Our crew has taken time once again to study this series and then give our predictions for what we think will happen. Some of us have gotten our predictions right and some have been completely off. We are back for a third round of predictions that we hope will be right.
On one hand, we have the team that has dominated the American League for the past seven seasons. The Astros have been here many times and they know what they’re doing, earning two titles in the process. And yes, say what you want about HOW they got at least one of them.
Then, we have the underdog Rangers, who are arguably the hottest team in baseball right now. They’ve swept their way through the Wild Card and Divisional rounds. And it’s not like they’ve taken down bad teams, either. The Orioles had the best record in the American League and the Rays finished just two games behind them. That’s not a bad resumé at all.
Yes, Houston swept the Rangers in Arlington. But that was also not the same Texas team they faced earlier in the year. The Rangers were missing Adolis Garcia and Nathan Eovaldi had barely left the IL and had about a quarter inch of rust to sand away. As evidenced by game three against the Orioles, he’s now fresh and ready to go.
I see them splitting the first two in the road, taking two at home and winning the sixth in Houston. So, gimme the Rangers stunning Houston in six.
To be honest, I’ve gone back and forth mentally about this series. This seriously has the makings to be one of the greatest ALCS matchups we’ve seen in a long time.
Prediction: Texas Rangers 4-2
As a paranormal investigator once said, “Call it fate, call it luck, call it karma; I believe everything happens for a reason.” The Texas Rangers are facing their first real chance at a World Series return since 2011. The years in between saw the Houston Astros win their first Championship (and something else in 2017 that kind of counts). They have been the team to beat. It only makes sense that they now stand in the Rangers’ way.
It may be wishful thinking, but I do believe this will be the last year of Astros dominance (for now). Despite being heavy favorites, they didn’t have the most explosive year. We can see the seams. The Rangers had some similar issues, but that’s expected coming off a 68-win season. The Astros won it all last year, yet it felt like they spent 2023 on a downturn. Then September rolled along. They didn’t have the easiest time against the Twins, but they still eliminated them.
If the Rangers want to take their place among the American League’s great teams, they must beat their (relatively new) division rivals. Four-year-old me, who once saw Nolan Ryan face the Astros in a Rangers uniform during Spring Training in 1993, sparking a life-long fandom, knows they will. The Rangers have a chance at storybook success. This is the kind of postseason that makes a franchise legendary. It launches rivalries into the national conversation. The Astros have made their name, now it’s the Rangers’ turn.
I have no data to back up my convictions. I could point out the OPS of people like Evan Carter or Corey Seager. I could spend the remaining paragraphs here talking about my uncontainable excitement for Jordan Montgomery taking the mound in game one (he wants it). It’s a feeling. The next few days will be stressful. The Rangers will look like they are up against the ropes, but they will come out on top.
Prediction: Texas Rangers win 4-2
This season comes down to this. The Houston Astros in the American League Championship series. Now, as a Rangers fan, I want to keep the road win-streak alive and hop quickly into the World Series.
But, in reality the Rangers have to still play the Astros. Give me the Rangers in six. I think the lineup is back to the lineup all of MLB saw all season. With the way the starting pitching is pitching and the bullpen has looked solid as it will be, the Rangers are the team to beat, (2.20 ERA)
Also, starting pitchers against the Rangers this postseason are 0-5 with a 10.00 ERA.
Why do the Rangers make the World Series? 11 teams in the Wild Card era, since 1995 have had win streaks of five plus games. Eight out of the 11 made the World Series. Two of those three that have not made the World series are the 2023 Rangers and Arizona Diamondbacks.