Oswalt (4-2, 5.85 ERA): This will be the veteran's ninth start of the season and he's working on four days of rest after pitching 2 1/3 innings of relief in Tuesday's 6-3 loss to Kansas City. ... Oswalt allowed a solo homer in that appearance, but also had four strikeouts. ... He's pitched just three times the last month and once in the past 16 games. ... This will be his first start since Aug. 23, when he took a no-decision against the Minnesota Twins, going 5 1/3 innings and allowing four runs (three earned) on seven hits. ... Oswalt is 1-1 with a 6.75 ERA in six road games (three starts) this season. He's allowed six homers in those games. ... He won his only career start against the Rays when he was with Houston at Tropicana Field on June 20, 2008 beating Matt Garza.
Shields (13-8, 3.88 ERA): He comes in with seven consecutive quality starts and has pitched at least seven innings in six of those. ... That run includes a loss to Texas despite allowing just one run on three hits with eight strikeouts and two walks in seven innings. The Rangers won 1-0 behind Yu Darvish's sparkling outing. ... Shields is coming off his best month of the season, going 3-1 with a 2.52 ERA. ... He's made 14 starts at home and 14 on the road and his home ERA is actually a bit higher at 3.99 (he's 3.77 on the road). ... He's made two starts against Texas and is 1-1 with a 3.46 ERA, allowing four runs in his first start against the Rangers in 2012.
Hitters: By far the best Rangers hitter against Shields is Elvis Andrus, who is 11-for-19 (.579) off him. ... Four Rangers have at least 20 at-bats off Shields and none have done particularly well: Adrian Beltre (9-for-36), Josh Hamilton (3-for-22), Ian Kinsler (6-for-28) and Michael Young (5-for-26). The four have seven homers combined off Shields, though, to go along with 33 strikeouts. ... The only Rays hitter with more than five at-bats against Oswalt is Jeff Keppinger, who is 6-for-15 with an RBI.