest (reg. or postseason)…the 12-7 TEX loss was also just the 5th game in Globe Life Field history (2020-23) – reg. or postseason – to feature at least 19 combined runs, T3rd-most in any game at the facility. Early-season returns have Globe Life Field and Angel Stadium among MLB’s top offensive parks in 2023 (excluding Mexico City contests)…note that stats include figures for home and visiting teams.

HR/G Park R/G Park SLG Park
3.23 LAA 11.88 COL .476 COL
3.13 CWS 11.69 CWS .458 BOS
2.83 TEX 11.45 BOS .449 STL
2.80 BOS 11.31 LAA .449 LAA
2.71 SF 10.73 CIN .446 CWS
2.53 DET/MIL 10.72 TEX .436 TEX

LATE LOSSES: Texas held a 7-6 lead after 6 innings in the 12-7 defeat on Wed…it was club’s 1st home loss of the season when leading after 6 innings, as team is now 2-5 overall this season in games decided in the 7th-and-later…since 4/14, the Rangers have 7 losses, and 6 of the 7 losses have been pinned on Texas relievers…the only loss by a starter in that span was Andrew Heaney’s loss on 4/27 vs. NYY, a game in which he posted a quality start (6.0 IP, 3 R-ER).

FIRST THINGS FIRST: The Rangers rank 2nd in MLB with a +69 run differential (TB is +114), and the club’s success in the 1st inning of games has been a factor…Rangers have out-scored opponents 23-8 in the 1st inning this season, as the +15 run differential is 2nd-best in MLB (TB is +20)…TEX has allowed MLB’s fewest 1st-inning runs (8) and has lowest opp. OPS (.544) in the opening inning in Majors.

A NEW STARTER: With Dane Dunning slated to start tonight, it will break a span in which TEX has used only 5 starters in ‘23, making 6 full turns through the rotation without interruption…since 2011, the only other time for TEX to use only 5 starters over 1st 30 G came in 2021, when club used a 6th starter (Hyeon-jong Yang) in game no. 32.

SHORTS: Tonight begins a span in which Texas will play on 13 straight and 19 of 20 days from 5/5-24…prior to this upcoming span, Rangers’ longest stretch without a day off was 10 in a row from 4/21-30…TEX is now 5-3 when hitting 4+ HR at GLF…game on Wed. lasted 3:05, 2nd-longest TEX game by time in 2023 (3:10 on 4/1 vs. PHI)

(2-0, 1.77)

TONIGHT: The 28-year-old right-hander is scheduled to make his 9th appearance/1st start of the season in tonight’s road trip opener in Anaheim…is slotting into the rotation after RHP Jacob deGrom was placed on the 15-day Injured List (right elbow inflammation) on Saturday…has allowed multiple runs in each of his last 2 app. after no ER permitted in first 6 outings, raising season ERA from 0.00 to 1.77…Dunning has pitched exclusively in relief this season after entering 2023 with just 2 career MLB relief outings (9/10/21 at OAK; 9/15/21 vs. HOU), both of which came as he worked back from the COVID-19 IL…will start tonight on 6 days’ rest, as he most recently pitched in Texas’ 5-2 victory last Fri. vs. NYY (W, 3.1 IP, 3 H, 2 R-ER)…20.1 relief innings are 2nd-most in A.L. (22.1-BOS’ J. Winckowski), 6th-most innings on TEX staff behind club’s 5 rotation members… has yet to allow a HR in ‘23…threw season-high 65 pitches on 4/4 vs. BAL (ND, 4.0 IP)…established career highs in many categories last season, ranking 2nd on the Texas staff in starts (29), innings (153.1), and strikeouts (137)…missed time in 2022 for a pair of IL stints: 7/11-25/22 (right ankle impingement) and 9/27/22- end of season (right hip surgery)…had season-ending surgery on 9/26/22 for a right hip labral repair, with the surgery performed by Dr. William Robertson in Arlington…has gone 11-18 with a 4.29 ERA for Rangers over the last 3 seasons (2021-23) since being acquired from the Chicago White Sox in a 3-player trade involving RHP Lance Lynn on 12/8/20…pitched 3 seasons at the University of Florida, helping the Gators to College World Series appearances in both 2015 and 2016…is a native of the Jacksonville, Fla. area.

LAST OUTING: Earned win in most recent outing last Fri. vs. NYY (W, 3.1 IP, 3 H, 2 R-ER, 0 BB, 1 SO, 52 pitches/34 strikes), a 5-2 Rangers’ victory…entered in relief of Jacob deGrom, who exited after 3.2 SHO IP with right forearm tightness. AS A STARTER: Although he has pitched exclusively in relief this season, most of Dunning’s Major League appearances (61 of 71) have come as a starter…he owns a lifetime 11-18 record and 4.44 ERA (149 ER/302.0 IP) in those 61 career starts, with opponents batting .262/.338/.421/.759 (304-1161)…he went 4-8, 4.46 ERA (76 ER/153.1 IP) in 29 starts for Texas in 2022, registering an A.L.-high 17 no-decisions…the 17 ND’s were T3rd-most in MLB and a WSH/TEX franchise record for a starting pitcher…Dunning’s 54 starts in a Rangers uniform over the last 3 seasons (beg. 2021) are easily the most of any pitcher in that span, well ahead of 2nd-place Martín Pérez (38 starts).

