Matchup: Yu Darvish vs. Liam Hendriks
Darvish (12-5, 2.68): The expectations are so high for Darvish, who is a Cy Young frontrunner despite throwing one disappointing pitch in his last start Saturday against the Chicago White Sox ... Darvish allowed a two-run home run to Adam Dunn -- a pretty good power hitter -- to tie the game 2-2 in the bottom of the sixth inning in a game the Rangers eventually lost .. Darvish dealt with leg cramps in the start, but he is healthy and ready to go Friday ... He has a major league leading 225 strikeouts, tying Ferguson Jenkins (1974) for third most Ks in club history behind Nolan Ryan's 301 in 1989 and 232 in 1990 ... Darvish had 11 punchouts against the White Sox, his 10th game with 10 Ks or more this season ... He is 4-1 with a 1.85 ERA in his last seven starts ... Darvish has started once against the Twins last April in Minnesota, getting a no decision while allowing one earned run in 5 2/3 innings.
Hendriks (0-2, 6.20): Hendriks will make his second start since replace Kyle Gibson in the Twins' rotation .. Hendriks' first outing didn't go so well as he allowed seven runs on seven hits in 4 1/3 innings against Cleveland on Saturday ... Opponents are batting .302 against Hendriks ... He is 1-12 with a 5.79 ERA for 24 career starts ... He has allowed 25 home runs in 129 career innings ... Seven of those homers have come off of his slider, a pitch Hendriks has struggled with in his young career ... The 24-year-old right-hander, who hails from Australia, also throws a four-seam and two-seam fastball and a changeup.
Hitters: Alex Rios is 3-for-6 with two home runs and three RBIs against Hendriks. The current Twins are 2-for-9 against Darvish with Ryan Doumit and Chris Parmelee collecting the hits.
103.3 FM ESPN PODCASTS
Play Podcast Rangers GM Jon Daniels joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett to tackle the tough questions after his team failed to advance to the playoffs.
Play Podcast Nolan Ryan joins Galloway and Company to discuss having Nelson Cruz back in the lineup and how the Rangers are feeling heading into their wild-card play-in game against the Rays.
Play Podcast ESPN Insider and senior MLB analyst Jim Bowden joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett to discuss the wild-card race and the Rangers' chances of making the playoffs.
Play Podcast Chuck Cooperstein joins Ian Fitzsimmons and Tim MacMahon to discuss why he feels Rangers pitcher Yu Darvish isn't an ace.
Play Podcast Elvis Andrus joins Galloway and Company to discuss the Rangers' stretch run and the morale level in their clubhouse.
Play Podcast Nolan Ryan joins Galloway and Company to discuss the latest Rangers news, including the team's struggles, Ron Washington's job security and a rumored trade with the Braves.
Play Podcast Ron Washington joins Ian Fitzsimmons and Tim MacMahon to discuss the Rangers' dismal September, who's to blame for their September struggles and his status as the team's manager.
Play Podcast Fitzsimmons and Durrett discuss how some people are calling for the Rangers to fire manager Ron Washington.