Monday, April 28, 2014
Top stats to know: Athletics at Rangers
By ESPN Stats & Information
The Texas Rangers host the Oakland Athletics on Monday night at 8 ET on ESPN.
The Rangers swept the A’s last week in a three-game series in Oakland, but which team’s ace will reign supreme tonight, Yu Darvish or Sonny Gray? Below is a look at the matchup.
Yu Darvish to the rescue
The Rangers currently have 11 players on the disabled list, including four starting pitchers. No other team has more than seven players on the DL.
The Rangers ranked in the top 10 in team ERA last season but rank 18th so far this season despite Martin Perez (1.42) and Darvish (1.61) ranking first and third in ERA in the American League.
Darvish has found success throughout his major league career, but has gotten better each season with improved control.
Darvish’s 2014 season would look even better had it not been for last week’s start against the Athletics, however.
Darvish took a no-decision in Texas’ 4-3 win over Oakland on April 21. In Darvish’s first three starts of the season, he allowed a combined two earned runs and four walks, and he gave up no more than seven hits in any of those games. Against the A’s, Darvish allowed three earned runs, four walks and eight hits.
It was the first game all season that he struggled to locate his fastball. Darvish threw 52 fastballs that game, but threw a season-low 50 percent for strikes. When the A’s did swing against the heat, they hit .429 with a home run (Brandon Moss).
Darvish held opponents to a .154 average against his fastball in his first three starts of the season.
Sonny Gray is A-OK
Gray has made 15 starts in his career, posting a 2.64 ERA and striking out 92 batters. Only Tim Hudson had more strikeouts for the Athletics in his first 15 career starts.
Gray is 3-1 this season, with his only loss coming against the Rangers, a 3-0 setback during which Gray struggled with his control.
Only 46 percent of Gray’s pitches in the game were thrown in the strike zone. This led to a season-high four walks for Gray, but he also generated five strikeouts on pitches out of the zone.
The Rangers were able to take advantage when Gray threw one in the strike zone, slugging .563 on those pitches, the highest allowed by Gray this season.