Vegas has released its MLB season win totals. Where do the Texas Rangers stand and will they fall short of or surpass Vegas’ mark?
If you’re feeling good about the upcoming season, or bad, you can now put money on the Texas Rangers. Caesars released its MLB season win totals last week. The Houston Astros hold the highest total (97.5), while the Rangers hold the 26th highest (70.5). You can view the full list of totals here.
The good news is Vegas believes the Rangers will improve in 2019. Texas went 67-95 last season, so the experts see them being 3.5 games better. Of course, the total can change leading up to the regular season. For instance, if Texas trades Mike Minor, the total would likely go down. Or, if they miraculously sign Manny Machado, the total would surely go up.
Considering the current roster, will the Texas Rangers win more games than last year? Will they surpass Vegas’ predicted season win total?
I believe the answer is yes to both. Their young offense has gained an additional year of experience. It hurts to lose Jurickson Profar, but the assumed growth of the youthful core should more than make up for what was lost. Texas’ legendary third baseman is gone, but the club played most of 2018 without him anyway.
Every other starting position player from last year remains with the Rangers. The offense should be more consistent; however, the pitching staff is the real question mark.
Texas’ 2018 opening day rotation included Cole Hamels, Doug Fister, Matt Moore and Mike Minor. It was Bartolo Colon who started the fifth game of the year. This seasons’ opening day rotation looks to be something like Minor, Lance Lynn, Drew Smyly, Edinson Volquez and Shelby Miller. That’s a flexible list, as Yohander Mendez and Ariel Jurado could intervene as well.
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The Rangers lose Hamels, though they also lose Fister, Moore and Colon. The latter three were terrible in 2018. Actually, Hamels wasn’t anything special either (at least when he was with Texas).
I’d take the new four over the old four. Lynn is still in his prime, Smyly and Miller are young, and Volquez has always had a talented arm. The new bunch is not a tremendous upgrade, but they are an upgrade nonetheless. Plus, Texas has employed more depth for this season.
The bullpen needs some work in the coming weeks. With that said, I don’t see the relief crew being any worse than last season’s. If anything, it will be stronger with Jesse Chavez back in the mix and Jose Leclerc established as the full-time closer.
I’d imagine teams like the Texas Rangers are the toughest for Vegas experts to predict. The Rangers could deal one or more of their most talented players at any point this year. They are more likely to trade big league talent than to gain big league talent; therefore, it would make sense for Vegas to weigh toward fewer wins.
On the other hand, Texas has so many young players that it’s impossible to predict which ones will have breakout seasons, which ones will struggle, and which ones will level out.
The Rangers’ schedule also needs to be considered. They’ll play nearly half of their games against AL West opponents. Houston will of course be dominant; however, the rest of the rivals don’t seem very threatening. The A’s should be competitive, the Angels will likely be middle of the road, and the Mariners should be worse than they were a season ago.
Texas’ interleague opponents will be from the NL Central. That’s a tough draw, as every Central team looks to be as good or better than they were a season ago.
If I were a betting man, I’d take the Texas Rangers to win more than 70 games in 2019. Their roster could change a lot throughout the year, so if you’re uncomfortable betting one way or the other, you should probably refrain from doing so. If you are very confident one way or the other, head to Las Vegas or talk to “your guy”.