VS. LOS ANGELES-AL: Dunning has gone 2-3, 5.49 ERA (25 ER/41.0 IP) in 8 career games/starts vs. Los Angeles-AL (all w/ Texas)…his 8 starts opposite the Angels are easily his most against any ML opponent (8-LAA, 5-OAK/SEA)… earned the win in his last outing against the Halos on 9/21/22 vs. LAA (W, 5.0 IP, 3 H, 2 R-ER, 0 BB, 8 SO, 1 HR), a 7-2 Rangers’ victory in Arlington…surrendered a 2-out, 2-run HR to Taylor Ward in the 1st inning, but retired 11 of next 13 batters faced with 7 K’s following the blast…marked Dunning’s final outing of the 2022 campaign before he underwent season-ending right hip surgery on 9/26/22.

• Is winless (0-2) with a 7.71 ERA (14 ER/16.1 IP) in 3 career appearances/starts here at Angel Stadium…posted a quality start in his last outing in Anaheim on 7/31/22 at LAA (ND, 6.0 IP, 7 H, 2 R-ER, 3 BB, 4 SO), a 5-2 Texas win.

ON THE ROAD: Fared far better at home (4-2, 3.59, .232/.307/.421/.728 in 16 GS) than on the road (0-6, 5.62, .312/.390/.470/.860 in 13 GS) last season… he is winless in his last 27 games/26 starts on the road (including 1 G/GS w/ CWS and 26 G/25 GS w/ TEX) since only career away victory on 9/9/20 at PIT w/ CWS…has set a Texas franchise record with his active run of 25 consecutive winless road starts for the club, surpassing Pete Broberg in 1972-73 (15)…the longest such span in MLB history? 29-Scott Elarton from from 2001-05. 2023: Opponents have batted .169/.241/.239/.480 (12-71) with 5 extra-base hits (all doubles), incl. opp. BA’s of .100 (3-30) vs. LHB and .220 (9-41) vs. RHB…2 wins are T3rd on club (4-Pérez, 3-Eovaldi)…20.1 relief innings are 2nd-most in A.L. (22.1-BOS’ J. Winckowski)…has 4 relief app. of 3.0+ IP, 2nd-most in MLB (5- TB’s Josh Fleming)…scoreless in 5 of 8 G…earned win on 4/17 at KC (4.1 SHO IP, 1 H, 1 BB, 5 SO), as he and Jacob deGrom (4.0 SHO IP) became just the 2nd Rangers duo in the last 40 years (beg. 1984) to each have at least 4.0 SHO IP in the same game (also 5.0-Kameron Loe, 4.0-C.J. Wilson on 8/26/05 vs. MIN)


LEADING OFF: Today, the Angels play the first of six games on a homestand against the Texas Rangers (May 5-7) and Houston Astros (May 8-10)…Halos went 4-2 on last road trip against the Milwaukee Brewers (1- 2) and St. Louis Cardinals (3-0)…LAA was 5-2 on last homestand against Royals (2-1) and Athletics (3-1).

TODAY’S TRANSACTIONS: Today the Angels recalled RHP Andrew Wantz from Triple-A Salt Lake…In a corresponding move, LHP Aaron Loup (right hamstring strain) was placed on the 15-day injured list.

VS. TEXAS: Today is the first of 13 matchups this season between the Angels and Rangers…Halos enter the day -1.0 game behind Texas for first place in the A.L. West… According to ELIAS, this is the first meeting between the teams after May 1 with the clubs in sole possession of first and second place in the division since August 1-2, 2012…Last year, Texas won the season series 10-9.

(since franchise moved to Texas in 1972)

  1. Mike Trout – 44
  2. Reggie Jackson – 43
  3. José Canseco – 40
    *Trout also ranks third in career HR vs. Senators/Rangers franchise all-time behind Reggie Jackson (54) and Harmon Killebrew (48).

SWEEPING ST. LOUIS: In the last series at St. Louis, the Angels secured their first series sweep of the season and first ever series sweep against the Cardinals.

LEAGUE LEADER: Shohei Ohtani, leads the Majors in strikeouts (59) and opponent batting average (.125), and ranks eighth in WHIP (0.87).

HIGH WATER MARK: With an 18-14 record, Halos are a season-high four games over .500…First time at four games over .500 since June 1, 2022 (27-23)…With a win today, Angels would move to five games over .500 for first time since May 30, 2022 (27-22).

STREAKING: Angels current four game win streak is the longest of the season…Seeking first five game win streak since a seven game streak from Sept. 25 – Oct. 2, 2022.

WEDNESDAY’S RALLY: Wednesday night at St. Louis, Angels tallied three runs in the top of the 9th inning to rally for a 6-4 victory…Marked Angels first victory this season when trailing after seven and eight innings and first final at-bat win of the year.

