Matchup: Yu Darvish vs. Kyle Drabek
Darvish (6-2, 3.05): The rookie is coming off his worst start for the Rangers, having allowed five runs on four hits and six walks in four innings to take the loss against the Mariners. He still ranks among American League winners in wins (6, tied first) and strikeouts (63, tied fifth). He also ranks fifth in walks with 32. … The 25-year-old Japanese phenom is 4-0 with a 3.00 ERA in four starts at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, but this will be his first day start in the Texas heat. … Darvish beat the Blue Jays on April 30 in Toronto with a dominant performance. He struck out nine in seven innings, allowing one run on four hits and two walks. He threw first-pitch strikes to 20 of 27 batters that he faced.
Drabek (4-4, 3.27): The 24-year-old Drabek, the son of former major league pitcher Doug Drabek, is a former first-round pick who was acquired in the Roy Halladay deal. … Drabek’s biggest problem is command. He is tied for third in the AL with 34 walks allowed in his 52 1/3 innings. He has walked at least four in five in his last seven starts. … Drabek has been especially hard to hit in his last two starts. He gave up only six hits in 13 innings in wins over the Rays and Yankees. … Drabek is 1-3 with a 4.73 ERA on the road. … He has been at his best with runners in scoring position, holding opponents to a .149 average in those situations. … Drabek was the losing pitcher in Darvish’s win over the Blue Jays, allowing two runs on five hits and two walks in six innings.
Hitters: The current Rangers are 9-for-42 against Drabek with a home run by Yorvit Torrealba. He has been especially tough on Texas’ lefties. David Murphy is 0-for-5 with two strikeouts and Mitch Moreland 0-for-4 with a strikeout against Drabek. Elvis Andrus is 3-for-6 with a double against him. … Edwin Encarnacion is 2-for-2 with a homer against Darvish. The rest of the Blue Jays are 2-for-22 against him. Yunel Escobar and Kelly Johnson are both 0-for-3 with two strikeouts.
Mon. vs. Sea.: LHP Matt Harrison (5-3, 4.72) vs. RHP Kevin Millwood (3-4, 3.72), 7:05 p.m., ESPN Dallas 103.3/1540/FSSW
Tues. vs. Sea.: RHP Scott Feldman (0-2, 4.66) vs. LHP Jason Vargas (5-4, 3.39), 7:05 p.m., ESPN Dallas 103.3/1540/FSSW
Wed. vs. Sea.: LHP Derek Holland (4-3, 4.05) vs. RHP Blake Beavan (2-4, 4.38), 7:05 p.m., ESPN Dallas 103.3/1540/FSSW
103.3 FM ESPN PODCASTS
Play Podcast Jim Bowden joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett for his weekly visit to discuss a hypothetical Jurickson Profar for Cliff Lee trade, how he would handle Profar's playing time with the Rangers and more.
Play Podcast Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus joins Galloway & Company to discuss having Scott Boras as his agent, his new contract and having Jurickson Profar in the lineup.
Play Podcast Rangers manager Ron Washington joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett for his weekly visit to discuss Yu Darvish's pitch count and how he spends time in the clubhouse during weather delays.
Play Podcast Nolan Ryan joins Galloway & Company for his weekly visit to discuss the latest Rangers news.
Play Podcast Reid Ryan joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to discuss his new position with the Houston Astros and whether he could see his dad, Nolan, joining him there in the future.
Play Podcast ESPN MLB Insider Jayson Stark joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to discuss if the Rangers are the best team in baseball, what makes them so good and if he thinks the team will trade Jurickson Profar.
Play Podcast Jim Bowden joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to discuss Ron Washington's decision to send Yu Darvish to the mound for the eighth inning Thursday night and how he would handle a situation like that if he were still a GM.
Play Podcast Randy Galloway, Matt Mosley and Glenn "Stretch" Smith discuss the latest Rangers news, including the Yu Darvish-Justin Verlander matchup.