The Texas Rangers have played 14 games in 2014. They are 7-7 and while they have not really impressed Rangers Nation they are a half game behind Seattle for second in the American League West and are three games behind Oakland for first. The feel of the season is fitting for a 7-7 team. Perhaps it is the win last night, but right now the season feels as though it has had some good points to go with the tough spots. Where do the Texas Rangers stand relative to other major league teams regardless of how we feel?
The Rangers are 22nd in runs scored among all MLB teams. This is particularly disappointing given that the offseason saw the front office attempt to improve the offense and the initial results have been a letdown. The Rangers are 31 runs behind the MLB leading White Sox and 15 runs better than the MLB worst Royals.
Texas is 19th in preventing runs. This means only 11 teams have allowed more runs than the Rangers. They are 18th in preventing earned runs. Texas’s run differential is negative 10. A negative run differential means that Texas should be a losing team so the .500 record means this team’s record is over performing.
The Rangers are tied with the Padres for 28th in homeruns. Only Kansas City has hit fewer. The Rangers are 16 bombs behind the MLB leading Angels. The Rangers have the third lowest strikeout rate and are 13th in walk rate. These numbers are hopeful because the Rangers are putting the ball in play but not sacrificing their patience. In fact, Texas has the 9th lowest outside the zone swing rate. Not surprisingly Texas is 11th in team OBP. The Rangers are tied for 6th in steals but lead the league in times caught stealing. The Rangers are 15th in BsR with near zero (0.1). BsR measures baserunning performance and includes things like going first to third, advancing on a pitch in the dirt and advancing on a sacrifice fly. If you have been watching the Rangers this year you probably will not be surprised to learn that the Rangers 5th in ground into double plays. All of this leads to Texas being 21st in wRC+ with an appropriately disappointing 89.
The Texas Rangers are 15th in ERA and 12th in FIP (Fielding Independent Pitching). The bullpen has not been great as evidenced by ranking 19th in LOB rate. The Rangers are 28th in K/9 and 15th in BB/9. Texas has the 10th highest batting average against. These numbers combine to give Texas the 10th highest staff WHIP. A mitigating factor is that the pitching staff has the 10th lowest HR/9 rate.
All in all, the Rangers have an interesting collection of statistics going as a team. The record is mediocre and most statistics point to a middle of the pack team. So far they appear to be disciplined at the plate but significantly below average offensively otherwise. The pitching staff has been fairly average as well but given their losses this has been better than expected. The replacements seem to have held their own.