Rangers spoiled golden opportunity now that key division rival has finally gotten hot

The Rangers had a chance to put their division rivals in a bad spot, but couldn't capitalize.
Seattle Mariners v Texas Rangers
Seattle Mariners v Texas Rangers / Sam Hodde/GettyImages
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If you were to draw up the ideal start to the 2024 season for the Texas Rangers, it would probably start with exactly how their biggest division rivals have played. The Mariners were below .500 with an offense that wasn't scaring anybody and the Astros haven't looked worse in years thanks to loads of injuries to their pitching staff and some under-performers on offense.

This was a fantastic opportunity for the Rangers to put some distance between themselves and the rest of the AL West.

Unfortunately, that is decidedly not what happened. Not only are the Rangers sitting at 12-12 at the moment with a bunch of their own issues to deal with, but Seattle got hot and could be a real problem to try and keep up with in 2024.

Mariners' hot streak could spell trouble for the Rangers this season

While the Astros probably won't stay THIS bad the rest of the way, they are going to have to earn their way back into the discussion. However, Seattle has won seven of their last 10 games despite the fact their offense hasn't come close to reachings its potential yet. If Julio Rodriguez's first homer against the Rangers is a sign of things to come, the Mariners present a number of problems for Texas this season.

First and foremost, Seattle's pitching staff has been dominating as they are fourth in fWAR (3.1) and sixth in team ERA (3.33). With Luis Castillo, George Kirby, and Logan Gilbert leading their rotation, and multiple relievers off to strong starts including Trent Thornton and Gabe Speier, Seattle is going to stay in a lot of games even on nights when the offense underperforms. If Rodriguez and former Ranger Mitch Garver get going, the Mariners are going to be a tough opponent for anyone.

Conversely, the Rangers have a lot of uncertainty at the moment. Evan Carter is starting to show flashes of brilliance, but Wyatt Langford's career isn't off to the start many expected while Corey Seager has looked decidedly ordinary at the plate in 2024. Combine that and the sheer number of Texas players that have gotten hurt, one struggles to see the Rangers putting together a run of their own anytime soon, which makes not taking advantage of Seattle's slow start feel even worse.

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