The Texas Rangers are gearing up for a crucial three-game series against the Boston Red Sox as they aim to solidify their position in the American League playoff race. After a disappointing weekend series against the Cleveland Guardians, the Rangers are eager to bounce back and regain their winning momentum.
With a record of 82-67, the Rangers find themselves just 1 1/2 games behind the first-place Houston Astros in the AL West. However, their hold on the third and final wild-card spot is a slim one-game lead over the Seattle Mariners. The upcoming series against the Red Sox presents a golden opportunity for the Rangers to strengthen their playoff chances.
Manager Bruce Bochy acknowledged the ups and downs of baseball, recognizing that his team played exceptional baseball during their four-game sweep against the Toronto Blue Jays but struggled against Cleveland. The Rangers were outscored 23-6 over the weekend, with a nine-run fourth inning by the Guardians sealing their fate in the final game.
Offensively, the top batters for the Rangers, including Marcus Semien, Corey Seager, Nathaniel Lowe, and Mitch Garver, failed to make a significant impact in the series against Cleveland. Bochy attributed their struggles to the strong pitching exhibited by the Guardians, emphasizing the need for the Rangers to put more runs on the board.
To get back on track, the Rangers will rely on left-hander Jordan Montgomery, who has been a solid addition to the team since his trade from the St. Louis Cardinals. Montgomery delivered an impressive performance against the Blue Jays, pitching seven scoreless innings and allowing only four hits. With ace Max Scherzer out due to a season-ending shoulder injury, Montgomery’s contributions become even more critical.
On the other side, the Red Sox are also looking to reverse their fortunes after a disappointing series against the Blue Jays, losing three consecutive games and extending their overall losing streak to four. Sunday’s walk-off loss was particularly disheartening for the team. However, Rafael Devers has been a bright spot, hitting three home runs in his last four games and showcasing his power at the plate.
Despite Devers’ individual success, the Red Sox have struggled with runners in scoring position, hitting a league-worst .151 since September 6. Devers acknowledged this issue as a team-wide problem and emphasized the need for adjustments and perseverance.
The Red Sox will turn to right-hander Kutter Crawford to start against the Rangers. Although Crawford has only made one start against Texas earlier in the season, he showed promise with a no-decision after allowing three runs on seven hits in four innings.
As the series unfolds, both teams will be aiming to regain their winning form and make a statement in the highly competitive American League. For the Rangers, it’s an opportunity to close the gap in the division and solidify their wild-card spot. Meanwhile, the Red Sox will be fighting to end their slump and keep their playoff hopes alive.
Prediction: Rangers win series
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