Texas Rangers news: Battle for the AL West, All-Star starters, day baseball

The Texas Rangers are exactly halfway through the 2023 regular season, and there is much to be excited about.
Detroit Tigers v Texas Rangers
Detroit Tigers v Texas Rangers / Ron Jenkins/GettyImages

The Texas Rangers (49-32) are halfway through their 2023 regular season schedule and still find themselves in first place in the AL West. Texas is leading the Houston Astros by five games, the Los Angeles Angels by six games, and the Seattle Mariners by 10 games. The Rangers have been out front for most of the year, but the AL West is still the Astros' division until someone is able to unseat them at the conclusion of a season.

With that being said, the next four games will go a long way in determining how the AL West is won. The Rangers took a series in Houston during the middle of April by winning two of the three games. The lone loss that Texas suffered, came at the hands of rookie hurler, Hunter Brown. He pitched great in the contest, plus it didn't help that Jon Gray was hit on his throwing arm with a 109 mph comebacker in the second inning and had to be removed. Fortunately for the Rangers, they lost the game, but Gray was ultimately ok.

Texas Rangers schedule versus the Houston Astros

Date and Time

Probable Pitcher Rangers

Probable Pitcher Astros

Fri 30 - 7:05 CT

Jon Gray RHP 6-3, 2.89 ERA, 69 SO

Ronel Blanco RHP 1-0, 4.63 ERA, 37 SO

Sat 1 - 3:05 CT

Nathan Eovaldi RHP 9-3, 2.82 ERA, 101 SO

Hunter Brown RHP 6-4, 3.62 ERA, 97 SO

Sun 2 - 1:35 CT

Andrew Heaney LHP 5-5, 4.38 ERA, 81 SO

Framber Valdez LHP 7-6, 2.49 ERA, 110 SO

Mon 3 - 1:05 CT

Martin Perez LHP 7-3, 4.28 ERA, 60 SO

Cristian Javier RHP 7-1, 3.72 ERA, 78 SO

Texas obviously wants to win the series and take three, or perhaps all four, of the games from the Astros. And while that would be fantastic and I would love every minute of it, a split of the four-game series isn't the end of the world either. In fact, a loss in the series isn't the end of the line for the Rangers, but the longer the Astros are kept at bay, the better. The Rangers have been struggling as of late, yet no matter what the outcome of tonight's game, the team will end up with a record above .500 for June. The Astros can't say the same thing. Texas comes into the last day of the month with a 14-12 record, while Houston sits at 12-14.

It just feels like the Astros are going to get hot at some point and make a massive move up the standings. It also feels like this Rangers team isn't scared of anybody and can hang with just about any team. The hope at the beginning of the season was to be in playoff contention and play meaningful baseball in September and perhaps get into the playoffs. Personally, I don't know that the real goal has changed much. By winning 49 games in the first half, the Rangers have set themselves up to possibly take the division. Hopefully that happens, but even if it doesn't, after enduring the last six rough years, playoff baseball of any kind will be awesome.

Holy cow! Texas Rangers land four position players in the starting lineup for the All-Star game!

When the All-Star game takes place in Seattle on July 11th, the infield for the American League is going to look very familiar to Rangers' fans. That is because, thanks to a great "get out the vote" effort, and much deserving players, the Rangers will have four starters. Catcher Jonah Heim 1st ASG, second baseman Marcus Semien 2nd ASG, shortstop Corey Seager 4th ASG, and third baseman Josh Jung 1st ASG, will all be in the starting lineup this year.

The four elected starters are the most All-Star starters in the history of the franchise. It has actually been since 2012 that the Rangers even had one starter. That year Josh Hamilton, Adrian Beltre, and Mike Napoli all were in the starting lineup and representing the Rangers. Jung's election to the starting lineup will mark the first time in franchise history that a Texas rookie has been an All-Start starter.

There is also a chance that Nathan Eovaldi could be the starting pitcher for the American League, pushing the starters total to five, but that is yet to be determined. Another solid start for Eovaldi this Saturday afternoon against the Astros, and American League All-Star manager Dusty Baker, could go a long way in making it a reality.

Five Ranger players made it to the second phase of the voting, and everyone but Adolis Garcia won their vote. Garcia missed out on a starting spot but could very well be added as a reserve player. He currently leads all of MLB with 66 runs batted in.

Another stretch of day baseball for the Texas Rangers

Much like a stretch earlier in the season, if you are a fan of day baseball, then the next week and a half will be great for you. The Rangers have 10 games left before the All-Star game, and six of those are of the daytime variety.

Today's contest is at night, but the next four after that are all day games. Outside of the normal afternoon games on Saturday and Sunday, the July 4th holiday induced day games for both Monday and Tuesday, add to the early playing times. The conclusion of the aforementioned Astros' four-game series will take place on Monday at 1:05 CT in Arlington.

After that Monday day game, the team will jump on the plane and immediately head to Boston. Texas will take on the Boston Red Sox on Tuesday, July 4th with a 12:35 CT first pitch, giving everyone a chance to go watch fireworks or celebrate our nations independence however they see fit. After three more night games, the Rangers will head into the All-Star break by playing two additional day games against the Washington Nationals.