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Showalter announces that Joe Saunders will start for #Orioles tomorrow


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So I got this crazy idea...not sure if it'd work but here it goes:

Texas has better splits against LHPs as seen here: http://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/split.cgi?t=b&team=TEX&year=2012#plato

Saunders naturally fares much better against lefties: http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/split.cgi?id=saundjo01&year=Career&t=p#plato His 2012 splits are even better against lefties. Johnson on the other hand is pretty even in his short career: http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/split.cgi?id=johnsst02&year=&t=p#plato.

Now looking at the Rangers splits, they actually hit slightly better as lefties against LHP but better against RHP as LHB which is typical.

What if Buck were to announce his starter and put Saunders name in the lineup, so that ideally Texas would go with their typical lineup that might feature more right handed hitters. Buck brings Saunders in to face one guy to start the game but then takes out Saunders. He could just take him out, or have Joe fake like he's hurt.

Then Buck brings in Steve Johnson, a RHP to a more heavily RHB lineup. Not that Johnson's stats show much difference between lefties and righties against him, but you'd have to think it'd naturally be better for him to face more righties than otherwise. This way, the Rangers either have to stick with that lineup or start subbing guys early, effectively wasting hitters for later innings?

Would this work and how much different would a Rangers lineup look vs a LHP vs a RHP?

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Listening to DFW sports radio, they are talking like the Rangers have been eliminated from the playoffs. I hope the team feels this defeated.

Just not sure about this decision by Buck. He's going this route b/c of Saunders' experience, but PLEASE Buck have a short leash.

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Whether it was Saunders or Johnson starting, the game plan was going to be about attacking certain guys and working carefully to other guys. There are still several guys that don't hit lefties well (or at least as well as they hit against a RH) on the Rangers - Beltre (.737 OPS), Andrus (.687 OPS), Napoli (.706 OPS), Soto (.677), and Moreland (.737). Kinsler and Nelson Cruz wear our lefties, Michael Young is better against lefties, and Hamilton has a 100 point lower OPS against LH's than against RH's, though it stilll a very good .853. Just got to work to not walk anyone, work hard against the guys he can get out, and hopefully face the more dangerous hitters with nobody on. Obviously easier said than done, but it is far from a lost cause.

If Saunders can get the team through 13 batters (up to facing Cruz for the second time) with no runs and hopefully 3+ innings off the board, then I think you start rolling out the match ups (beginning with a RH to face Cruz). If the O's carry a 10 man bullpen with 3 other lefties, they can basically get match ups from there on out.

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