Guardians (45-46) at Rangers (53-39) Game Preview | Saturday 7/15 4:05 PM

July 15, 2023

Andy Billman

Game 2 of 3 Against the Texas Rangers

3 Things:

1 – Pause on Bieber 

It was announced before the game on Friday that Guardians ace Shane Bieber will miss his next start on Monday with a forearm injury.  He did have an MRI and no formal plan at this time for Bieber. There’s also no starter that has been announced for Monday.  It might be a bullpen game or maybe an arm from Columbus, everything is up in the air. 

2 – Gaga for Gavin

Rookie Gavin Williams will look to win two in a row in Texas today, and it will be a lefty on the mound for the Rangers with Andrew Heaney.

3 – Gimenez 

The Rangers intentionally walked Josh Naylor twice on Friday, setting up Andres Gimenez with multiple Guardians on the bases in both at-bats.  Gimenez struck out in the bottom of the 5th on four pitches and in the bottom of the 7th, Gimenez swung on the first pitch with a pop out to left. Gimenez has to punish the opposition in the future if teams keep walking Naylor. 

Guardians Notes

Guardians are currently leading the American League Central division, thanks to their impressive pitching performances. They rank 8th in team ERA with a solid 3.81, 11th in Quality Starts with 34, 14th in WHIP at 1.26, and 15th in batting average allowed at .243. Leading the pitching staff is Shane Bieber, who has secured five victories and recorded an impressive 95 strikeouts. On Saturday, Gavin Williams will take the mound for Cleveland. So far this season, the right-hander has a record of 1-1, an ERA of 4.01, and has struck out 19 batters.

However, Cleveland has faced some challenges at the plate during the first half of the season. They currently have the 15th-best team batting average at .250, dropping to 22nd in on-base percentage with .314, 27th in slugging percentage with .375, and 27th in runs scored with 365. Jose Ramirez leads the team in home runs with 14, followed by Josh Naylor with 11. Naylor also leads in RBI with 64, while Ramirez has 53. Only two players on the Cleveland team have hit double-digit home runs. In 90 games, Cleveland has recorded 165 doubles, 19 triples, and 60 home runs.

Guardians Stats and Insights


  • Williams (1-1) takes the mound first for the Guardians in his fifth start of the season. He’s put together a 4.01 ERA in 24 2/3 innings pitched, with 19 strikeouts.
  • In his last time out on Saturday, the right-hander went 5 2/3 innings against the Kansas City Royals, allowing three earned runs while surrendering eight hits.
  • Williams will try to pitch five or more innings for his fifth straight appearance. He’s averaging 6.1 innings per outing.
  • In one of his appearances this season, he has not given up an earned run.
  • The Guardians were the underdog on the money line for one Williams start this season — they lost.
  • Williams’ team has won three of his four starts.
  • Williams’ starts hit the over on the run total two times in four games with a set total this season.


  • They have won 11 of the 14 games this season in which they hit two or more home runs.
  • Cleveland has won 12 of its 17 games with five or more extra-base hits this season.
  • In 55 games this season with eight or more hits, they have a record of 31-24.
  • Cleveland has a 26-5 record this season when scoring five or more runs in a game.
  • They have won 13 of their 22 games this season in which they’ve drawn more than four free passes.

Rangers Notes

In four major hitting categories, Texas ranks either first or second. The Rangers hold the top spot in runs scored with a total of 531, a team batting average of an impressive .274, and an on-base percentage of .341. They are the second-best team in slugging percentage, boasting a .460 mark. Adolis Garcia leads the Texas team in home runs with 23 and RBI with 75. Following closely, Josh Jung has hit 19 home runs, the second-highest on the team, and has 56 RBI, ranking third. Johan Heim is the second-best in RBI with 59. Notably, Texas has five players with 52 RBI or more. In 91 games, the team has recorded 205 doubles, nine triples, and 124 home runs.

While Texas demonstrates strength on the mound, they have encountered some challenges with their team ERA, currently standing at 4.01, which places them 12th in baseball. However, they excel in three other pitching categories, ranking in the top six. Texas holds the fourth position in WHIP with a value of 1.21, and they are sixth in both Quality Starts with 41 and batting average allowed, limiting opponents to a .239 average. Nathan Eovaldi leads the team in victories with 10 and strikeouts with an impressive 109. On Saturday, Andrew Heaney will take the mound. Throughout this season, the left-hander has maintained a record of 5-6 with an ERA of 4.71 and 93 strikeouts.

Rangers Stats and Insights


  • Heaney and his team are 9-8-0 ATS this season when he starts.
  • The left-hander last pitched on Saturday, when he gave up seven earned runs and allowed eight hits in three innings against the Washington Nationals.
  • Heaney has made 12 starts of five or more innings in 17 chances this season and averages 5.1 frames when he pitches.
  • He has finished four appearances without allowing an earned run in 17 chances this season.
  • When Heaney starts a game and his team is the favorite on the money line, they have a record of 7-5.
  • Heaney’s team is 9-8 when he starts this season.
  • Games started by Heaney have a 10-6-1 record at hitting the over this season.


  • The Rangers have hit two or more dingers in 44 games this season, and are 32-12 in those outings.
  • Texas has put up five or more extra-base hits in 34 games this season and has gone 22-12 in those outings.
  • The team has racked up eight or more hits in 79 games this season, and is 54-25 in those contests.
  • Texas is 49-16 in games this season when it scored at least five runs.
  • The Rangers are 22-12 in games this season when they have drawn at least five walks.

Final Thoughts/Pick

Cleveland has excelled on the pitching front this season but has encountered difficulties when it comes to batting. The Guardians rank 27th in both runs scored and slugging percentage. On the contrary, the Texas Rangers are the complete opposite. They lead in three major hitting categories and are second in another, all while performing admirably on the mound with the 8th-best team ERA.

In recent outings, Cleveland starter Gavin Williams has struggled some, enduring rough performances in his last two starts. Over the course of just 12 innings, he allowed 15 hits and seven runs, including three home runs in a loss to Atlanta on July 3. On the other hand, Texas Rangers starter Andrew Haney had a rough outing in his most recent start. However, in his previous start against Houston on July 2, he managed to keep the opposition scoreless, giving up only three hits in five innings.

Our Pick: Take Rangers and the ML

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