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Game Preview: Alex Cobb vs Yu Darvish

MLB: Texas Rangers at Kansas City Royals Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Tonight, the Tampa Bay Rays are back at the Trop as they’ll welcome in the Texas Rangers for a three game set.

The Rays are now 51-45, coming off back to back series victories over the Los Angeles Angels and Oakland Athletics during a west coast trip, not to mention a series victory over the Red Sox prior to the All-Star break. The Rays still trail the Red Sox by two and a half games in the division, but they also hold a game lead over the New York Yankees for the top Wild Card spot.

The Texas Rangers meanwhile are falling out of contention as they’re four and half games back in the Wild Card chase with five teams separating them from the Yankees. Their record entering play tonight is 45-50 and they have lost five games in a row.

Starting Pitchers

Alex Cobb has been pretty good thus far in 2017 with the exception of a few bumps in the road (13 of 19 starts, has given up 3 ER or less). His last start may have been one of his best outings of the year as he pitched two outs into the eight inning, allowing a run on six hits — one homer — while he walked three and struck out four.

Yu Darvish is really, really good. Where Cobb has 13 of 19 starts with 3 ER or less, Darvish has 16 of 20. His last time out came on the 16th in Kansas City where he held the Royals to three runs (two earned) on eight hits, while he walked one and struck out six before leaving with two outs in the seventh.

Starting Lineups

Today's Lineups

TEXAS RANGERS TAMPA BAY RAYS
Shin-Soo Choo - RF Mallex Smith - CF
Elvis Andrus - SS Corey Dickerson - LF
Nomar Mazara - LF Evan Longoria - 3B
Adrian Beltre - 3B Logan Morrison - 1B
Mike Napoli - DH Wilson Ramos - C
Rougned Odor - 2B Brad Miller - DH
Jonathan Lucroy - C Tim Beckham - 2B
Carlos Gomez - CF Shane Peterson - RF
Joey Gallo - 1B Adeiny Hechavarria - SS
Yu Darvish - RHP Alex Cobb - RHP