Will The Texas Rangers Be Able To Hold Onto The AL West?
After six straight losing seasons, the Texas Rangers seem to have it all figured out.
They are currently 15 games over 500 with a record of 35-20, and they have a two-game lead over the Astros for first place in the West. They are 7-3 in their last ten, and went a combined 17-9 in the month of May. They’re undoubtedly one of the hottest teams in baseball–but can it last?
Texas Rangers Odds
According to DraftKings Sportsbook, the answer is no. While they don’t necessarily foresee the Rangers falling apart, they do expect them to lose hold of the West. Currently, the Houston Astros are favored to win the division, sitting at -135. The Rangers, with the second-best odds, are at +190.
However, DraftKings seems fairly confident that the Rangers will be able to sneak into the playoffs through the Wild Card, as their odds to make the playoffs are currently -210. Their odds to miss the postseason are +175.
How Have The Rangers Been Winning?
Rarely is the answer this easy, but in this case, it is: The Rangers are winning by just playing good baseball.
How do you win baseball games? By scoring runs–and the Rangers have done just that.
They’ve scored the most runs in the Majors so far this year, currently with 346. They also lead the league in RBIs and batting average and are top-5 in hits, on-base percentage, slugging percentage, and OPS.
If that’s not enough for you, Ranger pitchers have given up the least amount of hits in the league, have the sixth-best ERA, and the fifth-best opposing batting average. So not only will the Rangers out-hit you, but they’ll out-pitch you too–a truly deadly combination.
Exhibit A: In their last 10 games, where the Rangers went 7-3, they’ve outscored their opponents 62 to 29. Yikes.
So where’s all this success coming from? Let’s take a look.
Meet The Stars Of The Texas Rangers
Starting off at the plate, the Rangers lineup is unexpectedly one of the best in the Majors. Here are some of their marquee talents:
Jonah Heim, Catcher: 174 AB, 6 HR, 39 RBIs, .282/.337/.448 (.785 OPS)
Nathaniel Lowe, First Base: 220 AB, 5 HR, 31 RBIs, .277/.355/.427 (.782 OPS)
Marcus Semien, Second Base: 227 AB, 8 HR, 44 RBIs, .295/.366/.485 (.850 OPS)
Josh Jung, Third Base: 207 AB, 12 HR, 37 RBIs, .295/.341/.531 (.872 OPS)
Adolis Garcia, Right Field: 206 AB, 14 HR, 49 RBIs, .257/.319/.505 (.824 OPS)
Corey Seager, Short Stop: 94 AB, 5 HR, 23 RBIs, .319/.380/.564 (.943 OPS)
Not mentioned amongst all those possible all-stars is Ezquiel Duran (currently injured), Robbie Grossman, and Leody Tavares, who all serve as great role-players in a lineup that is only gaining confidence as the season goes on.
If that’s not enough for you, take a look at their pitchers–and if you look closely, you’ll notice someone (who’s name rhymes with Lacob GeBrom) isn’t even mentioned:
Nathan Eovaldi, Starting Pitcher: 7-2, 2.42 ERA, 8.5 K/9
Martin Perez, Starting Pitcher: 6-1, 4.43 ERA, 6.5 K/9
Jon Gray, Starting Pitcher: 5-1, 2.81 ERA, 7.2 K/9
Andrew Heany, Starting Pitcher: 4-3, 3.76 ERA, 9.0 K/9
Dane Dunning, Starting/Relief Pitcher: 4-1, 2.06 ERA, 6.0 K/9
While the strikeout rates aren’t necessarily making batters shake in their boots, their stuff speaks for itself. And remember, if Jacob DeGrom can ever get healthy, he’ll just be a shot of steroids into an already hulking rotation.
Can The Rangers Win The West?
I don’t see why not. Their main competition is obviously the Astros, who, after a slow start to the season, have turned things back around and look a lot more like themselves now. The Mariners, who also got off to a bad start, have gone 7-3 in their last 10 games and are currently 6.5 games back from first.
While the season isn’t even halfway over, I really feel confident in this Rangers team. They’ve only had one series against the Astros so far this season but they played well, winning two of three games in Houston. The Rangers have an upcoming series against the Mariners where they could definitely put in more ground between them and third place, but won't face off against the Astros again until the end of June.
I know, it sounds foolish, but at +190 odds I think there are definitely worse bets out there to take. This Rangers team is for real, and they have a serious chance at winning the AL West.