Tijuana Toros Preview: Border City Bulls Look To Keep Good Form Against Diablos in Mexico City
The Tijuana Toros just finished up a three-game series against Bravos de Leon and will keep their road stand going this Friday.
The border city side will start a three-game set against Diablos Rojos del Mexico at the Estadio Fray Nano in Mexico City. Pedro Mere’s men had a successful series against Leon, taking the series two games to one for their first road series win of the 2018 LMB season. The Toros now has a 6-6 record and will try to go back to Tijuana with a positive record after this road trip.
The offense has been on fire for the Border City Bulls as they produced 23 runs in the three-game set in Leon. The pitching has also been on the rise as the starting pitchers have only allowed two runs in the Toros’ last two games. Tijuana’s bullpen is a worrying issue, having allowed 15 runs against Bravos in this past series and off to a struggling start in general. This will be a very tough series against a very experienced and talented Diablos’ team, but the border city should give a good fight in it.
Diablos Rojos del Mexico are currently first in the LMB Zona Sur with an 8-4 record after taking a series against Saraperos de Saltillo.
Los Capitalinos are in tremendous form with 19 runs scored in their last two games and do have an impressive 6-3 record at home to start off 2018. The Red Devils have a solid team with some notable former MLB players like Carlos Corporan, Jean Machi, Henry Urrutia, and Alexei Ramirez. The coaching staff also has a wealth of experience with Victor Bojorquez at the helm and former Padres’ pitcher, Sid Monge, part of the staff as well.
Last year was a disappointing one for Diablos Rojos del Mexico as they ended the year with a 57-52 record and missed out on the playoffs. This year, the team seems to be much more solid and is off to a great start, which should make for a very intriguing series.
Probable Pitching Matchups
Kyle Lobstein (1-0 0.00 ERA) vs Alex Delgado (1-0 1.80 ERA)
Hector Ambriz (0-1 3.38 ERA) vs Marco Antonio Duarte (1-0 8.31 ERA)
Miguel Pena (0-0 5.79 ERA) vs Luis Niebla (1-2 6.00 ERA)
The pitching matchup that stands out straight away is the opening one in Game 1 of this series this Friday. Alex Delgado only allowed a run through five innings in his first start of 2018 for Mexico last Saturday against Guerreros de Oaxaca. LMB rookie Kyle Lobstein is off to an amazing start with Tijuana as he has yet to allow a run and has eight strikeouts in nine and a third innings of work this season. That should be the most enticing pitching duel of the series while the other two games have potential to be very high scoring.
Players to Watch
The former White Sox, Padres, and Rays infielder is at another stage in his career now with Diablos Rojos del Mexico. The “Cuban Missile” is off to a great start in this 2018 LMB season with a .313 batting average with six RBI. Ramirez has yet to hit a home run, but will be an interesting player to keep track of by the Toros due to his experience.
The Mexican infielder is coming off a tremendous series in Leon as he went 8-for-15 with four RBI and a stolen base in a span of three games. The 27-year-old is off to a great start to the 2018 LMB season overall with a .415 batting average, a home run, three stolen bases, and seven RBI. It is sometimes easy to forget about how great of a hitter Rodriguez Salazar is because of players like Cyle Hankerd, Dustin Marin, and Justin Greene in the Toros’ lineup. But the middle infielder will be a player to watch in Mexico City, especially after his performance in Leon.
Francisco, 26, Chula Vista/Tijuana. I have been a Padres fan all my life, did most of the series previews and recaps in the Padres’ 2016 season for EVT. Now I focus more on the local soccer scene. Tijuana Xolos, San Diego Loyal, San Diego Wave.