Texas Rangers: Different Year Than 2012, Or Same Result?

Yu Darvish, Adrian Beltre, Ian Kinsler, and Jurickson Profar are just a few of the great players up and down their roster. Last season they lost the American League West to the Oakland Athletics on the last day of the season. Will the same happen this season, or will their be a different result?

Yu Darvish, Adrian Beltre, Ian Kinsler, and Jurickson Profar are just a few of the great players up and down their roster. Last season they lost the American League West to the Oakland Athletics on the last day of the season. Will the same happen this season, or will their be a different result? With 25 Games left to play, and identical 79 – 58 records in the AL West, The A’s and the boys from Arlington are embattled in a tightly Division Race in 2013.

Ryan Ritchey (Featured Baseball Columnist): 

The 2012 season didn’t end as planned for the Texas Rangers. They had a five game lead over the Oakland Athletics in the American League West with nine games remaining and lost the division. It was crushing for the team and the fans.

Losing the division put them in a one game playoff with the Baltimore Orioles. Coming off the shock of losing the division, the Rangers lost to the Orioles 5-1 at home. 

Will this season be the same for the Rangers, or will there be a different result? Here are three reasons why it could be the same and three why it could be different…

Yu Darvish Dominates Diamondbacks with 14 K’s:

Three Reasons Why 2013 Could Be Different:

Darvish has been an absolute stud for this Rangers pitching staff in 2013. He has changed the complexity of the "strikeout pitcher". He has struck out 14 or more batters 5 times this season. That has only been done three other times in major league history. If the Rangers were to win the division he would be a huge reason why.

Yu Darvish has been an absolute stud for this Rangers pitching staff in 2013. He has also changed the complexity of the “strikeout pitcher”. He has struck out 14 or more batters 5 times this season. That has only been done three other times in major league history. He has struck out 10 or more eleven times, and leads the Majors in 10 strikeout games since 2011, he entered the league in 2012. If the Rangers were to win the division he would be a huge reason why.

Reason number one why the Rangers are a better team this year is Yu Darvish. The RHP is in his second full season in the big leagues and has done nothing but impress. He leads the Majors with 236 strikeouts through 174.2 IP.

It isn’t just the strikeouts that make him impressive. He has given up the third least amount of earned runs in the majors with 53, of pitchers with at least 160 IP.

He has also carried two no-hitters into the eighth inning, granted they are both against the Astros, but it is still impressive. 

He also leads the American League in ERA at 2.73, to go along with his 1.02 WHIP. He is a game changer there is no doubt about it. As of Monday the Rangers and A’s are tied atop the American League West.

It looks like it will come down to one game again so, if you were to have one guy in the American League to pitch one game to win you a division, who would it be? Scherzer or Darvish? I’ll let you decide that, but for 2013,

The 27 Year Old native of Osaka, Japan,  is the number one reason why the Rangers won’t be in the Wild Card game come October. 

The second reason is the offense.  Among other decent performers in 2013 is  Ian Kinsler.

Kinsler has cracked 11 HRs and 58 RBI, while scoring 66 Runs in 110 Games Played.  Had he not been injured this year, he would have been challenging his 5th year out of 6, for scoring 100+ Runs.

But nobody has been more money than Adrian Beltre – who is leading the Rangers in almost every offensive category.

He is the guy they look too in a big situation to get them a run. He has the ability to do it with one swing of the bat or draw a walk and let the guy behind him knock him in.

That is the beauty of the Rangers lineup. They have so many prolific hitters that any guy can change the score of the game. 

The only question mark for Beltre is health. He has played in the most games of any Rangers offensive player. As the season comes to an end will his body start breaking down?

We have seen it before with the Gold Glove 3B. Come towards the end of the season and he goes down with a leg injury. I am not speculating that, that will happen but you never know, especially since he is now 34 years old.

Look for the former longtime Dodger and Mariner – to carry the team’s offense to the promise land and out of the Wild Card Game. 

The third and final reason why you should pick the Rangers to win the American League West is Ron Washington. Yes, he let the fans down last campaign, but just think of the two seasons before that.

He took the Rangers to the American League Championship Series two years straight – . You don’t see that too often anymore. Plus they were one measly strike way from winning in the 2011 World Series.

If the Rangers are going to win the division they are going to have to put trust in Washington to get them there. He handles the game very well and knows when to make big moves. 

Three Reasons Why 2013 Could Be The Same:

Reason number one is simple, their schedule. The Rangers have to play the A’s five more times, the Pirates for three, Angels for seven, Astros for three, at Tampa Bay for four, and at Kansas City for three.

Those are some difficult games for a team trying to win a division late in the year. The Tampa Bay series on the road will be huge as the Rays are fighting for a playoff spot as well. 

The A’s have to play this schedule the rest of the way…Rangers for five, Astros four times, Minnesota seven times, Angels six times and end the season with the Mariners for three.

Comparing those two schedules, it favors the A’s. As baseball fans we know that games aren’t won on paper but just looking at that you have to believe the A’s have the better chance at winning the division. 

Second is the nagging injury to Elvis Andrus. Andrus is a leader on this Rangers team and without him in the center of the diamond you put all the pressure on the young  Jurickson Profar.

The highly touted prospect is a great player, but he is no leader like Andrus is. He doesn’t have the experience either, which in a huge game that could decide the division could hurt the Rangers. 

Andrus will have to play through the injury later in the month, but will it already be too late for the Rangers to catch up to the A’s?

We will all have to wait and see but for now, the Rangers should be worried about their newly signed Shortstop.

The third and final reason why the Rangers will end up in the Wild Card Game once again is the bullpen. The bullpen has been very good at times and other times not so good.

If the club wants to stay out of the one game playoff like last season the bullpen is going to have to come up big.

The A’s bullpen is very good all the way through and that is what the Rangers’ needs to be. Joe Nathan at the end of the game is a very good thing for them, the only thing is, they have to get the game to him. 

Joe  Nathan is one of the best closers the game of baseball has ever seen. The problem the Rangers are having this season is getting the ball to him. He has recorded 38 saves so far but he could have upwards of 45-50 if it wasn't because of blown leads before the ball got to him. If the Rangers want to win the division they have to get the ball to Joe  Nathan in the late innings.

Joe Nathan is one of the best closers the game of baseball has ever seen. The problem the Rangers are having this season is getting the ball to him. He has recorded 38 saves so far – but he could have upwards of 45 – 50  – if it wasn’t because of blown leads before the ball got to him. If the Rangers want to win the division they have to get the ball to Joe Nathan in the late innings.

*** The views and opinions expressed in this report are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of mlbreports.com or their partners ***

A big thank-you goes out to Our ‘Featured Baseball Columnist‘ Ryan Ritchey for preparing today’s featured article.  Ryan is a Baseball Writer for MLB reports. He is a sophomore at Spalding University in Louisville, Kentucky.

Ryan is a huge fan of Barry Larkin and Brandon Phillips  He has been a baseball fan his whole life and has been writing about baseball since his freshman year of High School.

You can reach Ryan on Twitter  

a ryan ritchey

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Posted on September 3, 2013, in MLB Teams: Articles and Analysis, The Rest: Everything Baseball and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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