The Texas Rangers Are In First Place Still!

texas_rangers_logoThe surprise Rangers are sitting in first place in the AL West! This time it’s their pitching that’s carrying them.  Unlike last season, the Rangers are relying more on balance from the starting pitching and offense to win games.  Last season, the Rangers lost many close games (3 runs or less) and this season, they’re winning those close games.  The biggest surprise coming out of the Rangers team is their health.

SEATTLE - MARCH 31:  Josh Hamilton #32 of the ...
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Last season, two months into the season, the Rangers had nine players see the DL.  This season, two months in, the Rangers have only seen five.  The ability to stay healthy has helped, but they are finding out they can win without their star, Josh Hamilton.  With Hamilton out of the lineup, the Rangers went 9-6.  Andruw Jones has filled in nicely in Center and DH and Michael Young is playing well at third base.

The Rangers’ pitching staff is no longer the laughingstock of the league.  The impressive feat of the staff is getting more quality starts and getting quality holds and saves.  They rank in the top five in saves, quality starts, WHIP, and BAA.  It is impressive what a new mindset can do for the Rangers.  Nolan Ryan‘s preaching of better conditioning and healthier attitude is working.

While it is too early in the season to tell whether the Rangers will falter down the stretch, they are riding high on momentum which they have not seen since 1999, the last season they saw the playoffs.  The Angels are lurking behind, but the biggest question that remains is can the Rangers keep up this momentum past the All-Star break.  Traditionally, the Rangers have faltered after the break.  There’s a lot of baseball left to be played and right now, nothing can be ruled out.

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