Monday, March 31, 2014

Opening Day Preview: Phillies at Rangers

The 2014 season kicks off on Monday, as the Phillies open on a road trip, visiting the American League's Texas Rangers.  The newly renamed Globe Life Park will play host to both clubs' initial series of the season.

While the core of the Phillies lineup has looked the same for several years, the Rangers have new additions leading the charge into the 2014 season, namely Prince Fielder and Shin-Soo Choo.  Their first real test in their new uniforms will come against a familiar figure.

Phils ace Cliff Lee will be making his first return to the Texas mound since he pitched for the Rangers in the 2010 World Series.  Rangers hurler Tanner Scheppers will be making his debut as a starter after shining out of the bullpen last season.

Weather forecasts call for 80 degrees and partly cloudy on Monday in Arlington.  The teams will play two more games against one another there on Wednesday and Thursday.

Read ahead for details on the pitching match up plus plenty more stats.

Monday, 2:05pm.  Cliff Lee (14-8, 2.87 ERA in 2013) vs. Tanner Scheppers (6-2, 1.88 ERA in 2013).  In 16 road starts last season, the lefty Lee posted a 7-3 record along with a 2.43 ERA.  Lee had a 2-1 record in three starts against interleague opponents last year.  In his career against Lee, Adrian Beltre is 4-for-32 (.125 avg).  Scheppers, a right-hander, was the Rangers' 1st round (44th overall) draft choice in 2009.  The 27-year-old Scheppers was 3-0 with a 2.85 ERA in 42 home games last season.


Ben Revere is 13-for-42 (.310 avg) in his career at Texas.  Revere batted .294 in 21 spring training games this year.

Marlon Byrd is a career .305 hitter with 25 homers and 123 RBI at Globe Life Park.  Byrd batted .298 in 21 games this spring.

In 22 games against Texas in his career, Ryan Howard is a .273 hitter with two homers and three RBI.  Howard batted .234 in 45 road games in 2013.

Outfielder Shin-Soo Choo went 3-for-19 (.158 avg) against the Phillies last season.   Choo batted .161 in 20 games this spring.

Prince Fielder went 1-for-12 (.083 avg) against the Phillies last season.  Fielder batted .225 with a double and no RBI in the postseason last year. 

Geovany Soto batted .307 with seven home runs and 16 RBI at the Ballpark in Arlington last season.  The righty batting Soto batted just .200 against lefties last year. 

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