October Confidential: Rangers

Rival players offer inside look at facing AL West champions

October Confidential: Rangers

How do you beat the Rangers? MLB.com asked rival players from around Major League Baseball to offer an inside look at how best to face the AL West champions.

Cole Hamels
"He's a bona fide ace, a guy that has a lot of postseason experience, and he's going to anchor this staff and carry them. He has a great four-pitch mix. He's just as tough on right-handers as he is on left-handers. You can tell every time he's out there he's giving everything he's got. He's got sneaky velocity, but his offspeed stuff is really, really good."
-- AL West hitter

Hamels' dominant home start

Yu Darvish
"He's one of the top pitchers in baseball. His repertoire is incredible. You don't know if he's going to throw 96 or break off a 70 mph curveball or something in between. He knows how to pitch, he knows how to stay away from contact, he knows how to step up when his team needs a clean inning."
-- AL West hitter

Game Date Matchup Highlights
Gm 1 Oct. 6 TOR 10, TEX 1 video
Gm 2 Oct. 7 TOR 5 TEX 3 video
Gm 3 Oct. 9 TOR 7, TEX 6 (10) video

Colby Lewis
"He's not fun. Colby knows how to use his stuff better than anybody in the big leagues. He's not going to wow people, but he doesn't give in. He doesn't have the electric stuff that Hamels or Darvish have, but he knows how to pitch with his stuff, and he's a competitor. You want that guy on the mound."
-- AL West catcher

Adrian Beltre
"I can't say enough about him, but just the competitor he is is going to shine in the postseason. He's a tough out. He can hit a homer down the right-field line, pull a homer down the left-field line or take you out to center. He's got ultimate power and he's a smart hitter. He hits to the situation. If they need a base hit to right, he's going to give you that. If they need a homer, he'll probably do that too. He's just a true professional hitter."
-- AL West catcher

Must C: Beltre leads comeback

"Sometimes it seems like he is sitting on certain pitches and sometimes it seems like he's just up there swinging. He gets on the dish, kind of closed off a little bit, and does a good job getting to the ball inside and a good job staying away, hitting the ball the other way. You just can't fall into patterns with any of these elite hitters."
-- NL Central pitcher

Carlos Beltran
"He's probably one of the smartest hitters in the league. Obviously he's been around a long time, and with this lineup he adds in the element of a complete hitter. He's not a guy that's going to wow you with power. He's not going to hit .500. But he's going to put together unbelievable at-bats, and with his track record in the postseason it's hard to bet against him and the Rangers. He's just a complete hitter from both sides of the plate, and if you make a mistake over the middle of the plate, he's going to whack you pretty good."
-- AL West catcher

Jonathan Lucroy
"I feel like he's a really good catcher and he's able to take that same kind of mindset to the plate with him. You just have to throw strikes. You have to throw strikes with your offspeed because he's got a pretty good eye -- he's definitely not afraid to take his walk. And he's been hitting for a little bit more power since he got over there, too."
-- NL Central pitcher

Lucroy's bases-loaded walk

Rougned Odor
"He's one of the most exciting young players in baseball and he doesn't get talked about enough. He's having an MVP-caliber season, and hitting after Beltran and Beltre, not to mention [Ian] Desmond, he's going to have a lot of opportunities to do some damage. He's a kid that is fearless and wants to be on the big stage, wants to be up with the game on the line, because he has confidence he's going to get it done. He's a tough hitter to get out. He's got a lot of pull power, but he also has power the other way. He's a guy you have to try to trick and try to get to chase."
-- AL West catcher