The Texas Rangers aren’t exactly on the cusp of a championship. But, in spirit of this year’s fall classic, let’s compare them to the Red Sox and Dodgers.
The World Series begins tonight! The Boston Red Sox will represent the American League, while the Los Angeles Dodgers will represent the National League. Should be a fun watch! But, this site is not about either one of those teams. This site is about the Texas Rangers. So, let’s compare a last place Rangers team to the two teams that apparently have what it takes to win the final game of the season.
Without a doubt, the Rangers are miles behind the two World Series contestants in the starting pitching department. Sure, the Red Sox have a bottomless pit of stellar offensive players and the Dodgers certainly don’t lack in offensive firepower themselves. But starting pitching is almost always the foundation of postseason success. That’s also the area in which the Rangers are worst off.
This year, 7 of the 10 playoff teams ranked in the top 11 in starters’ ERA. The Astros ranked #1, followed by the Dodgers, Indians and Braves. The Red Sox ranked 8th, the Cubs 10th and the Brewers 11th. Your Texas Rangers starting rotation ranked 29th.
Postseason squads typically only use four starting pitchers; thus, how do the Rangers’ top four starters compare to the top four starters of the Red Sox and the Dodgers?
Certainly, the Texas rotation will improve at least slightly as the offseason unravels; however, those four pitchers are the projected top four as of today.
Mike Minor had a nice 2018 campaign, but he wouldn’t slot into the Red Sox’s nor Dodgers’ postseason rotation. The latter three Rangers starters are rookies and have combined to pitch only 124 major league innings.
Effective depth definitely stands out as a trouble spot, though that is understandable given the Rangers’ current rebuilding efforts. What’s scary is the lack of a dominant ace.
Almost every contender is led by a dominant ace. Just look at this year’s playoff participants (excluding the wildcard losers):
Red Sox: Chris Sale
Astros: Justin Verlander
Indians: Corey Kluber
Yankees: Luis Severino
Dodgers: Clayton Kershaw
Braves: Mike Foltynewicz
Aside from the Dodgers, the National League teams lacked dominant aces. Foltynewicz had a great season with Atlanta, but he doesn’t have a track record as an ace. And the Brewers and Rockies found success through overall team depth. Though, in the end, it is the NL team with the ace that has made it to the World Series.
Before the Texas Rangers have any chance at contending, they’ll need to find a true ace. Whether that be in free agency or somewhere down the pipeline, someone needs to emerge as the elite front man of the rotation.
More from Texas Rangers News
- Early 2023 MLB mock draft has Texas Rangers selecting an Ohtani-lite
- 3 Texas Rangers outfield trade targets not named Bryan Reynolds
- Did Jacob deGrom really mean what he said at his Texas Rangers press conference?
- Martin Perez accepting the qualifying offer looking like solid deal for the Rangers
- 4 outfielders the Texas Rangers can still pursue this winter
Texas has a number of very talented arms in the lower levels of the minor leagues. They certainly aren’t rushing their prospects, but they are desperately hoping at least one of them will reach ace status over the next four or five seasons. Not only as the ace of the Rangers, but an MLB-wide recognized ace.
Is the rest of the Texas Rangers roster playoff caliber? Probably not, but at least the offense and the bullpen seem to be on their way. The offense is young and talented, and the Rangers have a closer who could dominate the postseason if he were part of it right now.
It’s starting pitching that is a major concern. If Texas wants to reach the pinnacle sometime in the next handful of years or so, they better draft well and they better develop their young arms. Starting pitching will be the key to success moving forward. The Red Sox and Dodgers are current examples of what great starting pitching can do for a team.