Rangers’ recent collapse has them looking like formerly struggling division rival

This is, unfortunately, beginning to look quite familiar.
 Texas Rangers second baseman Marcus Semien (2) reacts
Texas Rangers second baseman Marcus Semien (2) reacts / Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

The Texas Rangers are in quite the funk. The defending World Series champions were just swept by the Philadelphia Phillies earlier this week and dropped to below .500 for the first time since manager Bruce Bochy took over the club in 2023. But if the Rangers recent stretch of poor play seems somewhat familiar, that's because Texas fans saw it earlier this season with one of their team's biggest rivals.

Remember those struggling Houston Astros? Yeah, they're not really struggling anymore. In fact, with Texas having lost nine of their past 10 games, and Houston winning seven of theirs, the teams are now barely separated in the AL West standings.

Rangers’ recent collapse has them looking a lot like the Astros did

There are two ways to look at this. If you're a optimistic Rangers fan, you knew that the Astros couldn't stay in the AL West basement forever and understood that it was only a matter of time before Houston rallied and made the race for the division title more difficult.

The pessimistic fan, however, is now dreading the fact that Houston has inserted itself into the AL West conversation and is once again a threat to the Rangers' title defense.

But the Astros are starting to get back several players who were out due to injury — something the Rangers are hoping to see in the near future. Houston endured similar injuries to their starting rotation, but with Justin Verlander, Framber Valdez, and Cristian Javier back from the IL, the Astros are all of the sudden looking more like the team that's been in the ALCS for seven consecutive seasons.

As for the Rangers, Max Scherzer, Jacob deGrom, Cody Bradford, Jon Gray, and Tyler Mahle are all on the IL. In the month of May, the Rangers pitching staff owns a collective 4.65 ERA. When Houston was dealing with a barrage of injuries to their pitching staff, the Astros owned a 5.10 ERA in April.

Sorry, Rangers fans, but it would seem that Texas is in a similar funk to what the Astros were dealing with earlier this season. Now, two months in to the 2024 campaign, the two teams have almost identical records. Perhaps the Rangers can now follow the Astros lead and start stringing together wins as their pitching staff (hopefully) returns to full strength.

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