The Week Ahead: Orioles, Tigers

July, 8, 2013
7/08/13
1:15
PM CT
The Rangers face two formidable offenses this week, led by the American League's top two Most Valuable Player candidates.

PODCAST
Rangers closer Joe Nathan joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett to discuss what it means to be selected to the All-Star Game again and how he feels about the Rangers heading into the All-Star break.

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First, it's Chris Davis and the Baltimore Orioles for four games Monday-Thursday at Camden Yards, and then a weekend series with Miguel Cabrera and the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park in the final three games before a four-day All-Star Break.

Davis and Cabrera have combined for 61 home runs and 175 RBIs before the All-Star Break. Those are breathtaking numbers.

Here's what to watch for as the Rangers hit the road for seven games:

Baltimore momentum: If there's such thing as momentum from game to game in baseball, the Orioles should have it as they head into a four-game series with the Rangers. Baltimore rallied for a 2-1 victory at Yankee Stadium on Sunday as Adam Jones hit a two-run home run in the top of the ninth off of baseball's all-time saves leader, Mariano Rivera. The victory pushed the O's (49-40) back in front of the Yankees (48-40) in the tightly-bunched AL East, both behind front-runner Boston. Jones' homer snapped Rivera's streak of 41 straight save opportunities converted at home going back to 2010.

PODCAST
Nolan Ryan joins Galloway and Company for his weekly visit to discuss the latest Rangers news, including the addition of Manny Ramirez.

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Seeing old friends: Buck Showalter, Chris Davis, Scott Feldman, Tommy Hunter. Yes, the Orioles are the Rangers East. Davis has been the big story with a major league-leading 33 home runs in his breakout season. He was the leading vote-getter for the AL All-Star team. Feldman was recently traded by the Chicago Cubs to the Orioles. He pitched seven shutout innings against the Rangers earlier this season for the Cubs and allowed a run in six innings in his first start for Baltimore since coming over in the trade. Hunter has pitched brilliantly out of the Orioles' bullpen with a 3-2 record and a 2.09 ERA. And Showalter has done what he does best -- turn on a young team into a World Series contender.

What's in a record?: The Rangers are 10-2 against Baltimore the past two seasons, including 5-2 at Camden Yards. But the Rangers lost the one game they really wanted, last year's AL wild-car game. Baltimore won the game in Arlington, 5-1, eliminating the Rangers from the postseason. Derek Holland, who will start Monday's series opener in Baltimore, pitched an inning in relief of Yu Darvish in that game.

That guy again: Speaking of AL MVP candidates, Miguel Cabrera is making another run at the Triple Crown after becoming the first to do it since 1967 last season. Ramirez leads the AL with a.368 batting average and 90 RBIs and is second to Davis with 28 home runs. Cabrera crushed the Rangers in their series in May in Arlington, going 9-for-16 with three home runs and six RBIs.

Scherzer's run at history: Tigers starter Max Scherzer will try to match Roger Clemens' 14-0 start to the 1986 season when he takes the mound Monday in Cleveland. If he gets it done, he'll go for 15-0 on Saturday against the Rangers. Only two pitchers in modern American League history have started a season with a 15-0 record -- Baltimore's Dave McNally in 1969 and Cleveland's Johnny Allen in 1937.

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TEAM LEADERS

WINS LEADER
Yu Darvish
WINS ERA SO IP
9 2.88 154 122
OTHER LEADERS
BAA. Beltre .325
HRA. Beltre 14
RBIA. Beltre 53
RA. Beltre 52
OPSA. Beltre .889
ERAY. Darvish 2.88
SOY. Darvish 154