With just four series remaining in the season, the Texas Rangers can use the next couple of weeks as a measuring stick as they plan for next season.
As we approach the end of the 2019 season, to say the year has been full of ups and downs for the Texas Rangers is an understatement. As of now, they sit at 74-77 which based on preseason expectations, is actually pretty positive. Still, they’re a long way off the pace of the AL West leading Houston Astros trailing by 24 games in the division. In the Wild Card, they trail the Tampa Bay Rays by 15 games. While the record isn’t terrible, that gap is concerning for a team that is hoping to compete within the next season. But with the final four series the Rangers have to close the season, they can use the end of 2019 as a measuring stick as they face some of the better teams in their division and the AL.
Tuesday night, the Rangers open up a quick two-game series in Houston against the Astros, the division leaders. They then travel to Oakland where they’ll visit the A’s for a three-game stretch. The A’s of course sit 2nd in the AL West and are in the top Wild Card spot in the AL.
After the in division matchups, Texas will host the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees for back-to-back three-game series to close out the season. While the Red Sox are in a similar position to Texas sitting outside of the Wild Card race, they still will be a solid test for Texas. The Yankees are atop the AL East and are tied with the Astros for the best record in baseball.
While closing out the season with a tough stretch like this could seem like insult to injury at face value, it could be a positive. The Rangers have embraced the youth movement over the past few weeks promoting young talent to the big leagues to get them a few looks. Many of those young guys have impressed from Nick Solak and Jose Trevino to Brock Burke and Kolby Allard. These guys seem to be poised to play big roles for the Rangers in their upcoming season. So now is as good a time as any for these players to get a trial run against some of the clubs Texas will have to best if they want to be truly competitive next season.
While no doubt there will be a couple of new names that pop up this offseason either via the minors or acquisitions, we more or less know what the Rangers will be built on next season. For fans it’s a reason to tune in, not for the chase of a .500 record, but to see how these guys perform over the next few weeks as we continue to get a better picture of what 2020 could look like.