Guardians (70-78) vs. Rangers (81-65) Match-Up Preview | 9/16 6:10 PM EST

September 16, 2023

Andy Billman

Game 1 of the Series Against the Texas Rangers


3 Things Preview For Today’s Game:

1 – Bibee

AL Rookie of the Year candidate Tanner Bibee is toeing the mound on Saturday night for the Guardians.  He is having an incredible rookie season and was solid in his last start going seven strong while giving up only two runs against the Angels. 

2 – Morgan 

Eli Morgan is not having a good month, currently, in September he is pitching to an ERA of 12.71.

3 – Gimenez

On the other hand, Andres Gimenez is loving September hitting at .333 with a home run and five RBIs.


Guardians Notes

Cleveland’s current record stands at 70-78, placing them eight games behind the Minnesota Twins for the top spot in the AL Central. Unfortunately, it seems likely that the Guardians will miss out on the playoffs once again. Taking the mound for Cleveland on Saturday will be right-hander Tanner Bibee, who boasts a season record of 10 wins and 4 losses with a solid 3.03 ERA. In his most recent start, Bibee pitched an impressive seven innings, surrendering just two runs on two hits. Over his last five starts, he has a 1-2 record with a 3.54 ERA. When facing Texas this season, he completed six innings and allowed only two runs on five hits. As for the team’s pitching staff, Cleveland collectively holds a team ERA of 3.95, which ranks them 8th in the league.

On the offensive side of things, the Guardians have encountered struggles throughout the season, with a slash line of .248/.310/.378, placing them at 15th, 24th, and 28th in the major league rankings for batting average, on-base percentage, and slugging percentage, respectively. When playing at home, Cleveland’s slash line is .245/.310/.372, and in the month of September, they are slashing .245/.312/.347.

In terms of individual matchups against Texas pitcher Dunning, Naylor holds a 4-4 record, Calhoun is 2-3, Laureano is 4-8, Ramirez is 3-6, Kwan and Gimenez are both 1-2, and Straw boasts a .286 batting average in 7 at-bats.

Guardians Stats and Insights

GUARDIANS PROBABLE PITCHER – Tanner Bibee

  • Bibee’s team is 17-7-0 against the spread this season in his starts.
  • The right-hander gave up two earned runs and allowed two hits in seven innings pitched against the Los Angeles Angels on Sunday.
  • Bibee has 15 starts in a row of five innings or more.
  • He has made 24 appearances and finished three of them without allowing an earned run.
  • Bibee’s team has won 66.7% of his starts when they are favored on the moneyline (6-3).
  • In games Bibee has started, his team is 13-11.
  • In Bibee’s 24 starts with a total, the teams have hit the over nine times.

GUARDIANS TRENDS

  • The Guardians are 21-8 this season in games when they crush two or more homers.
  • Cleveland is 20-6 in games this season when it has put up at least five extra-base hits.
  • The club is 47-43 in the games this season it has put up at least eight hits.
  • Cleveland is 41-14 in games this season when it scored five or more runs.
  • The Guardians are 20-17 in games this season when they have drawn five or more walks.

Rangers Notes

Texas embarked on a pivotal four-game series in Toronto, a showdown that held significant playoff implications for both teams. The Rangers’ offense ignited at precisely the right moment, overwhelming the Blue Jays with a lopsided scoreline of 35-9 across the series. This season, the Rangers have showcased their offensive prowess, boasting an impressive slash line of .267/.340/.457, ranking them second, third, and third in batting average, on-base percentage, and slugging percentage in the majors, respectively. While on the road, their performance remains strong with a slash line of .260/.332/.421. In the month of September, Texas has maintained a solid batting line of .265/.355/.484. Notably, when facing specific pitchers like Bibee, Semien, and Jankowski, the Rangers have gone 1-2, while Lowe and Seager hold a 1-3 record against them, and Heim and Duran have struggled, going 0-2.

On Saturday, the Rangers are set to deploy right-handed pitcher Dane Dunning, who holds a season record of 10 wins and 6 losses with a 3.91 ERA. In his most recent outing, Dunning pitched six innings, conceding three runs against the Blue Jays. However, over his last five starts, his performance has been less consistent, resulting in a 1-2 record with a challenging 8.14 ERA. On the road, Dunning has managed a more respectable 4-4 record with a 3.59 ERA. As a collective pitching unit, the Texas Rangers possess a team ERA of 4.24, ranking them 17th in the league.

Rangers Stats and Insights

RANGERS PROBABLE PITCHER – Dane Dunning

  • Dunning (10-6) takes the mound first for the Rangers in his 23rd start of the season. He’s put together a 3.91 ERA in 152 2/3 innings pitched, with 122 strikeouts.
  • In his most recent time out on Monday against the Toronto Blue Jays, the righty went six innings, allowing three earned runs while surrendering six hits.
  • Dunning will try to build upon a three-game streak of going five or more innings (he’s averaging 4.9 frames per outing).
  • He has had seven appearances this season in which he held his opponents to zero earned runs.
  • The Rangers have been the underdog on the money line in nine of Dunning’s starts this season, and they went 4-5 in those games.
  • Dunning’s team has won 11 of his 22 starts.
  • Dunning’s starts with a set total this season have hit the over in 10 of 22 contests.

RANGERS TRENDS

  • They’ve hit two or more homers in 70 games this season and are 50-20 in those matchups.
  • In 49 games with five or more extra-base hits this season, it has a record of 35-14.
  • They have won 76 of the 116 games in which they’ve collected eight or more hits this season.
  • Texas has a 71-24 record this season when scoring five or more runs in a game.
  • In 52 games this season with five or more walks drawn, they’ve posted a record of 33-19

Final Thoughts/Pick

In this matchup, Texas holds a favorable position, despite Dane Dunning’s recent struggles on the mound. The Rangers’ batting lineup has been on fire, and they have a track record of success against Bibee. Meanwhile, Cleveland has been facing challenges with their offense, making it an opportune moment for Dunning and the Rangers’ bullpen to shine. Texas carries a wave of momentum into this series, and their performance on the road this season has been impressive, with a record of 37-34, while Cleveland has a more modest 36-36 record at home. Additionally, it’s worth noting that Texas has a 3-1 record against Cleveland leading up to this series.

Our Pick: Take Rangers and the Money Line

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