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Monday, September 3, 2012
Week ahead: Kansas City, Tampa Bay

By Richard Durrett



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.