- Friday, 8:30 p.m. EST, Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, Arlington, Texas.
- TV: TBS, MLB.TV (subscription required)
- Broadcasters: Ernie Johnson, John Smoltz, Cal Ripken and Craig Sager
- Vegas odds: Rangers -190, Orioles +180; over/under: 9
- Season series: Rangers won 5-2.
- Joe Saunders (9-13, 4.07 ERA) has pitched well since he was acquired from the Arizona Diamondbacks at the end of August. In September, he was 3-2 with a 2.75 ERA. In his two losses, he pitched at least six innings, each time giving up three runs (the Orioles lost 4-0 and 3-2). He's coming off a dominant performance against the Red Sox on Sept. 30, pitching eight strong innings with three runs on three hits. However, the three runs came off two home runs. That might make the difference tonight, as Rangers' batters have had some fun with Saunders. They're batting .350 against him, and have hit a total of nine home runs off Saunders -- four of them coming off the bat of Ian Kinsler in just 24 at-bats (he's hitting .417 off Saunders).
- Darvish, the prized import from Japan, has pitched well for the Rangers this season, striking out 221 batters in 191.1 innings. Keep in mind, though, that he has suffered the effects of pitching in a hitter-friendly ballpark, too. Hitters are batting 24 points higher at the Ballpark in Arlington than on the road. Then again, it hasn't mattered much: He's 10-2 at home. Also of note: This is the first time that the Orioles will see the righty. You may expect to see some of this:
How they stack up:
- The Rangers took three of four from the Orioles at Camden Yards in May, back then the Orioles had started their run. In August, the Rangers took two of three, including a 12-3 rout in their most recent meeting.