Could the Texas Rangers win the 2023 World Series coming off a losing 2022?

Brady Ross
May 31, 2022; Arlington, Texas, USA; Texas Rangers right fielder Adolis Garcia (53) celebrates with catcher Mitch Garver (18) after hitting a two-run home run against the Tampa Bay Rays during the fourth inning at Globe Life Field. Mandatory Credit: Raymond Carlin III-USA TODAY Sports
May 31, 2022; Arlington, Texas, USA; Texas Rangers right fielder Adolis Garcia (53) celebrates with catcher Mitch Garver (18) after hitting a two-run home run against the Tampa Bay Rays during the fourth inning at Globe Life Field. Mandatory Credit: Raymond Carlin III-USA TODAY Sports /
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Jun 22, 2022; Anaheim, California, USA; Former Los Angeles Angels Tim Salmon spoke during a pregame ceremony honoring the 20th anniversary World Series title in 2002 at Angel Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 22, 2022; Anaheim, California, USA; Former Los Angeles Angels Tim Salmon spoke during a pregame ceremony honoring the 20th anniversary World Series title in 2002 at Angel Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports /

The 2002 Anaheim Angels

2001 Record – 75-87, 3rd in AL West

2002. Record – 99-63, AL Wild Card

What changed? The Angels only made one major signing during the 2001 offseason, inking two-time All-Star Aaron Sele to a three-year, $24 million contract. His first season in Anaheim was somewhat disappointing. He finished the season with a 4.89 ERA in 160 IP (91 ERA+).

How did they get there? The Angels beat the Yankees in four games in the ALDS before defeating the Twins in five games in the ALCS. Their World Series matchup against the San Francisco Giants went seven games, but the Angels emerged victorious. Troy Glaus won the World Series MVP thanks to a .385 average and three home runs in 30 plate appearances.

What could they have in common with the Texas Rangers? The Angels had to compete with two juggernauts at the top of their division. They couldn’t even win the West after a 99-win season thanks to Oakland’s 103-win finish that featured a 20-game midseason winning streak. If that wasn’t enough, the Seattle Mariners won 93 games in 2002 after setting the MLB record for regular season wins with 116 in 2001 (we won’t talk about how the Rangers finished in ’01 or ’02).

The AL West is currently loaded, with the dreaded Astros heading to their fourth World Series in six years and the Mariners’ competitive window seemingly wide open. The 2002 Angels are proof that there’s still room for a third contender to emerge, and Rangers fans hope for a similar outcome in 2023.

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