Is it smart for Rays to start David Price tonight vs. Rangers? #YanksFans4Rays - Lady Loves Pinstripes Is it smart for Rays to start David Price tonight vs. Rangers? #YanksFans4Rays - Lady Loves Pinstripes Is it smart for Rays to start David Price tonight vs. Rangers? #YanksFans4Rays - Lady Loves Pinstripes
 

Is it smart for Rays to start David Price tonight vs. Rangers? #YanksFans4Rays

The 2013 New York Yankees season might be officially and pathetically over, but the most exciting time in baseball starts tonight with a sudden-death game in the American League wild-card playoff.

Rays vs. Rangers Game 4

Rays vs. Rangers Game 4 (Photo credit: kthypryn)

As the Texas Rangers will host the Tampa Bay Rays tonight in a one-game playoff to decide who wins the second AL wild-card spot.

Then either the Rays or Rangers will head to Cleveland to face the Indians, who officially own the other AL Wild Card on Wednesday night to play in another win or go home match-up.

Even though ex-Yankee fan favorite Nick Swisher is a member of the Tribe, I am rooting for the Rays this postseason pending if they can beat the Rangers in Arlington tonight.

See, I respect the Rays for many reasons.

  • They are the ultimate Moneyball team.
  • Home is a dumpy dome known as “the Trop.”
  • Team has been contending since 2008, when they lost in the WS to the Phillies.
  • Do not have the fan base a team of the Rays caliber deserves, but you have to factor in that a majority of Florida residents are imports from other cities.
  • Have the best scouts in MLB, as they find talent young.

The Rays are exciting, young and cheap, as they own third lowest payroll in the Bigs at $55,955,272.

You can bet that Yankees inherited owner Hal Steinbrenner wets his pants just dreaming of owning a team like the Rays as he watched them compete from his couch. Oh sorry, my bad Hal doesn’t like watching his own team so doubt he gives a hoot about this postseason.

Excuse me, now let’s get back to the team that is still relevant, which is not the Yankees.

Ok, so the Rays are starting homegrown pitcher David Price tonight vs. the Rangers and this concerns me.

(All stats courtesy of baseball-reference.com)

David Price vs. Rangers - Career Splits by Year
Year
W
L
W-L%
ERA
GS
IP
BAA
H
R
ER
HR
BB
SO
BF
WHIP
SO/9
SO/BB
Career Total140.2005.98843.20.274462929519411911.498.502.16
2009020.0009.45313.10.25012141421011611.657.401.10
2010003.0016.00.250522058251.6712.001.60
2011010.0003.21214.00.24113551313571.148.404.33
2012110.5006.97210.10.3481688219481.657.809.00

Yes, Price is the reigning AL CY Young winner and there is no doubt that he is one of the best righties in the game but just not against the Rangers. Price seems to struggle even worse on the hill at Rangers Ballpark too.

(All stats courtesy of baseball-reference.com)

David Price @Rangers Ballpark
Year
W
L
W-L%
ERA
GS
IP
BAA
H
R
ER
HR
BB
SO
BF
WHIP
SO/9
SO/BB
Career Total120.33310.26416.20.3572519194816821.988.602.00
2009010.00015.6326.10.37591111277342.539.901.00
2012110.5006.97210.10.3481688219481.657.809.00

The last time Price faced the Rangers away was on August 27, 2012. In the eventual loss, Price was tagged for six earned runs, got taken deep twice and couldn’t get out of the fifth inning.

Ex-Ranger Josh Hamilton did have good numbers vs. Price but his absence is minor because Elvis Andrus and Adrian Beltre have better ones.

Also, the Rangers picked up Alex Rios at the trade deadline this season. And in 26 at-bats vs. Price, Rios has two homers, seven RBIs, three walks and batting average against of .435.

And there is also the return of Rangers slugger Nelson Cruz who is done serving his 50-game PED suspension. Whether Cruz plays is up to Rangers skipper Ron Washington. Now even though Cruz has had success vs. Price, you got to believe he is a tad rusty and mentally who knows where he will be in his first game back from cheating.

Look there is no doubt that Price’s numbers vs. Texas are dated and minimal. But that doesn’t change the fact they are bad, and that Price will be facing the same Ranger batters who have crushed him in the past.

I know Rays skipper Joe Maddon is a literal magician, and is the “It” manager in baseball, but this is on him if Price gets rocked.

But if anyone knows his players inside and out it is Maddon.

And Price is a homegrown dream, as he was drafted by the then Devil Rays back 2007, and knows no other manager or team.

The Rangers are countering with 22-year old lefty, Martin Perez, who is 7-3 in his last 13 starts. This is the first time Perez will start vs. the Rays.

Perez did pitch five innings in relief against Tampa Bay back on September 9, 2012 at the Trop, where he allowed seven hits, two homers and a walk. That one outing means absolutely nothing, as Perez has matured by starting regularly this season.

Rangers do have home field advantage but otherwise this game is a crap-shoot. And considering the Rays situation at home, my bet is playing away from Tampa Bay (but really St. Pete) doesn’t faze this group the same way it would with other teams.

My prediction… Rays beat the Rangers 4-2.

FINISH WITH A FAVOR:

Finally, I have tragically been tweeting the hashtag #Yanksfans4Rays in hopes that it will get re-tweeted on Twitter. I wanted to show the Rays some much deserved love with the Yankees getting eliminated last week.

Thus far, my efforts are not so going good.

So…I am pleading with you, my fellow Yankees fans who use Twitter to tweet hashtag #Yanksfans4Rays.

If you need convincing just remember that the Rays have always acted with class towards our Yankees. In case you forgot, the Rays were in the Bronx for the Boss’s plaque dedication in 2010; Jeter’s 3000th hit was off Price; and just last week they cheered for Mariano Rivera in his last game. So we kind of owe them one.

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