Game 3 ALCS Preview: Texas Rangers 

Base Running

The Rangers exhibit and take pride in being aggressive when running the bases. They have had good results so far in the post season. Tonight though, they may have to calm it down a bit since Andy Pettitte is on the mound. Andy has a great pick off move and does a great job of keeping runners near first base. With runs possibly being at a premium tonight, none of the Ranger base runners can pull a “Kinsler” and get picked off of first base.

The Rangers don’t have to shut down their running game. They can be aggressive once the ball is in play or even look at stealing third base against Jorge Posada. They just can’t afford to give away any outs at first base tonight.

Cliff Lee May

Cliff Lee has been throwing lights out so far this post season. He will not maintain this complete dominance throughout the entire post season (see Roy Halladay). He may come down to earth, regress a little and allow some crazy number of runs like three or four. The Rangers should be looking to add runs whenever they can. They can’t expect him to be as lights out as he was against Tampa, especially against the Yankees lineup.

Robinson Cano ….

… is a very good hitter. I followed the Royals during the regular season, which means I only get a heavy dose of the AL Central players. I am impressed with Cano.

Rangers Bullpen

So far this LCS, the Rangers have used Neftali Feliz, Derek Holland, Darren O’Day, Alexi Ogando, Darren Oliver and Clay Rapada in relief. During the regular season, these six pitchers average 0.31 BB/IP and 0.97 K/IP. During the LCS, the six have maintained a similar strikeout rate of 0.94 K/IP, but their walk rate has almost quadrupled to 1.13 BB/IP. Though this is a small sample size, the bullpen can’t keep giving up over one walk per inning and expect to hold the Yankees scoreless. As seen in game one, the Yankees are too good to give them one or more free base runners in an inning.

Jeff, one of the authors of the fantasy baseball guide,The Process, writes for RotoGraphs, The Hardball Times, Rotowire, Baseball America, and BaseballHQ. He has been nominated for two SABR Analytics Research Award for Contemporary Analysis and won it in 2013 in tandem with Bill Petti. He has won four FSWA Awards including on for his Mining the News series. He's won Tout Wars three times, LABR twice, and got his first NFBC Main Event win in 2021. Follow him on Twitter @jeffwzimmerman.

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