The Texas Rangers open up a pivotal three game series with the Los Angeles Angels on Friday as the Rangers look to extend their AL West lead and snap a three game losing streak.
Los Angeles has cut Texas' lead in the AL West to just two games - and only one in the loss column. The Angels are on a six game winning streak, starting with Mark Trumbo's walk off home run off of Mike Adams last week. Since then, the Rangers have dropped five of their last seven games as well, losing two of three to the White Sox over the weekend before losing three of four to the Red Sox to begin a homestand.
The Angels will send Dan Haren to the mound as they look to draw even in the loss column with the Rangers. Haren has been among the very best pitchers in baseball this season, with the sixth highest WAR among starting pitchers this year. Only Roy Halladay, Justin Verlander, CC Sabathia, Clayton Kershaw and teammate Jered Weaver have posted higher WARs to date.
Haren takes a 13-6 record into Friday's contest, with a 2.98 ERA and .98 WHIP to go along with it. Amazingly, Haren has only walked 26 batters in 190.1 innings of work this season, while striking out 156.
Texas will need the good Derek Holland to show up on Friday, as he opposes Haren. Holland was rocked in his last start, allowing five runs on eight hits while walking two in just three and a third innings of work. On the year, Holland has a 4.42 ERA, .275 BAA and 1.43 WHIP headed into Friday's showdown against the Angels.
First pitch from Rangers Ballpark in Arlington is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. CDT.