Math Problems

The Texas Rangers have played 131 games of a 162, leaving just 31 more in the regular season. With a record of 77-54 and an 8.5 game lead the team is in very nice shape. However, the next 25 games make or break the entire season.

Strange things can happen during September baseball. The God’s of baseball sometimes get involved and decide to alter the fates of one team over another. The Rangers have some good things working to help overcome some things.

At the top of the list is the return of Derek Holland. He has had two starts since returning and both of those have been brilliant! Colby Lewis will most likely return in the next week or so, which could give the team a huge boost of depth for the final month. A rotation of Hamels, Darvish, Griffin, Holland, Perez, and Lewis should take some pressure off things.

The other good news is that September allows for the expansion of rosters, which means the team can bring up anyone on the 40 man roster and have them available. The Rangers, despite all the trades still have a very deep farm system and this is where we get to see some of that.

The team just needs to continue to goal of winning each series, take 2 of every 3 is the goal. However, the math says that if the Rangers win 15 more games it makes them very hard to catch. While both the Astros and Mariners have 32 games left, being 8.5 games back means they have to be 8 games better than the Rangers just to tie. If the Rangers win 15, that would force either of them to finish 24-8 for the tie. That is not unheard of, considering the Rangers came back last year to unseat the Astros, and the A’s did it to the Rangers a couple of years ago. It can and does happen.

This team will face some of the toughest pitchers in the AL down the stretch, every play will be magnified, and this is the fun part of the season.

Another factor is that the Rangers, Mariners, and Astros all play each other. That means that teams can get hot and gain ground quickly, or become buried as quick. The Rangers also have more home games than the others down this stretch, and they have the best home record in franchise history this season.

All the signs are positive, everything looks good, but let’s all be cautiously optimistic. After all Sam Dyson walked the bases loaded in a one-run game in the bottom of the ninth today. That could have turned out much differently, but the God’s of baseball smiled on the Rangers today. Let’s all hope they continue to do so. Winning now, means playing in October, and everyone is ready for this season of promise to continue.

Time to Win the AL West

Between now and September 18, the Texas Rangers play only AL West opponents. This includes seven against the Mariners and six against the Astros. The AL West can be won by the Rangers over that stretch. At least it can be put away.
Right now, the Texas Rangers (76-54) have a 7.5 game lead on both the Mariners and the Astros, who are tied at 68-61. The Rangers also have the Angels and athletic during that stretch. So what has to happen over the next few weeks?

1. Who are Martin Perez and Derek Holland? The Texas Rangers need to have an answer to that question before October rolls around. Both have been sparatic at best. If I had to choose right now, I would take Cole Hamels, Yu Darvish and AJ Griffin as my top three. And hopefully Colby Lewis comes back healthy. But the Rangers need to know if Holland and Perez have anything left to give.

2. Can Carlos Gomez be a team player? If he is to be the everyday left fielder, he needs to be selfless. If he is off and Jurickson Profar needs to come in, he needs to not fall apart and whine about it. I think he can. Winning baseball seems to solve a lot of personality problems. 

3. Health. This is the same for almost any club out there, but the Rangers need to stay healthy to win the AL West. They need Adrian Beltre, Elvis Andrus, Rougned Odor, Ian Desmond and the rest to be at their best. It is by no means a given the Rangers will win the division. Health is the key.

The Rangers have an opportunity to really take hold of the AL West over the next two weeks. I really hope they find the way to take advantahe of that opportunity. 

Jeremy Jeffress to Remain on Restricted List

jeffress arrestedJeremy Jeffress made a bad mistake early Friday morning, driving under the influence of alcohol. Just because he is an athlete doesn’t mean that he should get a break. The MLB doesn’t seem to think so anyway. They announced today that Jeffress will remain on the restricted list until the case is closed.

The Rangers bull pen has not been performing badly lately, and one of the main reasons that the Rangers were interested in Jeremy Jeffress was the long term control that came with him.

