Rangers Facing Perfect Test to Open Season

Arnold Nichols
April 2, 2018

It is the second year in a row that Springer led off the Astros opener with a homer, making him the first player in Major League Baseball history to ever do that in consecutive seasons, according to Elias.

What's different is the Rangers pitching rotation. Cole Hamels, who has become the de facto ace of this team, will get a chance to measure up against one of the most risky lineups in the majors. Springer connected in the final four games of the Series. Astros Opening Day pitcher Justin Verlander will face a Rangers lineup that looks nearly identical to last year's - a lineup that was top-10 in runs scored and No. 3 in home runs. The Texas Rangers are still trying 2½ seasons after getting Hamels. One of those expectations is to keep up with the Astros in the American League West division. The aforementioned Verlander will start on opening day for Houston and was 15-8 with a 3.36 ERA and 219 strikeouts overall last season with a 5-0 record and 1.06 ERA after being traded to Houston.

The Houston Astros finished the 2017 season with a 101-61 record and a World Series title to their name.

The Rangers are 24-22 in home openers, and it will be the fourth time they face a World Series victor in the first game of the season.

- It's the day when every fan and every player can dream of a trip to the World Series.

Hamels (11-6, 4.20 ERA last season) will be making his fourth career opening day start and his second in three years for the Rangers. Fister is 1-1 with a 3.44 ERA (seven earned runs in 18.1 innings pitched) over three career starts versus Houston.

Today marks one of the last times the Texas Rangers will open their season at Globe Life Park-barring delays, the retractable-roofed $1 billion new Globe Life Field is expected to be ready in 2020. "I know we played them really hard the last couple years since I've been here, but last year not so much". The Rangers didn't make a ton of earth shattering moves, acquiring arms like Mike Minor, Matt Moore and Doug Fisher, but the most intriguing story for Texas this season will be the major league return of Tim Lincecum.

Other reports by

Discuss This Article