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Series Preview: Rangers at Twins

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After going 2-4 on their road trip, the Twins return home to host the Texas Rangers.

Rich Schultz/Getty Images

The Rangers come in with a 51-29 record, first in the AL West, with the next closest team being the Astros who are 8.5 games back.

So why are they so good? Well let's see...

1. Ian Desmond

The Rangers have adopted the "infielders converted to outfielders" strategy and it's worked out well for them. He's hitting .893 (that's OPS, not BA of course..), which is the best in his career at age 30.

2. Young talents Rougned Odor and Nomar Mazara

Odor leads the Rangers in HR with 15 (he hit 16 all of last year), and Mazara is hitting .287 and OPSing .772 with 11 home runs.

3. The ageless Adrian Beltre

At 37, still hitting .285/.336/463 with 12 HR.

4. Solid starters

Cole Hamels has been excellent for the Rangers this year so far, with an ERA+ of 175 (100 == Average). Martin Perez has also been solid this year. Colby Lewis was great for them, but he's on the DL now, which leads us into the next section...

Injuries

Colby Lewis has a grade 2 lat strain which seems to be a back muscle, but I never paid attention in anatomy class.

Yu Darvish has been dealing with discomfort in his shoulder (maybe he caught it from the Twins), but expects to be back after the All Star break.

Prince Fielder (he gets his own special shame section)

He has -1 bWAR this year, and is being payed $24,000,000/yr through 2020.

SBNation site

Lone Star Ball

The Match ups

Game 1

Tonight, 7:10 PM CDT

Martin Perez vs Ervin Santana

Game 2

Saturday, July 2nd, 1:10 PM CDT

Chi Chi Gonzalez vs Tyler Duffey

Game 3

Sunday, July 3rd, 1:10 PM CDT

Cole Hamels vs Kyle Gibson

After this, the Twins take on another AL West team, the A's. The Twins have a real chance to influence the AL West division race this home stand, it seems.