One matchup to watch in tonight's Texas Rangers-Los Angeles Angels game is newest Rangers starter Ryan Dempster vs. Albert Pujols. ESPN Stats & Information notes that no one has more homers off Dempster in his career than Pujols. A look:
Dempster switches leagues with the second-best ERA (2.25), trailing only the San Francisco Giants' Ryan Vogelsong. Unfortunately for Dempster, the trade means he’s back in the same division as Albert Pujols, who is 18-for-55 with seven home runs in his career against Dempster. It's also the most home runs Dempster has allowed to any batter, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
Pujols has had no trouble with Rangers pitching during this series, going 7-for-15 with four home runs and eight RBIs. Pujols has been crushing fastballs since the All-Star break -- he has as many home runs off fastballs in the past three weeks (seven) as he had in the entire first half of the season.
Pujols entered play on May 15 hitting below .200 (.197). Since then, he’s hit .332 with 21 HRs and 59 RBIs. In fact, Pujols' numbers are better through Aug. 1 with the Angels (.284, 22 HRs, 71 RBIs) than they were at this point last season when he was with the St. Louis Cardinals (.280, 24 HRs, 65 RBIs).