Because of an earlier rainout in Arlington, Oakland and Texas are playing a day-night doubleheader. Is it possible for either team to engineer the sweep?
Saturday, 2:05 pm and 9:05 pm ET
Game 1 – Expected Starters: Paul Blackburn vs. Joe Palumbo
For making MLB picks, this has the feel of jumping out a plane with the ripcord is jammed on the parachute. This is the actual make-up game from April 13 and we’re expected to see two pitchers make their first starts in the big leagues this season.
Oakland’s Paul Blackburn has ample major league experience and lost out in the spring to make the rotation. Blackburn had a 4.55 ERA at Triple-A Las Vegas in 11 starts and has a similar ERA (4.48) in 16 starts at this level. Still only 25, the right-hander suffered a variety of ailments last year but is still considered a good back of the rotation hurler if he solves his mechanics.
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Palumbo was on his way to possibly reaching the Texas staff in 2017 when Tommy John injury stuck. After a year off, the 24-year old had a .3.38 ERA at Double-A with opponents hitting just .222. This should give the Rangers a good indication where the left-hander is at this moment.