SURF AND TURF: Wednesday at Busch Stadium, Mike Trout recorded his fifth career go-ahead home run in the 9th inning-or-later and first since June 18, 2022 (Game 1) at Seattle…Jake Lamb hit his fifth career pinch-hit home run last night and tied the game in the top of the 9th inning; it was the Angels first game-tying pinch-hit HR in the 9th inning-or-later since Dallas McPherson on June 29, 2005 at Texas.

UNEARNED: Angels have allowed 20 unearned runs this season (tied with Rockies and White Sox for most in Majors).

PLAY FROM AHEAD: Halos have held leads in 27 of 32 games played this year.

NET-OW: Zack Neto has been hit by seven pitches this season, which is tied for second-most in the Majors… Since 1901, Neto’s seven HBP through his first 15 career games are the most in MLB…He also was the first player in Angels history to be hit a pitch in four consecutive games (April 18-21).

ALL OVER THE INFIELD: Gio Urshela is one of five players in the Majors to appear at all four infield positions this season…He has made 11 starts at first base, eight starts at third base, seven at shortstop and one at second base.

SNAPPED: With five hits allowed Wednesday night, Shohei Ohtani snapped his streak of 10 straight pitching starts allowing three-or-fewer hits…The streak finishes tied for the longest in MLB history, excluding Openers…The only other pitcher to go 10 straight starts with three-or-fewer hits was Jacob deGrom for the Mets in 2021.

500K: Shohei Ohtani matched his MLB single-game career high with 13 strikeouts in last pitching start Wednesday and finished the night with 500 career MLB strikeouts…Is the 10th Japanese-born pitcher with 500 strikeouts in the Majors…Reached 500 strikeouts in 388.2 IP, which is second fastest as a starting pitcher all-time, behind Corbin Burnes (365 IP). (ELIAS).

THE BABE AND I: Shohei Ohtani is one pitching strikeout shy of matching the career total for Babe Ruth (according to ELIAS, Ruth had 501 career pitching strikeouts)…Ruth and Ohtani are the only players alltime with 500+ pitching strikeouts and 100+ home runs in a career.
*Note: Ruth’s overview page on Baseball Reference and list 488 career strikeouts…That does not match his total strikeouts when adding up totals from his individual yearly game logs on the sites

HISTORICAL SERIES: During the Angels last home series vs. Oakland, Brandon Drury hit .600 (9/15) with seven runs, two doubles, one triple, four home runs, 12 RBI and three walks in the four games against the A’s…His 12 RBI are a new franchise record for a single series and seven XBH hits tie a franchise record for a series.

ASTROS ON DECK: Following the current series vs. Texas, the Angels will conclude the homestand with a three game series against the Houston Astros…Will be the first meeting of the season between the Halos and Houston…The Clubs will meet a total of 13 times in 2023…Last season, Astros won season series 13-6.

1-0, 5.74 ERA
Is 1-0 with a 2.45 ERA (25.2 IP – 7 ER) in five career games (four starts) vs. Rangers

TODAY’S GAME: Making sixth start of the season and third at home…Is in eighth Major League season and made seventh straight Opening Day roster…Signed a three-year contract with Angels, Nov. 16, 2022.

• BACK ON TRACK: Pitched 6.0 scoreless innings in Angels debut on April 2 at Oakland, before allowing 5+ runs in each of next three
starts…Snapped that streak with 6.2 innings of one-run baseball in last start at Milwaukee.

• LEFT OUT: This season, is holding left-handers to a .231 average (6/26) compared with a .309 (25/81) average against right-handers.

• FASTBALL DAMAGE: In 2023, opponents are batting .405 (15/37) against his fastball, but are .229 (16/70) against the rest of his arsenal.

• LAST TIME OUT: Took no-decision in last start last Friday at Milwaukee after tossing 6.2 innings and allowing one earned run on five hits with three walks and a season-high seven strikeouts…Only run allowed came on Willy Adames solo HR in 1st inning.

• HALO DEBUT: Earned the win in Angels debut on Sunday at Oakland after working 6.0 shutout frames, allowing four hits and two walks with four strikeouts.

• VS. TEXAS: In five career games (four starts) vs. Rangers, is 1-0 with a 2.45 ERA (25.2 IP – 7 ER); today marks first start vs. Texas since Aug. 17, 2021 for Mariners at Globe Life Field

• AT ANGEL STADIUM: Today is fifth career start at The Big A and third as a member of the Angels…This year, is 0-0 with a 9.00 ERA (10 IP – 10 ER) in two home starts…In his two career games at Angel Stadium as a visitor, was 0-1 with an 18.00 ERA (7 IP – 14 ER); made one start for Giants in 2020 and one for Mariners in 2021.

• GOOD DAY: Last year, made six starts in day games for Dodgers and pitched to a 2.70 ERA (33.1 IP – 10 ER) and 31 strikeouts.

• THE CHANGE: Last season, held opponents to a .179 (41/229) average against his changeup

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