To say that last year was a struggle for the Texas Rangers would be putting things kindly. After making three playoff appearances from 2010 through 2012, including consecutive appearances in the World Series and just missing the postseason in 2013, the bottom fell out. Injuries conspired to sink the Rangers season, as the disastrous year culminated with Ron Washington resigning with 22 games left in the season.
This season, everything was supposed to be different. The Rangers were healthy, with Shin-Soo Choo and Prince Fielder expected to put up their accustomed statistics. The pitching staff, while it had potential, was bolstered by the acquisition of Yovanni Gallardo from the Brewers. Then, Yu Darvish injured his elbow, requiring Tommy John surgery, theoretically ending the Rangers season before it began.
At least, that is how the preseason FanSided Major League Baseball Power Rankings see the Rangers. Ranked as the 27th best team in baseball, the Rangers would seemingly have the same chance at reaching the postseason as I do of winning the Nobel Prize for Literature.
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However, stranger things have happened. The Rangers offense, if healthy, should be formidable with Choo, Fielder and Adrian Beltre leading the way. If the pitching can be reasonably competent, then the Rangers could find themselves playing in, and winning, quite a few 6-4 ballgames. How is this any different than the Red Sox approach to the 2015 season? However, the Red Sox are ranked 15 spots ahead in 12th.
It would seem as though this would be, essentially, the same plan of attack. Yet, the Rangers would seemingly have a better chance at success, as they have legitimately solid defensive players, as opposed to the Red Sox statuesque defense. Somehow, perhaps because the Red Sox spending spree is far more recent and brought in some bigger names, they are considered much better than the Rangers.
It may not be easy, and it may not even be probable, but the Texas Rangers could find themselves hovering around the fringes of contention this season. Quite a bit would need to go right for the Rangers, but the same could be said for the Red Sox.
The Texas Rangers are in a tough division and have already lost their ace. However, that does not mean they are as bad as the rankings would lead you to believe. That is why they play the games, instead of figuring them out on paper.