The New York Mets embark on a two-series road trip beginning with the Texas Rangers tonight. I believe this is a series that will truly show the power of the American League. The Mets are 36-37 while the Rangers are only a few games better at 40-36 ... but on paper, there's really no doubting which is the better team. The Amazin's have a chance to really turn some heads with a solid series in Texas, but the Rangers also have the opportunity to show just how dominant the AL is.
On the hill for the Mets is Mike Pelfrey, who will be making his first start against the Rangers in his career. His 4-5 record, 4.70 ERA and 1.29 WHIP don't look too good, but he is coming off his best start this year in which he tossed a one-run complete game. The key to this game will be keeping the ball on the ground in this ballpark and against hitters like Josh Hamilton, Nelson Cruz and Adrian Beltre. Power is the Rangers' strong suit, thus the Mets will most likely have to outslug them to win and use their aggressiveness on the bases to their advantage.
Left-hander Matt Harrison will be on the mound for the Rangers. He's 5-6 this year with a 3.16 ERA and 1.27 WHIP. He's got a low-to-mid 90s fastball and will throw in a curveball, changeup and occasional slider.
Jason Bay will be one to watch for the Mets. He's 7 for his last 24 with a homerun and three RBI, but he looks slightly more comfortable at the plate, and he's driving the ball more. In Texas, there's no excuse for a power outage, so Bay will have no excuses here if he reverts to his maddening struggles at the plate.
Friday, Jun 24, 2011, 8:05 PM EDT
Rangers Ballpark in Arlington
Mike Pelfrey vs Matt Harrison
Clear. Winds blowing in from right field at 15-20 m.p.h. Game time temperature around 95.
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