The Struggles Of Yu Darvish Against The Oakland A’s
Just a month into the 2014 season, it appears the American League West will once again be a tight race. Tonight in Oakland, two of the teams that are expected to be in contention for the division crown at the end of the season will square off for the first time. If the Texas Rangers plan on unseating the back-to-back Division Champion Oakland A’s, they will need tonight’s starter Yu Darvish to get back on track against the division rival.
Through his first three starts, Yu Darvish has been Cy Young caliber and he has only allowed two earned runs in 22 innings pitched. During that span, Darvish has walked four while striking out 23 and his ERA currently sits at .82 with a FIP of 1.53. This season, Darvish appears to be just as unhittable as ever and it will be interesting to see if he can continue dominating despite the fact that Oakland hitters have had more success against the right-hander than any other major league team.
For his career, Darvish holds a record of 30-18 with a 3.21 ERA and a strikeout to walk ratio of 3.01. However, a third of Darvish’s career losses have come against Oakland and in 44 innings, the A’s have slugged .409 while pushing Darvish’s ERA north of four. Much of Oakland’s offensive success against Yu could be attributed to their patience, drawing the third most walks against Yu than any other team. Be on the lookout for Darvish to work very carefully to the A’s Alberto Callaspo who has consistently had his number. Coming into Monday’s game, Callaspo is hitting .389 lifetime with two doubles and an on base percentage of .476.
For Texas to have a shot at reclaiming their AL West title, they will need to take advantage of each and every start against their western rivals. To do so, Yu Darvish must somehow find a way to silence the Oakland bats. He will get his first shot on Monday night.