The AL West-leading Rangers begin a 10-game, 11-day road trip at 7:10 tonight against a Kansas City club mired near the bottom of the AL Central. Rangers’ left-hander C.J. Wilson will be opposed by Royals right-hander Kyle Davies.
Here's a brief scouting report:
Wilson (13-5, 3.02 ERA): Possibly the most impressive statistic for the Rangers’ win leader in his breakout season as a starter is the Rangers’ 20-6 record when he takes the mound. And lately, the numbers are an even more impressive: 14 team wins in his last 16 starts. Since the All-Star break, the 29-year-old is 6-0 with a 2.29 ERA. On Wednesday, Wilson allowed three runs in six innings and picked up his 13th victory, 4-3, over Minnesota. Away from Rangers Ballpark, however, Wilson has won only three times. In his only start against the Royals in May at Rangers Ballpark, Wilson tossed a complete-game 5-hitter, allowing one run in a 5-1 victory, his career first complete-game nine inning victory. Left-handed hitters have struggled most of the season against Wilson (.127 average), but in his last start until his last start when Minnesota lefties went 4-for-9 with two extra-base hits.
Davies (6-8, 5.41 ERA): After facing five straight left-handed starters, the Rangers finally take a crack at a right-hander. The 6-2, 218-pound Georgia native who turns 27 on Sept. 9 struggled in his last outing. Davies was charged with seven runs on a career-worst 12 hits in only 4.2 innings of a loss to the Tigers. Davies will be pitching on five days rest and should be anxious to whittle on his 20.25 ERA against Texas. The five-year veteran was touched for nine hits and nine runs in a four-inning stint that the Rangers won at home, 13-12, on May 6. In five starts this month, Davies is 1-2 with a 5.14 ERA. In his career against the Rangers, Davies is 0-3 with a 7.62 ERA. Since the All-Star break, Davies is 2-2 with a 5.09 ERA in eight starts. Walks are an issue for Davies. He’s issued 64 in 144.1 innings. Davies was named the top 14- and 15-year-old baseball player in the country by Baseball America.
Hitters: Josh Hamilton leads the Rangers’ hitters against Davies, going 4-for-9 with a double. Michael Young is batting .333 off Davies with five walks. David Murphy is hitting .300. The Royals’ Billy Butler is hitting .429 (3-for-7) against Wilson. Gregor Blanco tripled in his only at-bat against Wilson. The Royals player with the most looks at Wilson is Yuniesky Betancourt (3-for-12.)