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Ron Washington: Derek Holland Will Start Game Two

Per Drew Davidson, Derek Holland will apparently start the second game of the playoffs.

By some measures, Holland has been in the argument for the Rangers second best pitcher, while others are not quite so positive. In the second half, however, his average velocity and strikeout rates have steadily improved, and he has seemingly shown real improvement from his relatively-weak May and June peripherals. If he has matured and is beginning to tap his potential, he just might be the Rangers' second best pitcher at this point, making this the right move.

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There is, of course, still the question of his maturity in big situations, and whether or not this is too much of playing the hot hand. Regardless, this matters very little in the first round, as everyone but the obvious ace -- C.J. Wilson -- will pitch once at most, and it doesn't matter too much what order they pitch in. Where it matters is the second round, as it means there will probably be two Holland appearances in the ALCS  (if the Rangers get there, and the series goes that far). The question is now between Matt Harrison or Colby Lewis as the one-start pitcher of a seven game series.

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(Pro Tip: It should be Lewis.)

Photographs by jamesbrandon, jdtornow, phlezk, flygraphix, mcdlttx, tomasland, and literalbarrage used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.