After losing two of three to last-place Tampa Bay, the Rangers head to last-place Cincinnati.
This is the brutal part of their schedule.
The Rangers may have the best record in the American League but they are 7-19 against the three teams in last place in the American League. They certainly play down to their competition.
All of this bodes well for the playoffs, though. Because this isn’t the NBA, whose playoff system is so inclusive, every team in the league makes it, including a few college teams. The Rangers won’t be facing any last-place teams in October.
If they do, however, maintain the best record in the American League, they will earn home field advantage. Which might not be an advantage. Because that would mean Martin Perez would have to pitch on the road in either Game 3 or Game 4.
Martin Perez is about as welcome of a road sight as a gas station restroom. At home this season he is an incredible 7-1 with a 2.36 ERA. Away from Arlington, he is a train wreck: 1-8 with a bloated ERA of 6.23.
His Jekyll and Hyde act is wearing thin.
Assuming the Rangers get into post-season and assuming they have home-field advantage, Hamels and Darvish will pitch Games 1 and 2 at home. That leaves the question of what to do with Martin Perez.
The answer: Leave him at home. Don’t let him anywhere near a mound outside of Arlington. Or let him pitch from the bullpen and the minute he gets to a 2-0 count on a batter, yank him.
Martin Perez’s performance makes the returns of Derek Holland and Colby Lewis in September monumentally important. They will determine how little the Rangers need to count on Martin Perez in October.
Because, as Martin Perez showed last year, in the playoffs he’s not too great at home either.
NO GAME TODAY.