The Rangers are off to just about the worst start imaginable. They're
8-13, last in the AL West. The good news is that they're 8-13, only 3.5 games out, and
they're way, way better than they've played thus far.
Robinson Tejeda takes the ball in the opener. He's a righty in his third season who's been easily the Rangers' best starter this year. He has a pronounced windup but steps forward quietly when he actually throws the ball. It looks surprisingly effortless. He's a flyball pitcher with a good changeup.
The other three starters this weekend aren't doing quite so well. The chart's lines on Padilla and McCarthy speak for themselves.
Ian Kinsler is having a phenomenal season. Sammy Sosa's hitting like Sammy Sosa: lots of flyballs, lots of power, lots of strikeouts, not many hits that aren't homers. The rest of the lineup seems to be mired in a team-wide BABIP slump, especially old friend Frank Catalanotto. The Rangers will see plenty of pitches in the strike zone this weekend. So something has to give: the Jays' 3-4-5 starters continue to defy the odds and look really good, or the Rangers' luck finally starts to even out and they have their traditional offensive explosion against the Jays.
Credit section: Batted-ball, Leverage Index and balk data are available at Fangraphs. K% and BB% are strikeouts and walks as a percentage of plate appearances. Everything else, most notably the AL average statistics, is available at The Hardball Times.