May 11, 2012; Arlington, TX, USA; Texas Rangers center fielder Josh Hamilton (32) gets congratulated by shortstop Elvis Andrus (1) after hitting a home run in the fourth inning against the Los Angeles Angels at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. Mandatory Credit: Jim Cowsert-US PRESSWIRE

Series Preview: Kansas City Royals @ Texas Rangers

The Royals wrapped up the weekend series in Chi-town with a 9-1 win Sunday to complete a series win.  They now have split or won their last six series and have won 8 of their last 14 after losing 12 in a row in April.  Now they get the daunting task of slowing down one of the best teams in baseball, the Texas Rangers.  Not to mention the best player in the game, Josh Hamilton, just came off one of the greatest weeks a hitter could ever have, including a 5-5 4 homerun game last Tuesday.

The Royals face the Rangers in a short 2 game series in Arlington, Texas.  Bruce Chen and Scott Feldman will be given the nod on Monday to take the mound and open the series.  On Tuesday there has been speculation as to who the Royals will start with most signs pointing toward Vin MazzaroColby Lewis will be the Rangers starter on Tuesday night.

Feldman, a career .500 pitcher, will be making his second start of the season tomorrow.  He has a 4.35 ERA in 10.1 innings of work on the season.  Feldman is not much of a strike out pitcher and the Royals should be able to put some good at bats together against him.  Colby Lewis is coming off two rough road starts where he allowed 6 runs in each.  While his last two starts are forgettable, he has managed to be stellar at home going 2-0 with a 1.45 ERA.

The main concern I have in the series is how well the Royals can keep the Rangers hitters in line.  I believe Bruce Chen can give us one of his usual starts which will give the Royals a fighting chance.  I’m very skeptical of Mazzaro, but he does have the ability to go 5 innings.  However, it’s also very likely he struggles to go 3 or 4 innings and the Texas lineup does what they do best, and mash.

Before the games get underway there are a few other interesting facts to know.  Ian Kinsler, the second baseman for the Rangers, and Josh Hamilton lead all of Major League Baseball in runs scored.  The Rangers also have one of the best bullpens in all of baseball.  Their bullpen ERA is tops amongst all teams, so it won’t be ideal if the Royals are trailing and have to make any attempt at a comeback against solid relievers like Mike Adams, Koji Uehara, and closer Joe Nathan.

This series is sure going to be an interesting one.  Will Josh Hamilton keep up his torrid hot streak?  Can the Royals starters and bullpen keep the Rangers at bay?  Will the Royals be able to keep pace with the best offense in baseball?  A lot of questions will be answered and we will soon find out how this series will play out.  Hopefully the Royals can, at least, manage a split on the road and head back to Kauffman Stadium on a good note.

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Tags: AL Central Baseball Bruce Chen Colby Lewis Ian Kinsler Joe Nathan Josh Hamilton Kansas City Kansas City Royals KC KC Royals Koji Uehara Mike Adams MLB Royals Scott Feldman V Vin Mazzaro

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