Now I know that this isn't exactly what Orioles fans want to hear. In fact you all probably want nothing to do with the Rangers in the Playoffs this year. Especially after the way that they smacked the O's around (5-2 in the Season Series against the O's) this season. But there is one fact that has been overlooked about the match-up.
The last loss to the Rangers came on August 22nd when the Rangers absolutely STOMPED Tommy Hunter into the ground. (He gave up 8 runs in just 3 innings). The Rangers would score 4 more runs that game 3 off of J.C. Romero and Kevin Gregg, and one off of Steve Johnson.
What is the common theme of all of these games?
The Rangers beat up on Orioles pitchers who are either no longer with the team (Matt Lindstrom, Jason Berken, Kevin Gregg, J.C. Romero, and Zach Phillips. The latter two are in the minors.) or on pitchers who are no longer in the starting rotation (Jake Arrieta, Tommy Hunter, and Brian Matusz). The exception(s) being Miguel Gonzalez (but lets be honest he has become a much better pitcher since August 20th), Steve Johnson, and Darren O'Day (but they only gave up three runs between the two of them).
Oh and about those two Orioles wins against the Rangers... They were started by Chris Tillman and Wei-Yin Chen. So the only two members of the current rotation who have actually faced the Rangers this year have won.
But there is a slight downside. Miguel Gonzalez and Wei-Yin Chen have already pitched this week, and Chris Tillman is set to pitch tonight. So that leaves us with Joe Saunders, and Steve Johnson, if healthy, available to pitch on Friday, and thats assuming that there is no tie-breaker game tomorrow. And Joe doesn't exactly have the best track record against the Rangers. From 2009-2011 Saunders is 0-4 with a 10.70 ERA against the Rangers. Then again Saunders has been a pretty solid pitcher since coming to the O's so I'm not to concerned about it.