While Jonathan Lucroy has worked out very well so far for the Rangers, Jeffress has not. His ERA was 2.22 with the Brewers this season, and so far with the Rangers it is 4.00. He has looked shaky out there to say the least, and now the arrest is not instilling confidence in Rangers nation.

The Rangers told news eight they would not comment until the investigation has run it’s course.

The Texas Rangers are aware of the situation involving Jeremy Jeffress that took place early this morning. At this time, we are in the process of the gathering information and have no further comment.

The Rangers have to be mad on the inside, especially with the type of season this is turning out to be. The Rangers have a real chance to be something special in 2016, and having a player arrested for a DWI in the stretch run is never good PR. It is also not good for the clubhouse or for the player himself.

Will Jeremy Jeffress get to play again this season? If he does, will the Rangers place him on the post season roster? Only time will tell, but for now he will be sidelined.

How the Rangers can Win it All

MLB: New York Yankees at Texas RangersFor years now, fans of the Rangers have been hoping for the ultimate in baseball glory. We have been hoping to see the franchise hoist it’s first ever World Series trophy. In the forty-four years of their existence, the Texas Rangers have yet to complete that mission. In 2016 the Rangers seemed to have gone out of their way to try once again to reach the pinnacle of their sport. They acquired Cole Hamels last season. They picked up Carlos Beltran. They traded for Jonathan Lucroy. They signed recently released outfielder Carlos Gomez. They traded away some seriously good talent to make all that happen.

Even with all the talent the Rangers have added in the last 12 plus months, nothing is guaranteed. They are on pace to win 91-95 games. That is a good start, but what after the regular season ends and the post season begins? Now I don’t claim to be an expert, just a experienced fan of the sport I love so much. Here is what needs to happen for the Rangers to finally win it all.

 

1. All Aces. 

Cole Hamels and Yu Darvish cannot be off their game one bit. We have seen both men pitch beautiful games that were ruined by a flat or yupermandisappointing offense. If wither of them fall apart for just one game, especially in a five game series, the Rangers will be in trouble. When you have two aces at the top, they need to be those aces in October. Pitching wins. Period.

 

2. Lights out back end of the pen.

The reason the Rangers acquired Jeremy Jeffress was to sure up the back end of the pen. In a playoff series, where teams get more time off between games, the Rangers can’t afford to have an off night from the four main arms they count on. Keone Kela, Jake Diekman, Jeffress and Sam Dyson must do what is expected of them. A three game losing streak because of the equals a quick exit from the post season. They have been tested in the regular season and been very good, they need to do it under the brighter lights.

 

3. Hit with runners in scoring position.

Adrian BeltreOne thing I hate to see during a game is a lot of LOB. The Rangers have had their struggles in 2016 with leaving runners stranded. The opportunity to score does not come nearly as often in the post season. The Rangers will be facing the best pitchers from the best teams at that point. They cannot afford to squander opportunities to plate runs. I have seen the better team lose many times because of this number being high. Simply put: if you don’t score, you don’t win.  Continue reading “How the Rangers can Win it All”

The Power of Yu

Something happened during the Texas Rangers game in Cincinnati on Wednesday night. Something that made me yell out and startle my family. Something that almost made me fall off of my chair. What could cause such a comotion in the Ranger Report houshold, you ask? It was the 410 thing of beauty that came off the bat of one Yu Darvish. 
Yu flashed his power with that monstrosity of a home run, one that most likely will be remembered for a long time. I can see the trivia questions now: who was the pitcher that gave up Yu Darvish’s first home run? Good times.

Well, all that Yu mania aside, he did not seem to have his best stuff on the mound Wednesday night, but the team still eeked out a win thanks to Adrian Beltre. And as an aside, I think Beltre may be the greatest Ranger of all time by the time he retires. The man is money at third and at the plate. 

The Rangers now come home to face a good Indians team with Cole Hamels being on the mound to start the series.The Rangers need to win 17 of the next 33, and I feel like they will be in. Seattle is still right there, probably now concerned with the possibility of a Yu Darvish pinch hit homer. Okay, maybe not. It sure will be fun to talk about for a while though.