<
>

W2W4: Braves at Rangers

The last interleague series of the season for the Texas Rangers starts Friday night when the Atlanta Braves visit Globe Life Park.

Here’s a preview:

What’s up with the Braves? Their slim playoff hopes continue on this nine-game road trip where they stand 8 ½ back of first place in the NL East and two back of the wild card. Atlanta is 23-28 since the All-Star break and 3-6 in September. The Braves lead the majors with 101 quality starts through 146 games. Justin Upton is 5-for-22 during the road trip and leads the Braves with 27 HRs and 96 RBIs. In the last 51 games, Jason Heyward has 22 multi-hit games. Freddie Freeman leads the team in batting average (.292) and runs scored (90). Chris Johnson leads the NL and is second in the majors with a .412 BA vs. LHP.

What’s up with the Rangers? On pace to lose 100 games, the Rangers are 54-92, the worst record in baseball. The Rangers' nearest competitors are Colorado and Arizona, who are each 59-87. Leonys Martin is second in the AL with nine outfield assists. Adrian Beltre’s seventh-inning single extended his current on-base streak to 25 games, the longest active streak in the big leagues. Right-handed hitters are just .094 this season against reliever Phil Klein. Ryan Rua has a four-game hitting streak with four RBIs.

Catching duties: Robinson Chirinos is expected to start Friday night after missing the last 10 games with a stiff neck. He’s hitting .186 the last 26 games. Tomas Telis is 6-for-19 during the Rangers' homestand and his average is up to .250.

Pitching matchups: Friday: LHP Derek Holland (1-0, 0.64) vs. LHP Alex Wood (10-10, 2.90). Saturday: RHP Scott Baker vs. RHP Julio Teheran (13-11, 3.00). Sunday: RHP Colby Lewis (9-13, 5.29) vs. LHP Mike Minor (6-10, 4.58).