It took over 65 games, but the Texas Rangers offense is finally in expected form. Who knows how long it will stay in form; however, it’s fun to watch at the moment.
Going into the year, it was evident the Rangers did not have the starting pitching to make the playoffs, much less win the division. Starting pitching was a major concern and relief pitching was a moderate concern. However, offense was not much of a concern. In fact, it was looked at as the obvious strength of the team.
Texas had multiple high on-base hitters, multiple power bats and a great balance between experience and youth. It seemed they would be among the American League’s highest scoring offensive units.
Unfortunately, the Rangers spent most of the first three months of their season without their two best hitters. A broken elbow caused Elvis Andrus to miss 59 games and multiple hamstring injuries kept Adrian Beltre out for 44 of the team’s 78 games. Other players stepped up in their absences, though, not to a level in which Andrus and Beltre were not missed. The two all-stars are unquestionably the heart of the Texas offense. It’s wasn’t reasonable to expect offensive dominance without them.
But, now those guys are back. And guess what? The Texas Rangers are hitting the ball better than they have all season. They have won their last seven games and are 5-0 since Andrus returned to the lineup last Monday. The seven-game win streak is the longest in MLB at the moment. Throughout the streak, the Rangers have averaged close to seven runs per game.
The best part is everyone is contributing. Nomar Mazara has driven in nine runs over the streak (he’s played in six of the seven games), Shin-Soo Choo has driven in nine and Beltre seven. In addition, Delino DeShields is back to reaching base on a frequent basis and the collection of flex-in position players (Jurickson Profar, Rougned Odor, Isiah Kiner-Falefa) are performing at a high level.
All of this and Elvis Andrus hasn’t even started hitting. Andrus has just two hits over the five games since his return. Imagine what the Texas Rangers offense is capable of once their all-star shortstop gets going.
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Nevertheless, there is a sense of comfort with Andrus and Beltre healthy and playing practically everyday. With comfort comes confidence. Over the last seven games, the Rangers offense appears very confident.
Heck, the confidence is flowing throughout the entire roster. The bullpen’s confidence level is off the charts and even the starting pitchers are doing a decent job. To their defense, it’s much easier to pitch when your team’s offense is popping off runs left and right. We are currently watching a playoff capable offense. Too bad it didn’t take form until half way through the season.
The Texas Rangers have already declared themselves as sellers this trade season and they’ve committed to a rebuild. As much fun as it has been to watch the club play as of late, there is a good chance two or three of their top offensive contributors are traded away over the next month. Thus, their currently sizzling offense will have a whole new look relatively soon. Enjoy the high-level run production while it lasts!