Matchup: Yu Darvish vs. Chris Archer
Archer (0-2, 3.86 ERA): The right-hander, who takes the place of David Price and his sore shoulder, has spent most of 2012 at Triple-A Durham in 2012 going 7-9 with a 3.66 ERA in 25 starts. ... He did make his big league debut in June, making two starts before going back down to the minors. ... He allowed one earned run on three hits in six innings against Stephen Strasburg and the Washington Nationals on June 20, but got the loss. ... He gave up four runs on five hits in 5 2/3 innings in a loss to the Royals six days later. ... He's pitched 128 innings in the minors this season. ... Opponents in Triple-A batted .218 against him and he had 139 strikeouts and 62 walks this season. ... He turns 24 in a few weeks and his last start came on Sept. 2. He went six innings and gave up one run on two hits with five strikeouts and one walk in a no-decision.
Darvish (14-9, 4.29 ERA): He's one of just six rookies in the last seven seasons with at least 14 wins (Justin Verlander leads the way with 17 in 2006), and the 14 wins are a Rangers rookie record. ... Darvish earned that latest win on Monday in Kansas City, allowing three runs on three hits with one walk and six strikeouts in seven innings. ... Darvish had a perfect game through 5 2/3 innings before allowing a walk and three straight hits in the sixth. ... He has a quality start in each of his last four starts. ... Darvish's 188 strikeouts are the second-most by a Rangers rookie, behind the 189 Edwin Correa had in 1986. ... Darvish faced the Rays on Aug. 28 and outdueled James Shields, allowing no runs in seven innings with 10 strikeouts and two walks.
Hitters: Archer has never faced the Rangers. ... The current Rays are just 6-for-25 off Darvish. ... The top hitter is Sam Fuld, who is 2-for-2. ... Evan Longoria is 0-for-3. Carlos Pena is 0-for-3 and all three outs are on strikeouts.
Sun at Tampa Bay: RHP Roy Oswalt (4-2, 5.85) vs. RHP James Shields (13-8, 3.88), 12:40 p.m., ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM/1540 AM/FSSW
103.3 FM ESPN PODCASTS
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.
Play Podcast Nelson Cruz joins Galloway & Company to discuss the Rangers' series in Oakland, his ups and downs at the plate and if the PED talks before the season were a distraction.
Play Podcast Rangers manager Ron Washington joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett live from Oakland for his weekly visit.
Play Podcast Nolan Ryan joins Galloway & Company to discuss his role with the Rangers. Ryan says that he has not been in contact with the Astros about a possible opening and he doesn't think that he would be interested anyway.
Play Podcast Jim Bowden joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett for his weekly visit and wastes no time sounding off on MLB umpire Angel Hernandez.