Yankees fans cheat sheet for Texas:

Yankees baseball is back!

It seems like it’s been so long since we’ve seen Yankees baseball, we all could likely use a quick status update: The Yanks enter action this afternoon in first place in the AL East with an 18-7 record, 1.5 games up on Tampa Bay and three ahead of Toronto. The 18-7 record is also the AL’s best and 9.5 games better than the AL worst Boston Red Sox’ 10-18. (No, that has nothing to do with today’s action but I wanted to drop that in there anyway.)

Today the Yankees begin a three-game series with the Texas Rangers that will be played over the span of (just over) the next 24 hours with game one beginning at 1:35 PM, with game two scheduled for 5:15 PM, and game three set for 1:05 PM tomorrow.

The Rangers are off to an “OK” start as they’ve put up a 10-14 record against mostly good competition. They’re currently riding a four-game winning streak taking wins from the Braves and the Phillies, in which they outscored the NL foes by a combined 18-9 margin.

So far in 2022, the Rangers’ offense has been more or less average as they currently rank 12th in MLB in runs per game, but their underlying metrics on batted balls haven’t been too good, as they’ve posted an xwOBA that ranks 20th across MLB. Yet something to watch for with the Rangers is they have been very aggressive on the basepaths in 2022. They lead all MLB teams in the percentage of extra bases taken while being exactly league average in outs made on bases. (Obviously, taking plenty of extra bases while not running into outs more than other teams, is pretty good.) They’re also fifth in MLB in stolen bases but have been thrown out a little bit more than the league average rate.

Their run prevention on a whole hasn’t been too good as their runs allowed per game is the sixth-worst in baseball. Their glovework has been more or less average, as has the staff K to BB rate. Where they’ve gotten into trouble is in the quality of contact allowed, as opponents’ xwOBA against Texas pitching is the fourth highest in the league.

On an individual level, there haven’t been too many Rangers off to noteworthy starts except for prized off-season free-agent signing Marcus Semien and left-handed starting pitcher Martín Pérez – although their starts are noteworthy for different reasons. Pérez has posted a 165 ERA+ and 2.83 FIP over five starts in 2022, but as of this writing, Monday’s starters haven’t been announced, so we’re not sure if the Bombers will get to take hacks off Pérez in this series.

Meanwhile, Semien is off to a horrid start with a .179/.252/.242 triple slash line. It hasn’t been bad luck either, as he somewhat remarkably ranks in the single-digit percentiles across baseball in average exit velocity, hard-hit percentage, xwOBA, xBA, and xSLG. Hopefully, this isn’t the series the historically very good Semien turns his season around.

Looking forward to three games in about 24 hours – you can always follow along with me @mybaseballpage17 on Twitter and on the “My Baseball Page” on Facebook. And be sure to check back in a little while for a Game 1 preview, then later this afternoon for a Game 2 heads up!


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