In this week’s edition of the FanSided Power Rankings, the Texas Rangers have fallen in the rankings for the second straight week. The team fell three spots in last week’s rankings and have fallen one spot this week to 17th. The team has continued to struggle, having lost seven of their last ten games heading into tonight’s game against the Baltimore Orioles. Here’s what was said about the Rangers this week:
"The Rangers have fallen on some hard times, dropping 8-of-12. The problem has been entirely with the pitching staff, which has allowed 50 runs in the last 10 games and that includes a shut-out. This team cannot continue to trot out the rotation that they have if they want to continue to contend. Yes, I’m talking about you Wandy Rodriguez.-Kyle Franzoni"
There are just two words needed to describe the best part of this week, Mitch Moreland. The guy is on absolute fire right now and does not figure to stop anytime soon. Moreland had two home runs in each of the first two games of the series against the Orioles, going 4-for-8 with all four hits as home runs, and driving in seven runs. Moreland has a hit in seven of his last 10 games heading into tonight. Another positive has been the return of Josh Hamilton and the soon-to-be returns of both Delino DeShields Jr. and Matt Harrison. Martin Perez has also taken another step and is making a start for the Round Rock Express tonight.
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A low for this week comes in the form of Nick Martinez, who was sent down to the Round Rock Express after a string of bad starts. Martinez gave up three runs on seven hits over 6.2 innings in yesterday’s start and has a 7.82 ERA over his last two starts. Martinez was replaced on the active roster by Neftali Feliz, who will be making his first appearance since May 19. With the success Shawn Tolleson had at closer, the Rangers should keep Feliz in low leverage situations until he has proven that he is ready for high pressure situations. Another low for this week is the continued struggles of Leonys Martin that have seemed to lost him his spot in center field. With Martinez being sent down, Martin is in danger of being optioned to Triple-A Round Rock to make room for a starting pitcher, likely Matt Harrison who has been working with the team.
Taking a look around the American League West, the Houston Astros have won six of their last 10 games but remain in the fourth spot in the rankings. With the struggles of the Rangers continuing on, the Astros have built up a six game lead and have more breathing room in the division than they have had for several weeks. The Los Angeles Angels have also won six of their last ten which has helped them to climb two spots in the rankings up to 15th, just two spots ahead of the Rangers. In the standings, the Angels are just one game ahead of the Rangers and 5.0 behind the Astros. The Seattle Mariners and the Oakland Athletics remain in their same spots from last week, with the Mariners at 23rd and the Athletics at 24th. Neither team was particularly dominant this week and neither struggled. The surge of the Astros has hurt both teams as well as the Mariners are 9.5 games back and the Athletics are 11.0 games back.