Granted those were against the Houston Astros, but the Rangers have set a new record for most strikeouts in the first three games of the season, with 44 in total — that’s a ridiculous amount.
Now what can the Rangers expect from their fourth starter Holland?
He will be facing better competition than Matt Harrison, Yu Darvish and Alexi Ogando did, but Holland has already thrown the same number of competitive games with his start last month in the World Baseball Classic. I would say the Angels lineup will be better than the Canadian lineup Holland faced, though.
Holland pitched very well against that Canada roster that had a couple of huge bats such as Justin Morneau, Joey Votto and Michael Saunders, all left-handed. On Friday, Holland will have to pitch against a lineup that is filled with huge bats such as Mike Trout, Albert Pujols, Josh Hamilton and Mark Trumbo.
The game will be the Rangers’ first at home in Arlington so they should have a huge amount of fan support. Whether it ends up being more than they have the rest of the season is yet to be determined.
I expect Holland to be better and more focused than he was at the end of last season, but I do not believe he will ever be as good as he has been expected to.