Texas Rangers Are Shining Away From Home
By Jason Burke
The Texas Rangers have more road wins than any other team in baseball with seventeen entering play Wednesday. Their 17-10 record is only rivaled by the other team in Texas and their 15-7 mark. That’s the list of legitimately good road teams this season–the Rangers and Astros. The downside is that the Rangers are just 6-13 at home this season, which is why their overall record still sits right at the .500 mark.
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After dropping the first game on the current road trip, the Rangers have won seven straight away from Arlington, and going back to their last trip are winners of 12 of their past 15 road games. There really isn’t any rhyme or reason for this trend, but let’s try to make some sense out of all of this.
According to ESPN’s MLB Park Factors, Globe Life Park ranks 16th on the scale of hitter’s parks with a 1.037, or slightly above average. One is considered average here, with Baltimore being considered the most hitter-friendly park in the game this season (1.362), while AT&T Park in San Francisco is the most pitcher-friendly park with a 0.602. Last season the Rangers ballpark factor was a 1.052, just slightly ahead of where Golbe Life ranks currently. When the weather begins to warm, this season’s average should be able to surpass last.
While the Ranger offense has awakened recently, all of that success has been on the road. When the boys in blue return home on Thursday to face the Red Sox we should get a better idea of how much Globe Life Park is affecting the offense with four against Boston, followed by three against the White Sox. Both of these teams are in the bottom third in team ERA across baseball, with Boston ranked 28th (4.55) and Chicago ranked 25th (4.30) respectively.
While he has yet to get a hit in two games in Cleveland, the addition of Josh Hamilton into the lineup could pay major dividends when the team returns home. Hamilton, returning to a place where he has had great success in the recent past, could see a boost in his confidence at the plate. Baseball is a mental game and any psychological edge a player gets is a huge bonus. Arlington may be Hamilton’s psychological edge.
The Texas Rangers have found something in the past three weeks. Maybe it’s as simple as the calendar turning to a new month. Perhaps it was Jon Daniels’ threat of major changes. Whatever the case may be, we’re all hoping that the team can keep it up when they return home tomorrow.