Submitted by Jim Hurley on Saturday, June 21, 2014 at 9:00 PM
His last time out, Yu Darvish of the Texas Rangers got hit hard again by the Oakland A’s. They’ve had his number this year and last. But, part of the reason for that is that Oakland has a great offense! The Los Angeles Angels also have a great offense, and hit two home runs off of Darvish the last time they faced him.
Is Yu Darvish one of those pitchers who will simply crush mediocre or bad teams…but then prove to be mortal against elite offenses? Or, can he shut down the Angels tonight the final game of a weekend set that will be nationally televised by ESPN?
Helping out Darvish Sunday Night…
*It’s a twilight start because of the prime telecast. First pitch will be just after 6 p.m. California time. That will make a tricky pitcher even more difficult to deal with in the awkward dusk lighting. That might make it easy to get through the lineup at least once, and maybe twice before traditional visibility really settles in.
*His opposing pitcher is unheralded Matt Schoemaker, who’s only been a rotation starter for stopgap reasons with the Angels this year. That allows some margin for error because he can allow a solo home run or two and still have a good chance of being ahead if his offense can put something on the board against Schoemaker.
Let’s take a look at those offenses, and then review the pitching stats to get you ready for this marquee TV showdown…
Texas: 4.30 runs per game, .325 on-base, .390 slugging
LA Angels: 4.75 runs per game, .327 on-base, .418 slugging
The Angels clearly have the superior offense. But, their real advantage may even be larger because Texas gets to play home games in such a great hitter’s park. Some nights, the ball just flies out in Arlington because of weather conditions. There aren’t every any games quite like that in Anaheim. If the ball’s flying out in Angels’ home games, it’s because sluggers are slugging. Big edge to the host Halos.
SUNDAY’S PROBABLE PITCHERS
Yu Darvish: 2.39 ERA, 1.21 WHIP, 10.9 K-Rate
Matt Schoemaker: 3.83ERA, 1.13 WHIP, 9.6 K-Rate
It was back on May 4 when Darvish allowed two home runs to this offense in this stadium. He still has Cy Young type numbers overall even with his stats against the Angels and A’s. That gives you a sense of how dominating he's been vs. everyone else. That great K-rate always gives him a chance to get out of a jam if he ever gets into one.
Schoemaker just had a great start in Cleveland. But, won’t typically make it past the sixth inning. Perhaps he’ll catch a break with visiting Texas in a get-away spot. The Rangers fly home after the game to get ready for a series that begins Tuesday Night against the Detroit Tigers. Some teams hack away in spots like that (particularly in bad lighting) because of the travel distraction, or just because they’re happy a road stretch is ending.
It hasn’t been determined as of press time whether or not there will be an official NETWORK play in this one on the side or total. You can always purchase the final word from JIM HURLEY right here at the website with your credit card a few hours before first pitch. If you have any questions about extended service, call us in the office Sunday morning or weekdays during regular business hours at 1-888-777-4155. Be sure to check on early-bird football rates when you call!
A new week of baseball begins tomorrow, as does a new week of big series or big TV game previews. Here’s this week’s schedule (subject to change for breaking stories)
Monday: MLB Series Preview…Washington at Milwaukee
Tuesday: MLB Series Preview…Detroit at Texas
Wednesday: MLB Big Game Preview…LA Dodgers at Kansas City
Thursday: MLB Series Preview…St. Louis at LA Dodgers
Friday: MLB Series Preview…Boston at the NY Yankees
That’s a potential NL playoff preview Monday, the continuing saga of the Detroit Tigers on Tuesday, a suddenly exciting Interleague thriller on Wednesday…another potential NL playoff preview on Thursday…and then the classic Boston/NY Yankees rivalry on Friday.
July will bring our annual gauntlet of college football conference previews. Mark your calendar now so you don’t miss those!
Important handicapping information every day here in the NOTEBOOK…and then regular servings of BIG, JUICY WINNERS when you sign up with JIM HURLEY’S NETWORK!