Rangers Rebuilding In 2019

Saturday, February 16, 2019 7:32 PM UTC

Saturday, Feb. 16, 2019 7:32 PM UTC

The Texas Rangers are starting off what could be a long rebuild as they work their way back to contention in the American League. With some of the longest World Series odds of any team, will the Rangers surprise anyone this season?

World Series Odds: (+15,000)American League Pennant Odds: (+8000)Season Win Total: (70.5)

Adrian Beltre Era Over

It’s pretty sad that Adrian Beltre’s career ended without a World Series win with the Rangers. As the team moves on without their staple third baseman, things look a little bleak in a lineup that ranked pretty average in nearly every category last season.

The Rangers posted a .315 wOBA in 2018, which ranked 16th in the majors. Now without Beltre, who had a down year in his final year in the majors, the Rangers’ offense could end up sinking down more in team offense.

They made a good move in signing Asdrubal Cabrera to take over at third base, but even Cabrera won’t be enough to make up for the loss of Beltre. Guys like Joey Gallo and Nomar Mazara have shown their ability to hit for power, but the top of the Rangers’ batting order is where the questions come in.

Can Elvis Andrus be consistent enough to hit third in the order? Can Rougned Odor continue his hot second half from last season and be that staple number two hitter in the order? Can Shin-Soo Choo stay healthy and rack up more than 500 plate appearances?

All of this doesn’t even get into the fact that the bottom half of the order is somewhat easy money for opposing pitchers. Will Ronald Guzman and/or Willie Calhoun make waves this season to solidify the bench and bottom half of the order?

There will be answers to these questions soon enough, but even if all of these guys continue, or start to break out, it’s going to be hard to go anywhere in the AL West without solid pitching too.

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Rangers talent level drops to 12-year low, according to Baseball America – here's why GM Jon Daniels isn't worried.#TexasRangers https://t.co/X7uVm3LSDY

— SportsDayDFW (@SportsDayDFW) 13 de fevereiro de 2019
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Rangers’ Rotation

Mike Minor will likely start on Opening Day for Texas. Minor missed basically two seasons due to a torn labrum, but he bounced back nicely last season throwing 157 innings and amassing a record of 12-8 and an ERA of 4.18.

While not bad, Minor is far from an ace on a contending team and after him the question marks grow deeper for the Rangers. Edinson Volquez is coming off Tommy John surgery and while I think the Rangers have high hopes for his comeback, it remains to be seen what kind of pitcher Volquez will be once he is in a game.

Lance Lynn is another big question mark for this rotation. After having Tommy John surgery and missing all of the 2016 season, Lynn pitched well for the Cardinals in 2017 only to be traded halfway through last season and put up record lows in almost every category.

There is also the questions surrounding the back half of the rotation. Will the Rangers put their trust in Shelby Miller and Drew Smyly, or will they go with the ever popular three-man rotation and use those two as long relief pitchers after an opener takes the mound?

Either way, there aren’t a lot of good options for the Rangers’ pitching. They do have Ariel Jurado in the pipeline, who could be an option to permanently join the rotation. Also, I would expect to see Taylor Hearn at some point this season.

However, none of this matters too much, because I can’t see Texas making it to 71 or more wins with their current club. This season will be marked by developing young players and restocking a depleted farm system.

Season Win Total Pick: UNDER 70.5 Wins (-105)

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