Week ahead: Kansas City, Tampa Bay
The Texas Rangers continue their road trip through Kansas City and Tampa Bay. Here's a quick look at some things to watch:
* The Rangers have four against the Royals, and Yu Darvish gets his first chance to pitch at Kauffman Stadium (he was there for the All-Star Game, but didn't pitch) this afternoon. That usually bodes well for Darvish, who pitches well against teams he's never faced. Darvish is 9-3 with a 3.07 ERA in 13 starts against a team for the first time.
* Jurickson Profar's debut will certainly have folks keeping an eye on him this week. He had a homer and a double Sunday (homering in his first major-league at-bat). You can read more here.
* The Rangers' offense continues to produce. They got eight more runs on Sunday in winning the series against Cleveland, including four home runs.
* Adrian Beltre was the Rangers' player of the month for August. But he's hitting the ball well in September, too. He had three hits Saturday and a home run Sunday.
* The Rangers took two out of three from the Rays in Arlington, but get to face them in Tampa later this week. It's possible that it could be a playoff preview, depending on how things line up once the postseason starts and whether the Rays can win a fierce battle for a wild-card spot.
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.