Monday, September 25, 2023
5-Hour Energy

MLB Preview: Texas Rangers (73-57) at New York Mets (60-71)


WINS AND LOSSES: Texas lost to the Twins yesterday, 7-6 in 13 innings, as club has a 1-5 record on this 9-G, 10- day road trip thru ARI (0-2), MIN (1-3), and NYM (3 G)…the Rangers are 1-9 in last 10 G, including a season-long 8-G losing streak from 8/16-25, lone win in that span on Sat. at MIN…most losses in any 10-G span in ’23, worst span for TEX since going 1-10 from 9/23-10/4(1)/22…club has 73 wins, most since 2019 (78)…team has dropped 10 of 13 and is 5-11 since a month-opening and season-best 8-G win streak (8/1-8), longest for club since going 10-0, 5/9-19/17… Rangers are still 13-11 (.542) in August…have gone 14-15 in last 29 G and 15-18 in last 33 G since a 6-G win streak (7/14-19) out of the break…team is 21-18 (.538) in the 2nd “half”, 6th-best record in the A.L…TEX is 22-20 in last 42, 23-24 in last 47 G, and 24-26 in last 50 G…team was 12-19 over a 31-G span from 6/7-7/9 to end the 1st “half”…TEX is 68-53 last 121 G.

  • At 73-57 (.562), TEX has 4th-best record in the A.L. (BAL- .623, 81-49; TB-.606, 80-52; SEA-.569, 74-56) and Tth-best in MLB…73 wins rank 5th in the A.L., T7th-most in MLB (84-ATL, 81-BAL, 80-LAD/TB, 74-HOU/SEA, 73-TEX/MIL).
  • The 73-57 mark is T7th-best 130-G start to a season in Washington/Texas franchise history, still best mark at this point since 2016 (76-54).

ON THE ROAD: This road trip marks the team’s 3rd and final 3-city trip of the season (7-3 from May 5-14 at LAA/SEA/ OAK, and 6-3 from May 22-31 at PIT/BAL/DET)…club has lost 6 of 7, 10 of 15, 14 of 20, 16 of 23, 18 of 26, and 22 of last 34 away games…team has a 31-33 (.484) away record in ’23, 7th in the A.L…club began the year with a 19-11 road record, and has gone 12-22 (.353) beg. 5/31, 4th-lowest in A.L. and 6th-lowest mark in MLB over that span.

SERIES STUFF: Yesterday’s loss at MIN gave Texas a 3rd straight series loss, this after having won 5 consecutive series to open the month of August…the 5-0-0 from 8/1-16 was club’s 2nd-best streak in ’23 (6-0-0, 5/19-6/7)…club is now 7-6-0 in series since break…the span follows a 2-6-1 stretch to end the 1st “half”…is now 24-16-2 overall in series in ’23: 13-6-2 at home; 11-10-0 on the road…on the road, team has lost 2 straight and 7 of 9, going 3-8-0 in last 11 road series.

THE BIG APPLE: This is the 2nd of 2 visits to New York for the Rangers in ’23, as club went 1-2 from 6/23-25 at Yankee Stadium…this is the 2nd straight year for the Rangers to have two separate trips to NYC, this after none since 2017 (series at NYY and NYM in span of 7 weeks)…prior to 2017, the recent instances of multiple trips to NY had come in 2014 (at NYY and NYM) and 2011 (2 series at NYY).

AUGUST AND EVERYTHING AFTER: It has been a month of extremes for the Rangers…team went 12-2 from 8/1-15 to open the month, best record in the A.L. and 2nd-best in MLB over that span (LAD were 13-1)…since 8/16, Texas has gone 1-9 (.100), lowest win pct. and fewest wins in MLB over that period…Rangers opened the month with an 8-G win streak (8/1-8) and snapped an 8-G losing streak (8/16-25) with Saturday’s win…marked 1st time in franchise history to have a win streak and losing skid of 8+ G in the same month.

VS. NEW YORK-NL: The Rangers are at Citi Field for a 2nd straight season (1-2 from 7/1-3/22), the 1st time the teams will ever meet in consecutive campaigns, this after no matchups since 2017…TEX is 7-12 all-time vs. NYM, having never won consecutive games…team’s 19 meetings w/ Mets are 2nd-fewest versus any of the other 29 MLB franchises: 15-STL, 19-NYM, 21-CHC/WAS, 22-CIN/PIT…TEX has gone 4-7 here in Queens, including 3-5 at Citi Field (series in 2014/2017/2022)…Rangers dropped 2 of 3 from 6/13-15/08 in final season of Shea Stadium.

