Alexi Ogando (Wikimedia Commons)
With the loss of ace Cliff Lee in the offseason to the Philadelphia Phillies due to free agency, many did not expect the Texas Rangers to be doing so well.
But they are, and currently lead the American League West by six games over the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. A major reason for Texas’s success has been their starting pitching. C.J. Wilson, Matt Harrison, Alexi Ogando and Colby Lewis all have an earned run average under four, and Derek Holland has a respectable 118 strikeouts. Offensively, the Rangers have had great years from Michael Young, who is second in the American League with a .341 batting average, and Nelson Cruz, who has belted out 26 home runs.
Tonight, the Rangers (73-53) will play the Chicago White Sox (61-63) at the U.S. Cellular Field. The White Sox are five games back of the American League Central Division leading Detroit Tigers. Ogando (12-5, 102 K, 3.33 ERA) will start for Texas and John Danks (5-9, 99 K, 3.95 ERA) will start for Chicago. The game can be seen on WGN at 5pm this evening.
Here are the other events I’ll be keeping my eye on:
Sunday–10:30am–ATP–Western & Southern Financial Group Masters–CBS–In the final key tuneup prior to the United States Open in Flushing Meadows, New York, a week from Monday, the best men’s tennis players visit Cincinnati. In the men’s final, it is a repeat of the final of the Australian Open as Novak Djokovic of Serbia takes on Andy Murray of Great Britain. In Melbourne in January, Djokovic defeated Murray easily 6-4, 6-2, 6-3. Head-to-head, Djokovic has the 6-3 advantage. In 2011, Djokovic also beat Murray in the semi-finals at Rome, 6-1, 3-6, 7-6.
Sunday–2pm–WTA–Cincinnati Open-Sportsnet One–Unlike the men, the face of women’s tennis continues to be unpredictable. You never know what you’re going to get each and every week. This week in Cincinnati, Serbia’s Jelena Jankovic takes on Russia’s Maria Sharapova in a battle of former world number ones. Head-to-head, Sharapova leads 5-1, but they haven’t played since 2009.