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Oakland A’s Series Preview #10: Rangers welcome A’s to new stadium

A’s first trip to Globe Life Field in Arlington

Arizona Diamondbacks v Texas Rangers
Kyle Gibson stars the second game, on Tuesday
Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images

The Oakland A’s still have the best record in the American League at 20-9, and Monday will mark the halfway point of the short 2020 season — the 30th game out of 60 total. They now embark on their longest road trip of the year, 10 games in three AL West cities, beginning with four against the Texas Rangers. This will be their first trip to the new Globe Life Field in Arlington, which replaced the “old” Globe Life Park (which opened in 1992).

Texas Rangers

  • 2020 record: 10-17

The A’s and Rangers faced off once already this summer, with Oakland sweeping Texas in three games at the Coliseum. They survived a Lance Lynn start and won against the bullpen with a Stephen Piscotty walk-off grand slam, then overcame Kyle Gibson and the bullpen once more, and then thoroughly beat All-Star Mike Minor in the finale.

In that second game, the winning hit was the first career homer by backup catcher Austin Allen. However, Allen was optioned down to alternate camp on Monday, replaced by top prospect Jonah Heim.

Since we last saw them, the Rangers have dealt with some injuries. SS Elvis Andrus and OF Willie Calhoun landed on the injured list in August, as did relief pitchers Jesse Chavez, Luke Farrell, Nick Goody, Brett Martin, Joe Palumbo, and Edinson Volquez. Of that group, Chavez allowed the walk-off slam to Piscotty after Volquez loaded the bases (the latter took the loss in the box score), and Farrell also served up a homer to Matt Olson.

Projected lineup

This is specifically their lineup vs. LHP, which they’ll see in the first two games of this series.

  • CF Leody Taveras (S)
  • LF Nick Solak (R)
  • 1B Danny Santana (S)
  • 3B Todd Frazier (R)
  • C Jose Trevino (R)
  • DH Robinson Chirinos (R)
  • 2B Rougned Odor (L)
  • SS Isiah Kiner-Falefa (R)
  • RF Scott Heineman (R)

No Joey Gallo on Monday against the southpaw, and Shin-Soo Choo is nursing a calf issue beyond just the unfavorable platoon matchup. Texas also has Derek Dietrich now, as another lefty bat, and he’s off to a decent start in nine games.

Starting pitchers

These are the four expected starters:

  • Mon: Lance Lynn (R) vs. Jesus Luzardo (5:05 p.m.)
  • Tue: Kyle Gibson (R) vs. Sean Manaea (5:05 p.m.)
  • Wed: Kolby Allard (L) vs. Mike Fiers (5:05 p.m.)
  • Thu: Jordan Lyles (R) vs. Chris Bassitt (3:37 p.m.)

No Minor in this series, which is too bad because the A’s already beat him once and he’s having a bad year so far (6.75 ERA, 5.29 FIP). Fortunately, Allard (7.28 ERA, FIP) and Lyles (9.56 ERA, 6.62 FIP) have been even worse. Lyles has been consistently torched every time out, and Allard didn’t even make it out of the 1st inning in his last start.

However, Lynn is as good as ever, further proving his newfound acedom, and Gibson has been just about average. Oakland managed one run off Lynn and three off Gibson last time, in around six innings each.

Bench/Bullpen

Here’s the Rangers’ full 28-man roster:

Texas Rangers 28-man roster
Pitchers Hitters
Starters

Lance Lynn (R)
Mike Minor (L)
Kyle Gibson (R)
Jordan Lyles (R)
Kolby Allard (L)

Relievers

Rafael Montero (R)
Wes Benjamin (L)
Kyle Cody (R)
Luis Garcia (R)
Ian Gibaut (R)
Taylor Hearn (L)
Jimmy Herget (R)
Jonathan Hernandez (R)
Joely Rodriguez (L)
Catchers

Robinson Chirinos (R)
Jeff Mathis (R)
Jose Trevino (R)

Infielders

Derek Dietrich (L)
Rougned Odor (L)
Todd Frazier (R)
Isiah Kiner-Falefa (R)
Yadiel Rivear (R)

Outfielders

Shin-Soo Choo (L)
Joey Gallo (L)
Scott Heineman (R)
Danny Santana (S)
Nick Solak (R)
Leody Taveras (S)

10-day IL: RHP Jesse Chavez (toe), RHP Luke Farrell (coronavirus protocol), RHP Nick Goody (back), RHP Corey Kluber (shoulder), LHP Brett Martin (shoulder), LHP Joe Palumbo (ulcerative colitis), RHP Edinson Volquez (oblique), SS Elvis Andrus (back), OF Willie Calhoun ankle)

45-day IL: LHP Brock Burke (shoulder), RHP Jose Leclerc (back)