(8-7, 3.76)
TONIGHT: The 31-year-old right-hander is set to make his 24th start of the season in tonight’s series opener at Citi Field…will be career outing no. 200, career
start no. 199…over his last 5 starts, has allowed 5+ R 3 times while pitching 7.0+ IP with one-or-zero runs in the other 2, going 2-2, 5.40 (17 ER/28.1 IP) w/10 BB/28 SO last 5 GS to raise season ERA from 3.31 to 3.76…the 3.76 ERA ranks 15th among A.L. qualifiers…has a 5.59 ERA (36 ER/58.0 IP) his last 11 starts to rise from 2.32…will pitch on extra 5 days’ rest after taking loss on Tues. at ARI (see below)… took loss Tues., but in his prior 2 starts (8/11 at SF and 8/16 vs. LAA: 0.64 ERA, 1 R-ER/14.0 IP, 2 BB/11 SO, .170 opp. BA) had produced 2 of his 7 highest game scores in 2023…has just one HR allowed in his last 6 GS/32.2 IP, and no HR allowed in 6 of his last 8 starts…3.63 pitches per batter faced figure is lowest in A.L./4th-lowest in MLB…has struck out 111 of 538 (20.6%) of batters faced in ‘23, which would be the 2nd-lowest SO pct. of his career (12.6% in 2020 w/ COL), despite a 25.8% swing-and-miss pct. that ranks 16th in A.L…Gray’s ERA by month this season: April (3.91), May (1.95), June (3.99), July (5.48), Aug. (4.24)…this is Gray’s 2nd season with Texas after signing a 4-year free agent contract with the club on 12/1/21…was hindered by several injuries last season, but still managed to post a 7-7 record, 3.96 ERA (56 ER/127.1 IP), and 134 strikeouts over 24 starts…was 3rd overall selection by Colorado in 2013 MLB Draft after pitching 2 seasons at the U. of Oklahoma…is a native of the Oklahoma City area, growing up in Chandler…Texas is 12-11 in his 23 starts this season.

LAST START: Took loss in last start, a 6-3 Texas defeat on Tues. at ARI (L, 4.0 IP, 7 H, 5 R-ER, 3 BB, 5 SO, 0 HR, 83 pitches/52 strikes)…faced the minimum in the 1st-3rd-4th innings, but gave up 3 R in a 39-pitch 2nd frame and allowed hits to all 3 BF in the 5th (2 would score)…TEX offense was 2-for-10 w RISP and stranded 12 runners, including stranding bases loaded in the 9th inning of club’s 6th straight loss.

VS. NEW YORK-NL: Is 1-3, 8.04 (25 ER/28.0 IP) in 6 G/GS over his career vs. NYM, with his teams going 1-5 in those 6 starts…is 0-3, 7.45 (16 ER/19.1 IP) in 4 career starts at Citi Field…has lost 3 straight starts vs. Mets, all at Citi Field since start of 2017 (0-3, 10.13, 15 ER/13.1 IP, .377 opp. BA, 3 HR), including taking loss in Rangers’ 4-1 defeat there on 7/3/22 (L, 5.2 IP, 6 H, 4 R-ER, 1 BB, 7 SO, 2 HR)…was undone by a sequence in the 4th inning in which leadoff batter Pete
Alonso reached on a strikeout/E2 (Jonah Heim errant throw), followed by a Jeff McNeil RBI double and Eduardo Escobar 2-R HR, as a 1-1 game turned into a 4-1 deficit in a span of 5 pitches.

ON THE ROAD: Has seen better results on the road (5-3, 3.30 ERA in 11 GS) than at home (3-4, 4.17 ERA in 12 GS) in 2023…among A.L. pitchers with at least 60.0 IP on the road in 2023, Gray’s 3.30 road ERA (23 ER/62.2 IP) is 6th-lowest in the A.L…has allowed one-or-zero runs in 5 of his last 8 road outings, going 4-3, 3.12 ERA (17 ER/49.0 IP) in that span.

