Texas has won 3 straight and 8 of it's last 10 thanks to some dominant pitching over the last few nights by rookie sensations. Nick Tepesch and Justin Grimm are enjoying their time well spent in a rotation that includes two of their key starters in Colby Lewis and Matt Harrison suffering from injuries. The offense could certainly use a much needed boost to give this afternoon's starter in Derek Holland a little more confidence since he is coming off a shaky start before cruising early.
Holland will look to redeem himself after yielding 6 runs and 4 walks Monday night in Anaheim but suffering a no decision as the Rangers went on to edge the halos 7-6. The Twins on the flip side have lost 3 straight and fell below .500 but remain just 2 games holding 3rd place in the AL Central. Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau have hit slumps at the plate after promising starts combining for just 3 HR so far this season. Josh Willingham is hitting just .236 despite leading Minnesota with 3 HR and 10 RBI. Despite Texas taking the first 2 games of the series, the Twins have a chance to set themselves up for a split if others like Trevor Plouffe and Chris Parmelee can produce timely against Holland considering their struggles with RISP.
Minnesota will counter with Pedro Hernandez, who finds himself back in the starting rotation due to cancellations caused by weather resulting in multiple changes to the rotation. Hernandez has been fairly effective in his start and relief appearances but may need a few innings to return to form given the inconsistent stretch. With the Rangers ability in the lineup to produce consistently, Nelson Cruz (.322 5 19) and Ian Kinsler (.307 5 14) lead the way. However vets like Adiran Beltre (.241 4 9) and David Murphy (.193) are off to slow starts and may take advantage of the opportunity against an aging unreliable starter over the past few years.
We get a bargain of a price here, and after two close effective pitching performances we may see some more proficiency this afternoon at Target. Willingham and Oswaldo Arcia have provided the only offense over the last few days with solo shots. Meanwhile Texas in the midst of this road trip can extend their lead out West with more balanced results at the plate which could complement Holland getting back into early season form. Best of luck however you play!