GREAT PITCHER’S DUEL IN ARLINGTON WITH FELIX HERNANDEZ VS. YU DARVISH
Wednesday Night’s Major League Baseball schedule is highlighted by one of the best pitching matchups possible! Felix Hernandez of the Seattle Mariners takes on Yu Darvish of the Texas Rangers in a battle of Cy Young candidates and potential Hall-of-Famers.
There’s a lot more going on here beyond a great pitcher’s matchup though. Seattle is making some early noise as a potential sleeper in the American League West. Texas has gotten so anemic on offense that it’s hard to take them seriously as a playoff contender right now.
- Seattle enters the night over .500 even though they’ve played more road games than home games…and even though their starting rotation hasn’t featured the guys who were supposed to be there! A makeshift rotation has Seattle in the hunt despite a tough early schedule. That suggests a lot of promise moving forward if they can get healthy.
- Texas is slightly off the pace despite playing a home friendly schedule. And, that home ball park is great for hitters. Despite that, the team can’t score runs consistently! If you can’t score in Arlington…what’s going to happen on the road in a division that features there pitcher’s parks (Seattle, Oakland, and Anaheim)?
Let’s take a quick look at offensive numbers before moving forward.
Seattle: 4.42 runs per game, .293 on-base, .386 slugging
Texas: 3.54 runs per game, .323 on-base, .347 slugging
Seattle has some work to do in terms of getting guys on base. But, they’re making up for that with big slugging numbers. Texas is showing limited power once you adjust for context. Things have been trending the wrong way offensively under Ron Washington. He likes small ball in a big bang ballpark.
Hey, we’re only a couple of weeks into the season. There’s a lot of time for things to change. Keep in mind though that more than a few respected pundits had their eyes on Seattle as a sleeper this year. And, many skeptics think the Washington regime may be on its final legs with Texas. April is a big month for both of those storylines.
Now let’s get to tonight’s dream pitching matchup…
Hernandez: 2.11 ERA, 0.75 WHIP, 12.7 K-Rate
Darvish: 0.00 ERA, 0.67 WHIP, 9.0 K-Rate
Felix is off to a 3-0 start, with two victories over Oakland and one of the Los Angeles Angels. Given how productive those two offenses have been so far, the King’s stats are really amazing. He’s been shutting down hot offenses. Now he gets to face one that’s mostly been sputtering this season for the Rangers.
But, as great as Hernandez has been…Darvish has been even better! Nobody’s scored a run off him yet! Yu’s pitched 15 scoreless innings against Tampa Bay and Houston, allowing only one hit in eight innings against the Astros. Darvish did miss his Opening Day start with a minor injury, and then suffered a small cut on his thumb against the Astros. The best hope for Seattle to break through with some runs is that something’s a little off with Darvish.
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Here’s the upcoming schedule here in the NOTEBOOK…
Thursday: MLB Series Preview for St. Louis at Washington
Friday: Early look at Saturday’s NBA Playoff openers
Saturday: Early look at Sunday’s NBA Playoff openers
Sunday: MLB Sunday Night Preview of Baltimore at Boston
Monday: NBA Playoff Previews
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