At the start of the MLB season, many baseball expert picked Texas to win the AL West. Why not? They had a pitching staff full of bona-fide stars such as Yu Darvish and Derek Holland. Their lineup that contained Sin Shoo Choo, Prince Fielder, and Adrian Beltre was supposed to be a potent force that would propel them to playoff glory. However, injuries cost them Yu Darvish and Derek Holland before the season was well under way. A midseason trade for Josh Hamilton did not help matters either. However, they sit at 42-46, six games behind the division lead, and five and half behind the second wild card spot.
With Yu Darvish and Derek Holland injured, the Texas pitching staff has struggled mightily. It has no dependable pitcher as the Rangers try to get through the season with young rookies and aging veterans on the end of their careers. Darvish and Holland are gone for the season and things are not likely to improve for the Texas pitching staff.
The Rangers’ lineup has also suffered with injuries to Prince Fielder and the underperformance of Choo. However, it has provided them with some decent play and does have potential to turn things around for them in the second half.
The Rangers have no clear strengths. Their lineup is borderline and is properly classified as a weakness due to its unreliability.
The most glaring weakness that Texas has is their pitching. It currently ranks 25th in baseball with a 4.21 ERA. The injuries of Holland and Darvish have definitely hurt them and it is unlikely that the pitching staff will improve this year.
Texas has also had its share of offensive woes. The trio of Prince Fielder, Shin Shoo Choo, and Adrian Beltre were supposed to anchor a powerful lineup. However, Choo and Fielder have both been hurt and, when they have played, they have not performed like they are expected to. The midseason trade for Josh Hamilton has not helped either as he has failed to perform as well.
Graphic via nbcdfw
The Second Half
Texas will be in contention solely because of the weakness of the AL West. However, the team will gradually fade as the second half wears on. Immediately after the All Star break, they have series with Houston, the Angels, and the Yankees, this stretch will probably push them out of contention for the rest of season, but it is baseball and stranger things have happened before.
The Rangers will not buy or sell at the trade deadline. They will simply stay put and wait for next year when Darvish and Holland have recovered.
Graphic via rantsports