Guardians (69-78) vs Rangers (81-64) Match-Up Preview | 9/15 7:10 PM EST

September 15, 2023

Andy Billman

Game 1 of the Series Against the Texas Rangers

3 Things Preview For Today’s Game:

1 – Giolito

Lucas Giolito will be making his third start for Cleveland on Friday night, and so far, the home run ball is hurting Giolito.  Giolito has given up six home runs in his two starts.

2 – JRAM 

Jose Ramirez had a great West Coast swing, going 12 for 29 with two home runs and three RBIs.  Ramirez raised his batting average from .270 to .278.

3 – Hentges

Sam Hentges’s streak of not giving up an earned run since July 23rd is still going, and in the streak, he has only given up one run against the Rays on September 2nd.

Guardians Notes

With only 15 games left in the regular season, Cleveland finds itself trailing by 7 ½ games in the American League Central race for the top spot. Additionally, in the battle for one of the three Wild Card positions, Cleveland is currently 12 ½ games behind the team occupying the third and final spot. The recent struggles for Cleveland can largely be attributed to subpar offensive performance, as they have lost four of their last five games.

The Guardians rank 27th in runs scored, 28th in slugging percentage, and have a slightly better standing at 15th in team batting average. Jose Ramirez leads Cleveland in home runs with 23 and is second in RBI with 75, while Josh Naylor tops the team in RBI with 88.

Cleveland’s notable strength this season has been its pitching staff; however, it hasn’t been sufficient to compensate for the lack of run production. The team currently ranks eighth in team ERA with a 3.95 mark. However, they dropped to 12th in Quality Starts with 53 and 16th in batting average allowed at .245.

Tanner Bibee has been the standout pitcher for the Guardians, leading the team in victories with 10 and strikeouts with 137. On the mound for Cleveland is Lucas Giolito, a right-hander with a record of 7-13, an ERA of 4.89, and 177 strikeouts.

Guardians Stats and Insights


  • Giolito (7-13) takes the mound first for the Guardians in his 30th start of the season. He’s put together a 4.89 ERA in 163 2/3 innings pitched, with 177 strikeouts.
  • The right-hander’s most recent time out came on Sunday against the Los Angeles Angels, when he threw seven innings, surrendering four earned runs while allowing four hits.
  • Giolito heads into the game with 24 outings of five or more innings pitched this season.
  • In three of his 29 total appearances this season, he has not allowed an earned run.
  • The Guardians are 3-15 in Giolito’s 18 starts this season they were the moneyline underdog.
  • Giolito’s team has an 8-21 record in his starts this season.
  • Giolito has had 29 starts that oddsmakers set a total for this season, and 14 of those games hit the over.


  • They’ve hit two or more homers in 27 games this season and are 20-7 in those matchups.
  • In 25 games with five or more extra-base hits this season, it has a record of 19-6.
  • They have won 46 of the 89 games in which they’ve collected eight or more hits this season.
  • Cleveland has a 40-14 record this season when scoring five or more runs in a game.
  • They have won 19 of their 36 games this season in which they’ve drawn more than four free passes.

Rangers Notes

Throughout the current season, Texas has consistently maintained a prominent position in the American League West standings. Presently, they hold the second spot, primarily attributed to their impressive offensive performance. However, the team has been grappling with a significant setback due to injuries, particularly the absence of their top home run hitter and RBI producer, Adolis Garcia, and their All-Star third baseman, Josh Jung. Garcia has amassed an impressive 34 home runs and 100 RBIs, while Jung has contributed with 24 doubles, one triple, 22 home runs, and 67 RBIs. Notably, Corey Seager is presently the active leader in home runs with 30, and he also tops the charts in RBIs with 89, showcasing his prowess as the team’s shortstop.

Regrettably, injuries have also taken a toll on the Texas Rangers’ pitching staff. Max Scherzer’s recent unavailability for the remainder of the regular season has exacerbated their challenges. Currently, the team ranks 17th in team ERA with a 4.26, and they stand 10th in WHIP with a 1.26. Their pitching has allowed opposing hitters to maintain an average of .245 at the plate, positioning them at 15th in the league in this regard. Despite these challenges, Nathan Eovaldi leads Texas in victories with 11 wins, and Andrew Heaney has demonstrated his prowess by leading the team with an impressive 141 strikeouts.

Taking the mound for Texas on Friday will be Jon Gray, a right-hander with an 8-7 record this season. He boasts an ERA of 3.96 and has recorded 131 strikeouts, making him a key asset for the team’s pitching rotation.

Rangers Stats and Insights


  • Gray’s team is 11-15-0 against the spread this season in his starts.
  • The right-hander gave up three earned runs and allowed four hits in 2 2/3 innings pitched against the Oakland Athletics on Sunday.
  • In 26 starts this season, Gray has lasted five or more innings 21 times, with an average of 5.6 innings per appearance.
  • He has finished four appearances without allowing an earned run in 26 chances this season.
  • Gray’s team has won 52.6% of his starts when they are favored on the moneyline (10-9).
  • Gray’s team has won 15 of his 26 starts.
  • Games started by Gray have a 13-12-1 record at hitting the over this season.


  • The Rangers are 50-20 this season in games when they hit at least two bombs.
  • Texas has put up five or more extra-base hits in 49 games this season and has gone 35-14 in those outings.
  • The team is 76-40 in the games this season it has racked up at least eight hits.
  • Texas is 71-24 in games this season when it put up at least five runs.
  • The Rangers are 33-19 in games this season when they have drawn five or more walks.

Final Thoughts/Pick

Texas had a challenging August, but the Rangers have recently regained their momentum. They’ve triumphed in five of their last five games and secured victories in five of their last six away matches. Meanwhile, Cleveland’s struggles continue, with seven losses in their last ten games, bringing them perilously close to being eliminated from postseason contention.

Jon Gray, the starting pitcher for the Texas Rangers, endured a rough patch in his last three outings. However, the team managed to win all three games, thanks to their potent offense compensating for Gray’s below-par starts. On the other hand, Lucas Giolito, the right-handed pitcher recently acquired by Cleveland, has had a tough time in his two starts, surrendering 13 earned runs in just 10 innings pitched. This has resulted in the Guardians suffering back-to-back defeats with a combined score of 26-6.

Despite facing injuries to key players like Josh Jung and Adolis Garcia, the Texas Rangers have seen their other talented stars, including Corey Seager, Marcus Semien, and Johan Heim, step up admirably in their absence.

Our Pick: Take Rangers and the Money Line

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