This is not something you expect to see on June 11:
Texas Rangers: 36-30
Boston Red Sox: 34-34
Last year, Red Sox won 108 games, won the World Series and took the whole team back this season. The Rangers ended 67-95. They were 41 matches worse than the Red Sox in the winning column and 340 worse than the Red Sox in the run differential. Their big offseason movements were signing Lance Lynn and trading with Jurickson Profar. They signed 36-year-old veteran Hunter Pence for a minor league contract at the beginning of spring training. The forecasts for Rangers were not very optimistic.
But here we are after Rangers beat Red Sox 9-5 in Fenway Park on Tuesday night, its second straight victory to start a four-game series. If the season ended today, Rangers would be the second wild card in the American League and the Red Sox would go home as one of the most disappointing teams in recent years. This game is symbolic of the seasons of both clubs:
̵1; Texas Rangers (@Rangers) June 12, 2019
Pence lofts little fly ball along the right field . Brock Holt and Mookie Betts do not perform good baseball. Pence circles the bases with a two-run-in-the-park home ground. Pence now has as many or more home runs as Khris Davis, Rhys Hoskins, Kris Bryant, J.D. Martinez or Paul Goldschmidt, to name a few remarkable sluggers. He is a potential All-Star. Rangers fans love the surprise time from their hometown hero (Pence went to Arlington High School):
Hi I'm here to tell you that Hunter Pence beat his 14th home run for the season and no, I won't stop giving you those updates.
– Carmen Kiew (@carmenkiew) June 12, 2019
What happened to the Red Sox? Of course they lack Craig Kimbrel and the rotation went to the horrible start, but they had seemed right on the ship. Instead, they are teetering again as a luxury cruiser with a bad case of norovirus. Check out their past eight series, work backwards:
0-2 against Rangers
1-3 against Rays
3-0 against Royals
] 1 -2 vs. Yankees
1-2 vs. indian
1-2 vs. Astros
3-1 vs. Blue Jays
1-2 vs. Astros
They are 6-1 against the western Royals and Blue Jays, and 5-13 against the good teams. They are now 10-20 in season against teams currently .500 or better. One more thing to wonder about, play more pop psychologist than statistical analyst: last year, Betts, Martinez and Chris Sale were so good that it just seemed to lift the whole team. You had two superstars to carry the crime and take the pressure from everyone else and, at least until Sale was injured in August, perhaps the best starter in the majors dominance every five days.
Well, the sales took care of the horrible start, Martinez has had some back problems in his production and Betts has been excellent – just not so good. The air of invincibility that the three carried last season has not been there and cut some of the "we will find a way to win" attitude as the 2018 Red Sox kept throughout the season and into the playoffs. Holt and Betts who do not accommodate the ball at Pence's home run are representative of how the Red Sox simply wasn't as locked as they were in 2018.
Pence – now beats .284 / .345 / .585 – – is not the only surprise on the Rangers. Mike Minor, 5-4 with a 2.52 ERA, has been one of the best starters in the American League. Joey Gallo had taken his game to a new level before an oblique tension stretched over him. They found Danny Santana off the scrap yard and he hit .299 / .338 / .490. After all, it's a team with clear worries: They've run through 12 kegs, Rougned Odor has one. 250 OBP, Bullpen has not been very big, Ronald Guzman and Nomar Mazara do not tear it up.
Which team is likely to come there? I would still bet on the Red Sox. FanGraph's playoff odds are still strong for Boston:
Red Sox: 90-72, 61.3% playoff odds
Rangers: 80-82, 3.8% playoff odds
One reason for pessimism with Rangers is that They have exceeded their BaseRuns statistics by four wins while the Red Sox has underperformed three. It's another way of saying that the Rangers have been linked and the Red Sox doesn't – and you can't project those trends to continue.
The Rangers have, however, put themselves in position to make a card-run. In a league with so many bad teams that AL has, it makes sense that we should see a surprising law. Maybe it's Rangers.
Yordan Alvarez meets homers in 100% of the games he plays. pic.twitter.com/WanfistbVH
– MLB (@MLB) June 12, 2019
Okay, it was hardly a monster mash, but the 21-year-old cuban showed his raw power by knocking out it without even making a big turn on the ball, which made him the first player in Astro's history to homer in his first two games. Alvarez had met .343 / .443 / .772 at Triple-A with 23 home runs in 56 matches. I don't think he needs to worry about returning to Round Rock.
Tuesday night in home runs: Maybe we should make it a regular function. Let's see …
• Alvarez hit that ball out, even though it looked like he was just shaking a ball on green at Pebble Beach. Astros beat four home runs in the game. The brewers beat three in a loss, including Christian Yelich's 25th.
From the first pick to the late round, continue with the players that your team only made part of their future plans.
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• Atlanta Braves beat four home plans in the second inning of their 7-5 win over Pittsburgh Pirates – and five in the game, all outside Chris Archer. It's been two consecutive days we've had a corps surrender five home runs (and don't forget the four in a row that Washington citizens beat Craig Stam on Sunday).
• The New York Yankees beat three home plans in a 12-5 win over the New York Mets, including Gary Sanchez 20th. Sanchez was DH and in eight games as a DH he has beaten .333 with seven races.
• Mets responded with three home runs to win the second game in doubleheader 10-4. Pete Alonso hit a three-run blast in the first innings of James Paxton, his 22nd in 66 career game. Most home runs go through 70 career games:
Jose Abreu: 26
Cody Bellinger: 25
Matt Olson: 24
Gary Sanchez: 23
Wally Berger: 23
his first home run at home in her young career.
Eloy Jiménez absolutely destroyed this baseball. ] – Chicago White Sox (@whitesox) June 12, 2019
Today's catch: Victor Robles with the sensational grip …
– MLB (@MLB) June 12, 2019
Till tomorrow … enjoy your baseball.