Though not often a heated rivalry, this AL West confrontation is serious and the fortunes of each team are being exhibited by sportsbooks for the upcoming season showcasing the positives and negatives.
The Texas farm system has a wealth of talent which will start filtering into the majors in 2016 and 2017, but not this season and they have definite holes which their MLB odds for win total of 78 suggests.
The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim after winning 98 games a season ago are in “win now” mode and have to take advantage of having aging players with massive contracts and knockdown a World Series or two to justify their salaries.
Here is what we see from both AL West squads this upcoming season against the betting odds and we will see them face off again later this spring.
Projected Win Total Un78 wins – 4th in the AL West
Last year the Rangers were ravaged by injuries and fell from 91 wins to 67. Anybody making MLB picks or the Texas organization itself probably felt it could hardly get any worse than last year, until it did, at least at the start of spring training.
Yu Darvish after missing a sizeable chuck of time has a partially torn ligament in his pitching elbow. Darvish is weighing his decisions in wondering if rest and rehabbing will work or if Tommy John surgery is his best alternative. Either way, taking the ace off any staff hurts and the Rangers have few options to improve.
If Derek Holland, Yovani Gallardo, Colby Lewis and Ross Detwiler all have good seasons, Texas would have a chance to be a .500 club, because they still have offensive weapons, but like the pitching staff, they would have to come through.
Prince Fielder, Adrian Beltre, Shin-Soo Chin, Elvin Andrus and Leonys Martin all need to generate strong campaigns for Texas to have a chance to finish third.
Ultimately, MLB baseball handicappers and those putting together sports picks realize an awful lot has to fall into place for the Rangers and it is unlikely this will occur, making them appear more of a 75-win team.
Rangers vs. Angels Game Notes
In early spring games, the stars do not always come out and that was the case in this matchup. Nevertheless, there were still ample fireworks. Shortstop Andrus of Texas made several big-league plays which dazzled the sun-drenched crowd in Tempe. His expert footwork and strong arm were frequently on display.
Centerfielder Martin bashed a two-run homer in the third inning, pulling a Hector Santiago pitch over the wall in right. Starter Colby Lewis tossed
three efficient innings, but reliever Lisalverto Bonilla allowed three runs in 2 2/3 innings and his wild pitch ended the game in the bottom of the ninth in the Angels 5-4 come from behind win.