2023: Has allowed 3-or-fewer runs in 14 of his 23 starts…opp. BA by time thru the lineup: 1st (.253), 2nd (.267), 3rd (.219), 4th (0-4)…number of GS in ’23 by starting catcher: 13-Heim, 6-León, 3-Garver, 1-Hedges…Rangers went 5-0 in his 5 May starts, with Gray going 4-0, 1.95 (7 ER/32.1 IP) in 5 GS for the month, 2nd-lowest monthly ERA of his career (min. 4 GS) to only 1.89 over 5 G/GS in July 2016…recorded 1,000th career strikeout on 4/26 at CIN (Spencer Steer)… made early exit in start on 4/15 at HOU (ND, 2.0 IP, 1 R-ER) after he took a liner off his right forearm…earned 1st win on 4/9 at CHC (5.2 IP, 2 R-ER), when Will Smith stranded bases loaded in the 6th inning…began start 5/13 at OAK w/ 6.2 hitless innings before a Jace Peterson 2-out single to RF in the 7th…it was the longest no-hit bid by a TEX starter since 4/15/18 at HOU, when Bartolo Colon retired the first 21 Astros…surpassed 1000.0 career innings during the start (on 2nd out in 6th inn.)…in win on 5/20 vs. COL, escaped a 27-pitch 1st inning in which the Rox loaded the bases with no outs and did not score…was 1st career meeting with the team that drafted him…has suffered a pair of 1-0 losses on solo HR in ’23 (6/7 vs. STL and 6/24 at NYY), joining Yu Darvish (2x in 2013) as the only starting pitchers in TEX history w/ multiple 1-0 losses in a season on a solo HR.


I DECLARE fWAR: Francisco Lindor ranks fifth in the majors and fourth in the National League with a 5.2 fWAR…Since he joined the Mets, Lindor has posted a 16.0 fWAR…Only Freddie Freeman (18.6) and Mookie Betts (17.7) have posted a higher mark in the Senior Circuit…His 16.0 fWAR since 2021 ranks fifth in the majors in that span.

OUCH: The Mets have been hit by 85 pitches this season…That is the second-most in the majors and the most in the National League…Since the start of last season, the Mets have been plunked 197 times, that’s 16 times more than the second-place team the Mariners…It’s 31 more times the next place team in the NL, the Cincinnati Reds who have been hit by 166 pitches in that span.

RETURN OF THE BACH: Daniel Vogelbach has recorded five home runs over his last 14 games…He is batting .308 (12-39) in that span with seven runs, 12 RBI, eight walks with a .438 OBP and a .692 SLG…He has posted an .830 OPS in 30 games following the All-Star break.

ADAM’S SONG: In 17 games following the All-Star break, Adam Ottavino is 1-1 with one save and a 1.72 ERA (3 ER/15.2 IP) with nine strikeouts…In 21 games since the start of July, Ottavino has posted a 1.40 ERA (3 ER/19.1 IP) with 12 strikeouts.

STEAL MY SUNSHINE: New York has recorded 93 steals in 104 attempts…The team’s 89.4 percent success rate is the best in the majors…It is the best percentage in franchise history….The last time the Mets stole more than 100 bases in a season was in 2014 when the team swiped 101 bags.

MONTHLY REPORT: Pete Alonso has recorded nine home runs in 26 games this month…His career-best for any single month is 11 home runs, which he recorded in 27 games in September of 2019…He has recorded five months with at least 10 home runs in his career…His next home run would mark the second time this year that Alonso has hit 10 homers in a single month…He hit 10 home runs in May…He also hit one home run in March and nine in April.

I DON’T WANT TO ROCK, DJ: In 32 games this year, DJ Stewart is batting .263 (21-80) with nine runs, five doubles, six home runs, 13 RBI, nine walks, a .341 OBP and a .550 SLG…Stewart recorded a career-high 12 home runs in 100 games with Baltimore in 2021.

2023 STATS: 7-7, 5.54 ERA

LAST TIME OUT: Suffered his seventh loss of the season on August 22 against the Braves at Truist Park…Allowed three run over 4.2 innings…Surrendered eight hits, issued two walks and recorded five strikeouts.

ADD ANOTHER ONE TO THE LIST: Tonight, Megill will face the Texas Rangers for the first time in his career…The Rangers mark the 21st opponent that Megill has faced in his career and the eighth from the American League…In eight career Interleague games (seven starts), Megill is 3-1 with a 4.11 ERA (16 ER/35.0 IP)

NO PLACE LIKE NEW YORK: This season, Megill is 5-2 with a 3.49 ERA (19 ER/49.0 IP) in nine home starts this season…In 10 road starts this season, Megill is 2-5 with an 7.93 ERA (37 ER/42.0 IP)…In 25 career home games (23 starts), Megill is 9-5 with a 4.14 ERA (55 ER/119.2 IP) and in 27 career road games (23 starts), Megill is 6-10 with a 6.06 ERA (73 ER/108.1 IP).

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