Texas Rangers were better in 2022 than many people realize

Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

The Texas Rangers were better in 2022 than many people realize. Coming from someone that watches a ton of Ranger games, just aesthetically I can tell you that 2022 was so much more enjoyable than the year before. 2021, was a display of bad baseball, especially the last few months of the season. It got hard to watch, even for the most loyal of fans.

Many people will point to the fact that the Rangers only won eight more games than the previous year. While that is true, there is much more to the story. If you look at the Rangers' pythagorean win expectancy, they should have had a record of 77W - 85L this past season. That would have been an increase of seventeen wins over 2021 and not just eight.

The Texas Rangers 2022 pythagorean expected record was 77-85

I understand the argument that the only thing that matters is wins and losses and that math exercises are meaningless. At the end of the day, wins and losses are truly what matter, but what the numbers tell us, is that the Texas Rangers should be more optimistic going into 2023 than a typical 68-win team.

Rangers fans will remember the opposite happening back in 2016. That was the year that the Rangers couldn't lose a one-run game and ended with a gaudy 95-67 record. The Rangers were promptly were swept by the Toronto Blue Jays in the division series, and haven't sniffed the playoffs or a .500 season, since. That 2016 club had a pythagorean winning percentage record of 82-80, an astonishing 13 games worse than our actual record. That actual regular season record got the Rangres to the playoffs, but gave the front office and fans alike a false sense of security, when it wasreally no better than a .500 ball club.

If we should have looked at that 2016 club with trepidation, then we should be looking at the current unit with optimism. And that's before taking into account all of the moves to drastically improve the rotation. One thing is for sure, Chris Young isn't messing around, and is making moves to compete, and compete now. That is exciting news for a hungry fan base!

There has been much talk about how we must add another bat, specifically in left field. While it would be great to add another solid bat to the lineup, we actually held our own pretty well on offense last year. The Rangers were outscored by only 30 runs by the Houston Astros. Texas also outscored three of the AL playoff teams in 2022: Tampa Bay Rays, Cleveland Guardians, and Seattle Mariners. Now, the runs allowed category was a bit of a different story! That is where Young has been focusing on thus far.

So while it will be nice to score more runs, the key for more wins for the Rangers will come down to pitching and defense. Young has been addressing the pitching issue via the amateur drafts and free agent signings over the last two seasons. He also brought in former catcher (knows how to handle pitchers) and future Hall of Fame manager Bruce Bochy, along with Mike Maddux as the pitching coach to handle the staff.

The rotation that Young has put together is one that has the potential to be great. It is also one that has several question marks associated with health risk. The best part, is that to this point, the additions have all come through free agency (with the one exception of Jake Odorizzi) and so our solid farm system is in tack to contribute and/or be utilized for trades. These trades could either come before the season or at the deadline if we find ourselves in striking distance.

Overall, the Rangers were a better team than the record indicated in 2022. Young is doing his best to sure up the pitching staff and that will go a long way in pushing this organization back to the playoffs.