Stocks: Adrian Beltre up; Scott Feldman down
Adrian Beltre: He has to at least be a part of the MVP discussion at this point. The third baseman talked his way into the lineup on Thursday night in Anaheim and then hit a two-run homer in the ninth to break a tie and propel the Rangers to a 3-1 win over the Angels. Beltre is a gamer and he has a flare for the dramatic moments and the big plays.
Yu Darvish: He's looking like a No. 1 now. Darvish is attacking hitters, he's throwing strikes and he's putting fear in the hearts of the opposition. He's making a strong case to be the starter in Game 1 (he'd be my choice).
Bullpen: After last week, when arms needed to be rested and Joe Nathan blew his first save in five months, the bullpen is trending up because of one simple fact: It's back to full strength. And that's a big key for this team.
Michael Young: He was 10-for-20 on the last homestand and didn't slow down during the three-game series in Anaheim. Young was 5-for-12 in the series. He's found his swing again at just the right time.
Scott Feldman: He gave up six runs on seven hits in 2 2/3 innings against Seattle last weekend and lost his rotation spot. Feldman has lost five straight decisions and is now back in the bullpen. Martin Perez gets the start tonight.
Josh Hamilton: It's not because of his numbers on the field. It's because he hasn't been on the field much this week. Hamilton came out of Tuesday's game with the Angels because of vision problems caused by sinus issues. It was bad enough that he didn't play on Wednesday and Thursday. The Rangers need the 2010 AL MVP healthy and ready for the postseason.
Tanner Scheppers: He threw two pitches in Tuesday's loss -- a wild pitch and a hit batter -- and he hurt his knee trying to cover home after the wild pitch.
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.