The Rangers hope to play well in an upcoming series against the New York Mets. New York had similar playoff aspirations in 2017 but have been hit hard by injuries to their starting rotation. The Mets are now focused on the future as they are too far behind in both the National League East and in the wild card race.
Texas Rangers vs. New York Mets
Dates: Tuesday, August 8, 2017 – Wednesday, August 9, 2017
Location: Citi Field, Queens, New York
The Rangers are 53-58 on the season, but nobody has run away with the wild card in the American League, so they are actually only four games behind the Royals for the second spot. There are a glut of teams in the mix, and Texas would have to really get hot to leapfrog so many teams ahead. The Rangers basically threw in the towel by dealing ace Yu Darvish to the Dodgers, and likely don’t have enough starting pitching to make a run.
The Mets haven’t been too good at home this season, so maybe Texas can sweep this series and start believing that maybe it has a chance to make an unlikely run into the postseason. The margin for error for Texas is extremely slim the rest of the way.
Game 1 Probable Pitchers – Tuesday, August 8, 2017, 7:10 p.m. ET (Local TV)
Andrew Cashner (Rangers) vs. Chris Flexen (Mets)
Cashner may want to consider becoming a magician for his next career because somehow he’s managed a 7-8 record and 3.36 ERA this season despite horrible peripheral stats. Cashner has 55 strikeouts and 43 walks in 107 innings pitched on the season, which usually equates to an ERA north of 5.00.
He has survived by keeping everything in the ballpark, which is no small feat in an era when so many players are hitting home runs. Cashner may believe it’s talent but in reality his ERA seems quite lucky. It seems like he could get knocked around at some point soon based on his numbers.
Flexen is 0-1 with a 12.00 ERA on the season. He has started two games and has gotten rocked in both of them, allowing three earned runs in three innings to the Padres in his debut and five earned runs last time out against the Rockies. The most recent start was at Coors Field, the most hitter-friendly park in the major leagues, so Flexen will be happy to be in New York for this one, but the Rangers have a strong lineup and he needs to pitch better.
Game 2 Probable Pitchers – Wednesday, August 9, 2017, 12:10 p.m. ET (Local TV)
A.J. Griffin (Rangers) vs. Rafael Montero (Mets)
Griffin is 5-2 on the year but has a 5.20 ERA. He had a decent ERA until three starts ago, when Griffin was absolutely lit up for nine earned runs in 3.1 innings by the Tigers. He followed that up by allowing four earned runs in only 1.1 innings of work against the Blue Jays but finally turned it around last time out. Griffin is coming off an outing in which he gave up only one earned run on two hits in six innings of work against the Twins.
Montero is 1-7 with a 5.78 ERA. He is usually a reliever but has been pressed into starting duty and hasn’t been good. Montero is averaging more than a strikeout per inning but has been hit hard when opposing batters put the ball in play.
The Rangers don’t have great starters going in this two-game set but they still may be the superior arms. Texas has the better lineup while New York has the home field advantage, so the odds for these two games will be intriguing to check in on at top-rated sportsbooks. The Rangers certainly have more to play for with the postseason still a slim possibility, and they would love to pick up a pair of wins, although a split seems like the most likely outcome.