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Texas Rangers v Chicago White Sox
Expect more of this from earlier in the season, only in the triple-digit heat of Arlington this week.
Jamie Sabau/Getty Images

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Since We Last Met: Texas Rangers

Deep in the heart of ... atrocious

Your Chicago White Sox head to the Lone Star State to take on the Texas Rangers in Arlington. The Sox are 4-3 lifetime at Globe Life Field, splitting a four-game series in 2022, and taking a three game series in 2021. Will the third visit to the new Texas ballpark be a charm? Seems unlikely for a bunch that closed out July a miserable 43-64.

What Have the Rangers Been Up To?

The Rangers opened the second half with back-to-back sweeps of the Guardians and Rays in Texas. Since winning those six consecutive games, the Rangers have stumbled to a 2-7 record, having lost three straight series against the Dodgers, Astros, and Padres. The latter being a three-game sweep in San Diego. Texas is 3-7 in their last 10, and their division lead in the AL West is down to a half-game.

Don’t let this cold spell fool you however: Texas is still one of the best teams in baseball. The Rangers have the best run differential in the American League entering play today (+145), second only to Atlanta in MLB. For the sake of comparison, the White Sox run differential of -83 places them 25th. The Rangers’ 118 OPS+ is also tied with Atlanta for best in baseball, while the Sox OPS+ of 88 is tied for 26th. These two offenses simply aren’t in the same stratosphere.

This is what signing star players in their prime does for your team at the tail end of a rebuild. That’s perhaps something the White Sox organization should take note of for the next time around ...

What Are the Pitching Matchups? How Do We Match Up?

Texas’ pitching is middle of the pack in ERA+ and FIP, while the White Sox are near the bottom, even before shipping off five pitchers this past week. The Rangers, on the other hand, made a pitching splash at the trade deadline, acquiring Max Scherzer from the Mets and Jordan Montgomery from the Cardinals over the weekend.

For a team with World Series aspirations, Texas seems to be doing it right.

Here’s the pitching matchups for this series:

Tuesday, August 1
Jesse Scholtens gets the start in the opener for the White Sox, taking the spot formerly occupied by new Dodger Lance Lynn. Scholtens is unlikely stretched out to more than three innings, so we are looking at bullpen day, cobbled together with arms of guys whose names we know not and whose jerseys are freshly-stitched.

Wednesday, August 2
Dylan Cease vs TBD: Heaney was scheduled to go on Wednesday, but was bumped to Tuesday in place of Jon Gray. Gray could get the start here, or the newly-acquired Jordan Montgomery could make his Rangers debut.

Thursday, August 3
Touki vs Mad Max. Seems like a fair fight.

Scherzer is 13-6 with a 2.43 ERA and a 1.01 WHIP in 163 innings in his career against the South Siders. According to Baseball Savant, Scherzer has only faced these three hitters on the current White Sox roster, having spent the past few seasons with the Nationals, Dodgers, and Mets.

Texas took two of three from the Sox in Chicago in mid-June. Texas climbed to 46-28 (.622) after that series, while the Sox fell to 32-44 (.421). Texas now sits 60-46, and while their winning percentage has dropped to .556, the Sox sit barely better than .400, at .402. Despite Texas’ recent skid, these are two teams headed in opposite directions. This vastly different White Sox roster likely offers little resistance for a Rangers team looking to get right. I can barely keep track of who is even on the Sox roster as the trade deadline passes, and thing got heated as Tuesday wore on, with the team shipping out Jake Burger, buying Luis Patiño, and dealing Keynan Middleton. We are sure to watch dudes we’ve never heard of attempt to throw baseballs and get hitters out. Emphasis on attempt. Something tells me it won’t be pretty ...

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