Matchup: Yu Darvish vs. Bruce Chen
Darvish (13-9, 4.31 ERA): This will be Darvish's 25th start of the season and he's looking to continue a solid streak. ... Darvish has three straight quality starts and has pitched well recently, showing no signs of any lingering issues with his tight quad after a good showing last week against Tampa Bay. ... Darvish tossed seven shutout innings with 10 strikeouts in the 1-0 win over the Rays. ... Texas is 15-9 in Darvish's starts. ... He has an ML-high eight games of 10 or more strikeouts this season, the most ever by a Rangers rookie. ... He'll be facing the Royals for the first time in his career. When Darvish sees a team for the first time, he's 9-3 with a 3.07 ERA in 13 starts. ... After Monday's start, Darvish will have faced every AL team except Baltimore.
Chen (10-10, 5.13 ERA): He's coming off perhaps his best start of the season. ... Chen went eight scoreless innings on four hits in a 1-0 win over Detroit last week. ... The eight innings were the most he's thrown in 2012 and the first time since June that he'd pitched in at least seven innings. ... He was 3-1 with a 3.89 ERA in August after a rough July (0-3, 8.39 ERA). ... He got a win against the Rangers earlier this season, allowing one run on five hits in 6 2/3 innings in Arlington on May 14, a 3-1 victory for the Royals.
Hitters: Five healthy Rangers have at least four at-bats off Chen. Elvis Andrus is 0-for-4 against him, but Adrian Beltre (8-for-27), Ian Kinsler (3-for-4) and Michael Young (6-for-16) have hit him well. ... Darvish has never faced the Royals.
Tue. at KC: LHP Matt Harrison (15-8, 3.30) vs. RHP Jeremy Guthrie (6-12, 5.48), 7:10 p.m., ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM/1540 AM/FSSW
Wed. at KC: RHP Ryan Dempster (9-6, 2.87) vs. TBA, 7:10 p.m., ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM/1540 AM/FSSW
Thu. at KC: RHP Scott Feldman (6-11, 5.01) vs. TBA, 7:10 p.m., ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM/1540 AM/FSSW
103.3 FM ESPN PODCASTS
Play Podcast Rangers GM Jon Daniels joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett to tackle the tough questions after his team failed to advance to the playoffs.
Play Podcast Nolan Ryan joins Galloway and Company to discuss having Nelson Cruz back in the lineup and how the Rangers are feeling heading into their wild-card play-in game against the Rays.
Play Podcast ESPN Insider and senior MLB analyst Jim Bowden joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett to discuss the wild-card race and the Rangers' chances of making the playoffs.
Play Podcast Chuck Cooperstein joins Ian Fitzsimmons and Tim MacMahon to discuss why he feels Rangers pitcher Yu Darvish isn't an ace.
Play Podcast Elvis Andrus joins Galloway and Company to discuss the Rangers' stretch run and the morale level in their clubhouse.
Play Podcast Nolan Ryan joins Galloway and Company to discuss the latest Rangers news, including the team's struggles, Ron Washington's job security and a rumored trade with the Braves.
Play Podcast Ron Washington joins Ian Fitzsimmons and Tim MacMahon to discuss the Rangers' dismal September, who's to blame for their September struggles and his status as the team's manager.
Play Podcast Fitzsimmons and Durrett discuss how some people are calling for the Rangers to fire manager Ron Washington.