Series Preview: Rangers vs. Giants

The Giants came out of the weekend series against Oakland limping. Literally. This veteran team has their three best players, Barry Bonds, Omar Vizquel and Moises Alou knocked up. Hopefully at least one of them will be able to play in this series against the Rangers, who are quickly losing ground in the AL West.

Game #1: Kevin Millwood (8-3, 4.29) vs. Matt Morris (5-7, 4.60)
Millwood is having a decent season. Steve Finley is 7-36 with three doubles, a triple and seven strikeouts against Millwood. Barry Bonds, who may not play in this series, is 4-15 with two doubles and a homerun. Jose Vizcaino is 2-11 with four strikeouts and Moises Alou is 5-11 with two doubles. Randy Winn is 5-10 with a double and a four-bagger.

Morris had another good start in his last outing. He will look to continue his success against a team that he's seen little of. Brad Wilkerson is 5-16 against Morris with two doubles and a jack. Mark DeRosa is 2-11, Gary Matthews Jr. is 1-9 and Jerry Hairston Jr. is 2-8 with two doubles.

The Edge: Tie
Morris has been really effective as of late, but Millwood does have eight wins on the season. However, the ERAs come about even.

Game #2: John Rheinecker (3-1, 3.57) vs. Noah Lowry (2-5, 4.23)
Rheinecker is having a great season. Because he's a rookie, he has never faced any players on the Giants in a major league game.

Lowry continued to struggle in his last outing. He hopes to put an end to that against the Rangers. Hairston is 2-8 against Lowry and Wilkerson is 3-4. No Rangers have any extra base hits.

The Edge: Rangers
Lowry has really been struggling lately, and Rheinecker has been real impressive. However, the Giants have never seen Rheinecker, which may or may not be an advantage.

Game #3: John Koronka (6-4, 5.02) vs. Jason Schmidt (6-3, 2.82)
Koronka has never faced any of the Giants' players either in his short major league career.

Schmidt had a good start ruined by the bullpen in his last outing. He will look to continue his dominating season against a team he's done well against. Rod Barajas is 2-16 with seven strikeouts, DeRosa is 1-10 with a round tripper and Wilkerson is 3-10 with a triple.

The Edge: Giants
Schmidt has been lights out this season, and Koronka has had an average season so far. Schmidt also has good career numbers against the Rangers' lineup.

Closing it Out: Akinori Otsuka (15, 2.38) vs. Armando Benitez (6, 2.45)
The Giants are familiar with Otsuka because he was the set-up man for the Padres in previous seasons. This pitcher showed he was capable of more than just setting up, and it shows in his 2006 season with the Rangers. Finley is 2-6 with a jack against Otsuka. Pedro Feliz is 1-6 with a double, and Ray Durham is 1-5.

There is an apparent injury that will keep Benitez listed as day-to-day after his last blown save against the Oakland Athletics. His numbers are good against the Rangers. Wilkerson is just 1-10 with five punchouts, Matthews is 0-3 and DeRosa is 1-3. Jeremy Accardo or Tim Worrell will be taking over the closing role for the Giants during Benitez's absence.

The Edge: Rangers
Benitez is having some real issues as the Giants' closer. Fortunately, there are some pitchers in the bullpen to take over the closing role while Benitez figures out what is wrong. Otsuka is having an outstanding season with the Rangers.



Sara Kwan is a writer and co-publisher for SFDugout.com. Got a bone to pick? Just want to say hi? Comments about the article and/or the site? Hit me up: sara_kwan16@yahoo.com .

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