Texas Rangers 2017 schedule

The 2017 schedule for the Texas Rangers features a mid-season series at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports
The 2017 schedule for the Texas Rangers features a mid-season series at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports /

The 2017 MLB schedule was released Wednesday, and the Texas Rangers have reasons to feel good, bad and ugly.

The Good

For the second straight season, the Texas Rangers will open at home in 2017. This bodes well for them, as they have been one of the best home teams in the majors since Manager Jeff Banister took the reins. During that time, they’ve manhandled opponents at a 90-60 clip with a .600 winning percentage.

That’s good for seventh in the Major Leagues during that time. That also includes an American League-leading .681 percentage at home this season, which is good for second in all MLB. For these reasons, starting with a six game home stand is a good thing, because it could set up a good start. But what about the finish?

Well, for the fifth straight season, the Texas Rangers will finish at home. This will mark consecutive years that they’ve both finished and started at home. This potentially sets up a great late-season playoff run with less travel and a little more family time for the players.

With the 2017 season book-ended with home series, the Rangers have the opportunity to both start and finish strong. They have the opportunity to build a good lead early and then keep their distance late.

The Bad

You know those four home games to begin the season? Yeah, they’re against the Cleveland Indians. So the season will begin at home, but it will be against the team that’s currently giving Texas the biggest fight for postseason home field.

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However, the Indians haven’t been all that impressive the past two seasons on the road. This season, they’re one game over .500, and last season they were only three over. Opening against Cleveland certainly isn’t the worst-case, but the Rangers are only 4-3 against them at Globe Life Park the past two years. The next really big challenge will follow the All-star break.

Following the Mid-Summer Classic, the Rangers will begin a 10-game road trip. The first seven of those games will feature a three game set against the Kansas City Royals, followed by four visiting the Baltimore Orioles.

Both teams have played really well at home the past two seasons. The Royals have an impressive .616 home winning percentage since Banister’s hiring, while the Orioles trump that mark with a .622 of their own.

Head-to-head, the Texas is 4-3 since the start of the 2015 season at Camden Yards. That’s not shabby, but what’s even better is their 4-2 mark at Kauffman Stadium. So again, what looks terrible may not be so bad considering how the Rangers have faired at those parks. Now let’s look at what might be harder to swallow.

The Ugly

Okay, it’s really not that bad. In fact, the ugly part is really ugly on the opposite end of the spectrum. The Texas Rangers draw the National League East as their interleague counterparts for 2017. It’s a very similar interleague schedule to the one they saw in 2014, which makes sense because it rotates every three years.

However, this is the first season in the past three years that they won’t play the Colorado Rockies in a home-and-home set. This time, their National League West opponent will be the San Diego Padres, who currently hold the fourth-worst record in baseball.

The two best teams from the NL East are the Washington Nationals and the New York Mets. What will be difficult is the trip to Nationals Park to face Washington for three games. They’re currently 46-28 at home this season and are baseball’s 6th-best team at home the past two seasons.

As for the Mets, the Rangers are fortunate enough to have a split of two games in Arlington and two at Citi Field, where the Mets were far better last season than this one. But then again, the Mets are one of the league’s better away teams, so anything could happen.

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The Final Take

In all, the 2017 schedule looks promising for the Texas Rangers. They have an opportunity to gain a lot of ground early and maintain that lead later on. It’s the middle that looks the most troubling. But trouble is what Bannyrooster and his team look forward to the most.