UK MLB Broadcasts: 19th-25th April 2014

The game to watch this week sees the Texas Rangers travel to take on the Oakland Athletics live on ESPN/HD on Wednesday at 8:30pm.

These two American League West (AL West) powerhouses have won the last four division titles between them (Texas in 2010 and 2011, Oakland in 2012 and 2013).

The Rangers are currently 9-7 in the AL West good enough for second place.

Starting pitcher Martin Perez has had a great 2014 thus far. He will go into this game with a 2-0 record, 2.70 ERA, and 148 ERA+. Although his 1.300 WHIP and 9.0H/9IP maybe a bit higher than his coaches would want them to be.

Texas’ usually high powered offense has had a much slower than expected start. No Rangers hitter has more than one homerun. They only rank 19th in runs with 62. Cumulatively Texas has only accumulated a .702 OPS which is 18th in MLB. Slugging third baseman Adrian Beltre is currently side lined with a grade one quad strain.

Much vaunted trade acquisition Prince Fielder has been ice cold, hitting a lowly .162, only driving in four RBI’s and accruing a .534 OPS.

In contrast, free agent acquisition Shin-Soo Choo has continued his penchant of getting on base really well as shown by a .417 OBP. Alex Rios and Matt Moreland lead the lone star team with seven RBIs a piece.

Cumulatively the Rangers bullpen have put up a 3.73 ERA which is 15th in MLB. In the past the Texas bullpen has been a source of strength for the Rangers so they will be hoping for an improvement soon. Closer Joakim Soria has struggled to a 6.00 ERA and 70 ERA+. Hector Noesi (four innings pitched) and Jason Frasor (six innings pitched) both boast 0.00 ERA’s thus far. Jason Frasor has also pitched well with a 1.59 ERA. Unfortunately, for Texas, all other relievers have ERA’s of 4.32 or above.

The Oakland Athletics have set the early pace in the AL West with a 10-5 record, which puts them in first place so far in 2014.

Sonny Gray has been lights out holding a 2-0 record with a 0.95 ERA and an astounding 385 ERA+. After 2013 staff ace Jarrod Parker was lost for the 2014 season to Tommy John surgery some analysts saw Gray as the potential pitcher who could step up and grab the number one role. The A’s rotation together has a 2.48 ERA which stands as the second best cumulative ERA in MLB.

The Oakland offense ranks 9th in runs with 68, 12th in home runs with 15 and they have accumulated a .711 OPS which is 14th in MLB.

Josh Donaldson and Yoenis Cespedes are tied for the team lead in home runs with three each and are first and second in RBIs with ten and nine respectively. Neither has an .OPS over .740 but both are hitting for power as shown by Donaldson’s .443 SLG and Cespedes’ .459 SLG. Jed Lowrie is having an outstanding season leading the team with a .477 OBP while also producing a.945 OPS and 180 OPS+ thus far. Leadoff hitter Coco Crisp currently possesses a great .455 OBP and leads the team with a .955 OPS and 181 ERA+.

Oakland’s relief corps have performed well early in the 2014 season with a 2.72 ERA which ranks as the sixth best in MLB. Jim Johnson was was signed to replace Grant Balfour as closer has struggled to a 7.56 ERA and 50 ERA+ so far. Other than Sean Doolitte (3.12 ERA) and Johnson all over A’s relievers possess ERAs of 2.70 or under. Dan Otero and Evan Scribner both hold ERAs of 0.00.

With how cold the Texas offense has been in the early going I would give Oakland the advantage in this game. Both teams usually do play each other hard and the A’s have had the upper hand in recent times but with the offensive weapons that the Rangers have, it should be sooner rather than later before they start to heat up.

List in full of your live and tape delayed TV offerings:

(All games/Baseball Tonight episodes on ESPN/HD unless stated.)

Saturday 19th April

2:15pm: Baseball Tonight
6:00pm: Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim @ Detroit Tigers
9:00pm: Houston Astros @ Oakland Athletics

Sunday 20th April

1:00am: Chicago White Sox @ Texas Rangers
11:00am: Baseball Tonight
12:00pm: MLB 162 – MLB Magazine
4:30pm: Baseball Tonight
11:00pm: Baseball Tonight

Monday 21st April

12:00am: Baltimore Orioles @ Boston Red Sox
9:30am: Baltimore Orioles @ Boston Red Sox
3:30pm: MLB 162 – MLB Magazine
4:00pm: Baltimore Orioles @ Boston Red Sox
11:00pm: MLB 162 – MLB Magazine

Tuesday 21st April

12:00am: Cincinnati Reds @ Pittsburgh Pirates
3:00am: Baseball Tonight
4:00am: MLB 162 – MLB Magazine
6:00am: Baltimore Orioles @ Boston Red Sox
9:00am: Baseball Tonight
4:30pm: Cincinnati Reds @ Pittsburgh Pirates

Wednesday 22nd April

12:00am: New York Yankees @ Boston Red Sox
3:00am: Baseball Tonight
5:00am: Baseball Tonight
9:00am: Baseball Tonight
11:15am: New York Yankees @ Boston Red Sox
5:00pm: Miami Marlins @ Atlanta Braves
8:30pm: Texas Rangers @ Oakland Athletics

Thursday 23rd April

12:00am: New York Yankees @ Boston Red Sox
3:00am: Baseball Tonight
5:15am: MLB 162 – MLB Magazine
6:00am: Miami Marlins @ Atlanta Braves
9:00am: Baseball Tonight
11:00am: Texas Rangers @ Oakland Athletics
2:00pm: New York Yankees @ Boston Red Sox
5:00pm: Baseball Tonight
6:00pm: Minnesota Twins @ Tampa Bay Rays

Friday 25th April

12:00am: New York Yankees @ Boston Red Sox
3:00am: Baseball Tonight
9:00am: Baseball Tonight
11:00am: New York Yankees @ Boston Red Sox Free Game Of The Day

Saturday 19th April – 1:05am: Chicago White Sox @ Texas Rangers; 6:05pm: St. Louis Cardinals @ Washington Nationals

Sunday 20th April – 6:05pm: Toronto Blue Jays @ Cleveland Indians

Tuesday 22nd April – 12:10am: Miami Marlins @ Atlanta Braves

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