With the MLB Playoffs just days away, the Texas Rangers currently own the best record in the American League, and will all but likely have home field advantage throughout the AL playoffs. With their star studded lineup, and the one two punch in their rotation, the Texas Rangers are going to the World Series.
The Texas Rangers Are Going to the World Series
The Rangers have arguably the most dangerous lineup in all of baseball. With elite and veteran third baseman Adrian Beltre, catcher Jonathan Lucroy, outfielders Ian Desmond and Carlos Beltran, power infielder Rougned Odor, first baseman Mitch Moreland, and speedy shortstop Elvis Andrus, the Rangers have a formidable lineup. Beltre, despite getting up there in age, is still one of the best infielders in baseball, and is one of the consistent hitters in all of baseball. Second basemen Odor has also been a presence at the plate the plate, and has really come into his own this year. He’s always been a solid second baseman, but this year he has gone off at the plate. He’s hit 33 home runs this season, and has become one of the better power hitting infielders in all of baseball. In addition to Odor, Desmond has played very well, but not at his natural position.
Desmond is the Best Signing of the Free Agency Period
Desmond signed a one year/eight million dollar deal to play center field for the Rangers, and he’s thrived in that spot. Desmond’s arm makes him a natural in the outfield, and he has bounced back at the plate hitting like his old self. The signing of Desmond has been without a doubt the best signing of the off-season; however, the deals that the Rangers made at the deadline were just as shrewd. By acquiring Yankees outfielder Carlos Beltran, they picked up a veteran outfielder who has bounced back to produce at an all star level. Despite Beltran being a free agent at year’s end, his playoff experience will only help propel this Ranger offense, as will the consistent production of Lucroy.
What Lucroy Brings to the Table
The Rangers also acquired Brewers catcher Lucroy at this year’s trade deadline. Lucroy is one of the best defensive catchers in baseball, and is also a very consistent hitter. You can plug Lucroy in any spot of the lineup, and he’ll produce. The addition of Lucroy has given Texas a top five catcher both offensively and defensively. While their lethal lineup will help propel them in the weeks to come, the big two in their rotation will also carry them.
Don’t Forget About the Rangers Rotation
With ace Cole Hamels, and young arm Yu Darvish, the Rangers have a dangerous one two at their disposal. While both arms pose a threat to any team, Hamels is the more intimidating. Hamels has pitched in multiple postseason games, including in 2008 when he led the Phillies to their World Series title, but also as recently as last year with the Rangers. Whether it’s years ago, or in the present day, Hamels is a force to be reckoned with come postseason time, with a lifetime 3.03 postseason ERA. While Hamels is the bigger postseason presence, Darvish is still an intimidating opponent. While he has struggled with injuries in the past, Darvish is now healthy, and will most likely be pitching game two for the Rangers in the playoffs. He’s a strikeout pitcher, and he will follow up for Hamels very nicely.
The Rangers are Built to Win Now
The Rangers are going into the postseason with arguably the game’s best all around lineup, and an elite one two punch in their rotation. While some say that the Boston Red Sox own the game’s best lineup, their lineup has a common theme. A good chunk of their players have little to no playoff experience. Outside of Dustin Pedroia, David Ortiz, and Hanley Ramirez, the Red Sox lineup is very inexperienced when it comes to postseason play. Their ace David Price has problems of his own with postseason play as well. In recent years, he has been an accident waiting to happen in the postseason, and a real liability for both the Tampa Bay Rays, and most recently the Toronto Blue Jays. While Price has issues when it comes to postseason play, Rangers ace Hamels is the opposite. He is the definition of consistency, and he can hold himself together in the postseason. With Hamels, the Rangers have an ace who performs at a high level in both the regular season and the postseason. With Hamels, and their starting lineup, the Rangers are a train that no AL Team can stop. The Rangers are destined to appear in the World Series this fall.